1997 Chevy Silverado Do I have a bad battery?

Tiny
DASEVILLE
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 177,000 MILES
I have a Sivlerado with an after-market, competition level stereo system. I have a high-output amplifier, powering 3 Amps, 3 capacitors, 4 subwoofers, and 8 midrange and tweeters. When my car is powered on, the capacitors read 13.6 - 13.9 Amps, and my voltage gauge reads around 14.

My battery seems to be failing. I had left my lights on all day, which killed my battery. I had it jumped and when I got home I put it on a charger, and did not have a problem again. A few weeks after that, my wife left the dome lights on overnight which again killed my battery. Again I charged it overnight and it was fine for another few weeks.

Now, for no apparent reason, my car wont even hold a charge for more than a few hours. It seems to be deteriorating more rapidly. If I charge it overnight, it will fire up OK for a while, but when I went to work, it did not even last a 7 hour day.

Sorry for the long description but I wanted to provide as much info as possible before asking my questions.

My question is: has the multiple charges and discharges caused my battery to go beyond the ability to hold a charge? Or does that seem circumstantial and it could be something else.

Right now I have a cheaper Carquest battery, but am replacing it with a higher end Optima battery. I just don't want to get my hopes up if this is not the issue.

Any advice/help would really set my mind at ease.
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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 AT 1:51 PM

2 Replies

Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Hi
You are correct flat lining and charging will take out Batt.
A high rated CCA batt is good for the added strain out stereo.
Thanks for donate
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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 AT 2:20 PM
Tiny
OPTIMAJIM
  • MEMBER
Hi daseville, Docfixit is correct, in that no battery likes to be deeply-discharged. Deep-cycle batteries are more resilient to this type of service than SLI (starting/lighting/ignition) batteries.

The most important key to long battery life is maintaining voltage of at least 12.4 volts at all times. If your vehicle does need to be jump-started, fully-charging the battery with a battery charger is also a good practice.

I assume the extensive list of audio components you have installed also includes the "Big 3" wiring upgrade? Grounds should always be double-checked, as there is no such thing as grounds that are "too good" and one-wire alternators are especially sensitive to good, quality grounds.

If your system is competition level, it might be appropriate to consider an upgraded alternator and an isolated, dual-battery setup. This would protect your SLI battery and allow it to start your vehicle, even if you have deeply-discharged your auxillary battery. Cold cranking amps are an important consideration in cold climates, but reserve capacity is a more important consideration in car audio applications.

If you do decide to purchase an OPTIMA, we strongly recommend a YellowTop for all applications with significant electrical accessories, such as yours. If you have any other battery-related questions, I'll do my best to answer them.

Jim McIlvaine
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
Www. Facebook. Com/optimabatteries
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Monday, March 22nd, 2010 AT 11:43 AM

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