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Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've all seen reports of people having their batteries replaced a year or so in on these cars. Mine has slowly...slowly been losing a charge.

Here's tonight:

Very, very weak crank from it.

I've watched it slowly drop capacity from 12.3-12.2-12.0-11.9. I even hooked it up to a buddies charger for 4 hours one night and took the car on a 4 hour drive. They helped it temporarily, but it's just not holding.

Alternator shoots to 14.9 V as soon as the car is started and stays above 14 the entire time it's running.

I'll probably be replacing the battery this weekend with an Interstate or DieHard Gold.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can you get a battery that fills the entire tray? That would be cool!
I think a 47 might come close. I'm not sure what size the diesels is but I reckon that battery tray is sized for starting a bigger, high compression motor in the cold.

Those dang batteries are over 100 bucks... Where's my old 40 dollar batteries?
You know, while it's under warranty for another year, I may as well save my $100+ and have one that'll make it another year or two. Hmm...


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So far I am very happy with my diehard advanced gold AGM, though its only been like a month since I replaced. Mine too seemed to get weaker and weaker voltage every AM and also was constantly charging at 14.5+ volts. If you do consider the diehard gold, the advanced gold is only $10 more and is an AGM battery.

I start my car now its on 14.5V for a few blocks, once upto 35-40mph about 1/2 mile it starts dropping and by 1-2miles I am in the 12.7-12.9V range. My old battery it had been some time since I ever seen lower than 14.5v. I also never have less than 12.6v every AM now before I start.


EDIT: The factory battery is 438CCA, all the aftermarket ones I looked at that were direct fit(group 47) were 600CCA. I have mentioned this in other threads, but thought others might find that information useful.
 

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Definitely useful info. I remember reading about AGM batteries but never really knew what it was all about.

I haven't paid much attention to my starting voltage. Perhaps I should look at it.

If your battery goes out under the warranty period though, I'd definitely just get it replaced for free.
 

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Hmm. going on two years now and haven't noticed anything untoward. I'll have to keep a closer eye on it.

Oh wow, I went over 200 posts (finally) and didn't even notice.
 

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The factory battery is 438CCA, all the aftermarket ones I looked at that were direct fit(group 47) were 600CCA. I have mentioned this in other threads, but thought others might find that information useful.
I'm no engineer, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but 438 CCA seems a bit low for a modern car with all of the electronics they contain now. My 10 year old P5 has a 570 CCA battery in it. Yes, it's a replacement from Battery Wholesale, but it's not over sized. My new car came with a 474 CCA battery. If it were my car, I'd go with the highest amp rating replacement I could get to fit in the tray. You never know when you may need the extra Ah in an emergency.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm no engineer, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but 438 CCA seems a bit low for a modern car with all of the electronics they contain now. My 10 year old P5 has a 570 CCA battery in it. Yes, it's a replacement from Battery Wholesale, but it's not over sized. My new car came with a 474 CCA battery. If it were my car, I'd go with the highest amp rating replacement I could get to fit in the tray. You never know when you may need the extra Ah in an emergency.
I think you could basically start this engine with a lawnmower pull cord. Even with the battery that low on a charge, it still turns over pretty well, though it does for sure seem weaker than it is on a full charge.

If my last car dropped below 11.9V, it wouldn't even crank. Just *click*.
 

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If your battery goes out under the warranty period though, I'd definitely just get it replaced for free.
That was a huge debate for me, I was under warrenty when I bought my battery but decided since I drive a ton at night in the middle of nowwhere and park outside all winter the money for a good battery was worth not being left stranded.
 

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That was a huge debate for me, I was under warrenty when I bought my battery but decided since I drive a ton at night in the middle of nowwhere and park outside all winter the money for a good battery was worth not being left stranded.
At that point, you get it replaced, and then replace the new one yourself again. Keep the GM one sitting in the garage or sell it on craigslist.

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Guys the battery is 12volts. it should not be 14..hence why its 12 volts. You may see a little higher when fully charged. Also you may see a voltage higher during driving but that is because the alternator is what supplies the power during driving. So its powering all electronic components and charging the battery. Your car should be able to start fine with less than 12 volts. However if it showing 12volts and not starting or just barely turning over then the battery probably has a bad cell. So yes the battery is bad.

With a bad cell you can still test the battery and it will show 12volts but as soon as you put a load on it the voltage drops dramatically.

