1992 Volvo 240 dead battery

Discussion in 'Volvo 240' started by sanworker, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. sanworker

    sanworker Guest

    My wife's 240 is parked most of the time. She may use it maybe once a week.
    For the past several years in the winter the car will go absolutely dead.
    I have had the battery checked and it checks out okay. I have cleaned and
    lubed ground connections in past. In the summer the car is okay, now that
    a chill is in the air she goes dead. Can someone explain any possible
    causes, and also specifically how to trouble shoot such a problem?
    Specifics on how to do a current drop test and amp check in particular.
    Thank you for the help.
    sanworker, Oct 26, 2005
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  2. sanworker

    Randy G. Guest

    Winter is difficult for batteries. When they get cold they produce
    less current. A cold car is also more difficult to turn over.

    One of the worst things that can be done to a battery is to let it go
    dead andd stay in that state. Batteries are happiest at full charge.
    If this is the same battery and it has been allowed to go dead this
    many times then it probably needs replacing.

    The best alternative is to wire a trickle charger to the battery with
    an easy-to-access lead. Plug it in each time after it is parked if
    possible. Thre are lots of new chargers with logic that keeps them
    from over-charging the battery.

    As far as a home battery tester for curent, not worth the investment.
    Try putting a voltmeter on it when it is cranking.

    __ __
    Randy & \ \/ /alerie's
    '90 245 Estate - '93 965 Estate
    "Shelby" & "Kate"
    Randy G., Oct 26, 2005
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  3. Assuming you don't have an unusual current drain - the glovebox
    light staying on is a common one - the most likely explanation is
    that the car isn't being driven enough to recharge the battery, which
    loses power to various circuits even when it's off. This is more of
    a problem in Winter, because of diminished battery capacity in cold
    weather. If it isn't losing extra power, then it either needs a longer
    drive once a week (and remember to turn off all the power accessories
    before shutting off the engine), or a battery maintainer.


    Michael Cerkowski, Oct 26, 2005
  4. sanworker

    James Sweet Guest

    If you have a multimeter, then set it to DC Amps, disconnect one of the
    battery cables and connect it through the meter to the battery and see
    how much draw you have with everything off.

    If you don't have that, the first thing to check is the glove box light,
    if the door gets tweaked the light can stay on and drain the battery,
    same with the under hood and trunk lights.

    It's also possible that the battery is simply worn out.
    James Sweet, Oct 26, 2005
  5. sanworker

    User Guest

    One simple check is to remove the caps or strips from the top of the
    battery, turn on the head lights for a minute or two and have a helper
    crank the engine. If there is a weak cell it will bubble. If the battery
    is over four years old it probably won't hold a very deep charge. If it
    has been drained flat from sitting more than a couple times it won't
    recharge properly. The parasitic draw if you measure it as suggested
    earlier should be in the neighborhood of 100mA DC give or take (doors
    shut, all accesssories off, key in your pocket).

    User, Oct 26, 2005
  6. SOMETIMES they open circuit when the cold sets in ,have you tried a stress
    test as it picks up any weakness quickly .
    John Robertson, Oct 26, 2005
  7. btw using a timer to connect the battery charger for a few minutes every
    day saves money .Here down under their about $5.00 dollars .
    John Robertson, Oct 26, 2005
  8. Remembering not to crank the engine when the ammeter is in the circuit!

    (I'm thinking the car battery is shot.)

    Michael Pardee, Oct 26, 2005
  9. sanworker

    blurp Guest

    I don't know where you are but if you're in Canada take a look at
    Canadian Tire for a solar trickle charger:


    Not too cheap but cheaper than buying new batteries and the cost of
    charging them. Plus you can use it in any other vehicle etc..

    blurp, Oct 26, 2005
  10. That was my first response. I also have a 240...an 84 turbo that I
    bought new. I made another response to the original poster about how the
    car is parked.
    .................................................., Oct 27, 2005
  11. Make sure that the trunk lite is going off when the car is parked. I
    don't know what your particular situation is while the car is parked,
    but I still have my '84 two door Turbo (Just turned 189K) that used to
    get parked in front of my house, sometimes for two or three days at a
    time. The battery used to go dead during that time until I discovered
    that the trunk lite wasn't going off. When I lived in Los Angeles, I
    lived on one of those streets where a lot of old silent films were
    made...VERY steep street. While facing down the hill, it was just like
    the trunk was opened about a foot or two if the vehicle was to be parked
    on level ground. Have your wife get in the trunk and slam it. I'll
    leave the rest up to you....
    .................................................., Oct 27, 2005
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