Remember the electrical system is 12 volts. So you don't want a battery much over that when testing it. If you have a battery showing 14 volts fully charged you also have a bad battery and can cause issue with electrical components over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Guys the battery is 12volts. it should not be 14..hence why its 12 volts. You may see a little higher when fully charged. Also you may see a voltage higher during driving but that is because the alternator is what supplies the power during driving. So its powering all electronic components and charging the battery. Your car should be able to start fine with less than 12 volts. However if it showing 12volts and not starting or just barely turning over then the battery probably has a bad cell. So yes the battery is bad.

With a bad cell you can still test the battery and it will show 12volts but as soon as you put a load on it the voltage drops dramatically.

Remember the electrical system is 12 volts. So you don't want a battery much over that when testing it. If you have a battery showing 14 volts fully charged you also have a bad battery and can cause issue with electrical components over time.
......you need over 12V to CHARGE the battery. 13.5-14.8 V is normal charging voltage for most cars. The Cruze uses a variable displacement alternator that changes the voltage when accelerating to save fuel.

A properly-charged car battery holds 12.6-12.8V for full cranking power. By 12V, it's nearly flat on cranking amps, and go much below 11.5, you're left with a dead car. Hence my starter sounding weak.
 

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When the battery finally went dead on my 04 Cavalier, only replacement I could find was from my Chevy dealer that would fit properly without making modifications. Cruze battery even looks a lot more special with that terminal board mounted to it and special cover.

11.7-11.9 V ignition on, engine off is perfectly normal, my 2012 had been this way since new, ambient temperature also plays a role. Cranking voltage is good above 9 volts, starter solenoids should energize hard down to 5.5 V.

CCA amps is BS unless you have an environmental chamber. More crap from marketing, true indication is the old AH rating they don't even specify so you can run a capacity check. What is really BS are these electronic battery testers, only way to properly test a battery is under full load. Lots of internal connections inside of a battery.

Even more BS is "Always Hot", and "Solid state, do not test". Depending on infinite impedance power MOSFET transistors to stay hard off so you don't get parasitic draw off the battery. Cruze is suppose to have a low voltage cutoff in the BCM to shut all these transistors off. Since firmware based, this can be the problem. Here the battery is the victim.

Still using lead acid batteries that can only take one or two complete discharges, this drastically decreases the unknown AH capacity.

A fully charged battery should read 12.9 V but this is strictly the open circuited voltage, surface charge has to be removed first, and temperature dependent, has to be at 25*C. Typically 10 mv less for each 1*C above the standard ambient or more below it.

Under the same conditions, 12.1 volts is a discharged battery. Discharge rate determines the AH capacity of the battery, that varies considerably with load, load has to be a constant current source. Can vary as much as 35% depending on the load. Charging current is typically 10% more than the discharge current because of thermal losses in the charging process. By comparing numbers the AH capacity of the battery can be determined. This is hundred year old history.

Parasitic draw can be easily determined with a sensitive digital inductive pickup ammeter with a resolution down to 0.001 amps. But with all this jazz, have to wait around ten minutes while the BCM is switching everything off. Should be in the 10-50 ma maximum range. Does make a difference if the alarm is off or not. So your battery will last longer if sitting in your locked garage with the alarm off than at an airport parking lot with the alarm on.


Another load source is remote entry, that receiver is always on waiting for RF pulses, a convenience or a battery killer? Daily drivers don't have these problems, but a maintainer outputting precisely 13.5 V pure DC solves this. As I type this have those in my motorhome, boat, Supra, and lawn mower. Even a low 10% discharge sulfates a battery, lowering its capacity. Some claim a 1 amp charge can remove that, good luck. That stuff is as hard as a rock.

Below freezing will change that electrolyte to ice with a discharged battery, but can withstand subzero temperatures if fully charged. Actually better, because the internal discharge rate is much lower at lower temperatures.

Contrary to popular believe, most of Delco's warranty claims came from down south where its hot, compared to the much colder north. Heat really destructs a battery.
 

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I thought the Cruze has some cutting edge battery voltage management. Yesterday with the headlights off engine at cruise running I saw 12.5 volts. Same day engine running at cruise headlights on, I saw 14.5 volts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I thought the Cruze has some cutting edge battery voltage management. Yesterday with the headlights off engine at cruise running I saw 12.5 volts. Same day engine running at cruise headlights on, I saw 14.5 volts.
Exactly - that's the variable alternator. It tries to charge when it will create the least drag on the engine, but demand for charging overrules the fuel-saving measures.

Out running errands yesterday, I can actually hear the alternator in my car whining a bit now as it's running maxed-out. Heading out to the dealer some time this week.
 

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When the battery finally went dead on my 04 Cavalier, only replacement I could find was from my Chevy dealer that would fit properly without making modifications. Cruze battery even looks a lot more special with that terminal board mounted to it and special cover.

11.7-11.9 V ignition on, engine off is perfectly normal, my 2012 had been this way since new, ambient temperature also plays a role. Cranking voltage is good above 9 volts, starter solenoids should energize hard down to 5.5 V.

CCA amps is BS unless you have an environmental chamber. More crap from marketing, true indication is the old AH rating they don't even specify so you can run a capacity check. What is really BS are these electronic battery testers, only way to properly test a battery is under full load. Lots of internal connections inside of a battery.

Even more BS is "Always Hot", and "Solid state, do not test". Depending on infinite impedance power MOSFET transistors to stay hard off so you don't get parasitic draw off the battery. Cruze is suppose to have a low voltage cutoff in the BCM to shut all these transistors off. Since firmware based, this can be the problem. Here the battery is the victim.

Still using lead acid batteries that can only take one or two complete discharges, this drastically decreases the unknown AH capacity.

A fully charged battery should read 12.9 V but this is strictly the open circuited voltage, surface charge has to be removed first, and temperature dependent, has to be at 25*C. Typically 10 mv less for each 1*C above the standard ambient or more below it.

Under the same conditions, 12.1 volts is a discharged battery. Discharge rate determines the AH capacity of the battery, that varies considerably with load, load has to be a constant current source. Can vary as much as 35% depending on the load. Charging current is typically 10% more than the discharge current because of thermal losses in the charging process. By comparing numbers the AH capacity of the battery can be determined. This is hundred year old history.

Parasitic draw can be easily determined with a sensitive digital inductive pickup ammeter with a resolution down to 0.001 amps. But with all this jazz, have to wait around ten minutes while the BCM is switching everything off. Should be in the 10-50 ma maximum range. Does make a difference if the alarm is off or not. So your battery will last longer if sitting in your locked garage with the alarm off than at an airport parking lot with the alarm on.


Another load source is remote entry, that receiver is always on waiting for RF pulses, a convenience or a battery killer? Daily drivers don't have these problems, but a maintainer outputting precisely 13.5 V pure DC solves this. As I type this have those in my motorhome, boat, Supra, and lawn mower. Even a low 10% discharge sulfates a battery, lowering its capacity. Some claim a 1 amp charge can remove that, good luck. That stuff is as hard as a rock.

Below freezing will change that electrolyte to ice with a discharged battery, but can withstand subzero temperatures if fully charged. Actually better, because the internal discharge rate is much lower at lower temperatures.

Contrary to popular believe, most of Delco's warranty claims came from down south where its hot, compared to the much colder north. Heat really destructs a battery.
You, sir, are a scholar!

-Posted from my Galaxy Note 2 on VZW's LTE network.
 

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When the battery finally went dead on my 04 Cavalier, only replacement I could find was from my Chevy dealer that would fit properly without making modifications. Cruze battery even looks a lot more special with that terminal board mounted to it and special cover.
Really? my 2004 cavalier both times I needed batteries I drove to the local Farm & Fleet & bought a battery, change in the parking lot with no fitment issues what so ever. That terminal board you are seeing unclips from the top of battery and once all the battery cables and clamps are loosened one can slide the battery right out the front of the tray, no need to fully remove or unhook that top part.

When you need a battery just buy a group 47 battery and you should have no fitment issues with the cruze.
 

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Fleet Farm and Walmart added themselves to my no-buy list for batteries and tires. With tires, everything else is the problem except the tire they sold me was a POS. With batteries, both are using that POS electronic battery tester is their final rule. Even though walking in with a carbon pile and a voltmeter with a 20 amp load drops the fully charge battery down to zero. Their POS electronic tester says its good. Did win some arguments with them, but have better things to do.

Chevy dealer sold me the same exact OE battery at the same Walmart/Fleet Farm price and a far superior warranty. And at least, they still know how to test a battery.
 

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Unless I missed it, nobody mentioned that when a battery is low it draws almost all the available power to the starter and leaves the ignition low on power, thus hard to start. Have you noticed that sometimes a car will fire just as you release the key, that is when it gets a bigger spark.
 
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