BattlePope
BattlePope New Reader
5/23/20 6:06 p.m.

Car wasn't responding to my keys when I went to unlock today. Had to use key to enter car. And when I entered the key into the ignition, nothing came up on the touch screen. I'm assuming my car battery is dead.


Advice for buying a new one? What should I be looking for? How much should I expect to pay? I'm pretty auto illiterate, is it worth having someone else install?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/23/20 6:37 p.m.

Assuming we're talking about the "normal" battery and not the hybrid battery, see if this helps:

 

slowbird
slowbird SuperDork
5/23/20 6:43 p.m.

I've had no trouble with the Walmart brand batteries. Their website has a battery finder, just put in your car details and it will find the right battery for you.

https://www.walmart.com/cp/batteries-and-accessories/1104292?povid=91083+%7C+2018-11-06+%7C+popular%20in%20auto%20car%20batteries

The only annoying thing right now is that the auto department may be closed. You can still grab a battery off the shelf, but you'll have to pay for it at the regular registers, and then take your old one to customer service to get your core charge back.

Any of the chain auto parts store websites will have a similar thing to find compatible batteries for you, or you can take your battery to them and have them check if it's bad.

I'd think you should be able to get one for $100-150 bucks unless it's some weird special battery. I know nothing about hybrids, to be honest.

chada75
chada75 Reader
5/23/20 7:02 p.m.

I always go with the highest CCA rating. Never had a problem and the Battery lasted a long time 

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
5/23/20 7:09 p.m.

In reply to BattlePope :

7 years out of the car battery ?  That's plenty of life.  A decent battery is getting expensive. Plan on over $100 but buy a good one not some gas station off brand. 

realize that a Hybrid has a separate  battery that can easily last 15-20 years. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/23/20 7:49 p.m.

And since we're talking batteries, I should share this one, too:

 

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
5/23/20 8:40 p.m.

A few years back Consumer's Reports tested a bunch of different car batteries. In almost all cases there was no correlation between brands and quality across battery types/sizes. One brand might be #1 in one size/type, middle in another, bottom in another. One brand that was consistent was Costco's Kirkland. Their batteries are cheap and I've had good luck with them.

Batteries are pretty straightforward to install/remove, I'd recommend spending a few minutes reading up on the procedure, be careful and handle the job yourself.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
5/24/20 7:44 a.m.

Costco has had the best deals on batteries around my area. They now sell Interstate. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/24/20 12:20 p.m.

Look around your area for a dedicated battery store.  There is one around me called Battery Warehouse.  There is also a national chain called something like Batteries and Bulbs Plus.

They often have closeouts and scratch n dent inventory.  I just bought two batteries to keep around dad's farm.  One had a broken handle and the other had a label that was torn so they couldn't sell it retail.  I ended up getting a couple $129 batteries for $59 each  AND they came with a 2-year warranty.  Both of the ones I got were brand new and manufactured very recently.

When shopping for batteries, freshness counts.  Don't pick them up and smell them like a cantaloupe or squeeze them like an avocado, look at the top.  There will be a sticker with a single letter and a single number.  Usually a round black sticker with white printing.  The letter is the month and the number is the year.  For instance if it was manufactured March of this year, it would say C/0.  November of 2019 it would say K/9.

Batteries are rotated out for freshness.  If a store has a battery over a few months old, the manufacturer takes it back and checks it or recycles it.  Sometimes you can contact the manufacturer/distributor and get a 3-4 month old battery for half price, even though it is perfectly fine.  That is to say, you might get 85-100% of the normal life you would expect from a battery at half the cost.

Another tip.  On the top of most batteries is a sticker that looks like this:

The Average Car Battery Life: When is it Time for a Change?

Those circles are for installation date.  Take a pocket knife or screwdriver and remove the circle of the month and year you installed it.  That way when it dies 6 years from now you have no questions about when you installed it.  I've done that before... I'll put in a battery and a few years later it dies.  I think to myself "I just put this battery in here 3 years ago," only to check those circles to realize that it was actually 6 years ago and I don't feel bad about replacing it.  The manufacture date sticker is helpful, but not very durable, so these circles are helpful.  The manufacturing sticker wears off, fades, or falls off, but the installation circles are physically removed so you can always visually tell.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/24/20 12:32 p.m.

You should also check other things.  Make sure your alternator is working.  Most auto parts stores will do a check for free.  They have a little handheld device they hook up to the battery, then you go through a process of starting, turning off, turning on headlights, and patting your head while rubbing your tummy.

Also make sure you don't have a voltage leak... something that is drawing power when it shouldn't.  I broke the trunk light switch on a BMW and didn't realize that the trunk light was staying on even when it was closed.  I can walk you through how to test for voltage leaks if you want.  It's pretty simple if you have a multi-meter.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
5/24/20 1:57 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

  I can walk you through how to test for voltage leaks if you want.  It's pretty simple if you have a multi-meter.

Please do that , maybe in a new thread so we can find it when we are pulling our hair out .....Hahaha

BattlePope
BattlePope New Reader
5/26/20 9:50 p.m.

Great, thanks for the all the help everyone. Definitely going to check out Batteries Plus Bulbs...there's a few right by me. Was able to get the car jumped today, went to the local AutoZone (hadn't checked this thread yet) to have them test the battery and see about a replacement. They said they weren't getting any power from the battery. Unfortunately, they didn't have a replacement.

Quick question...we jumped the car from under the hood, but the actual battery is in the trunk? Never seen this before and was wondering if someone could teach me about this setup. Should I be jumping it from the trunk battery in the future? What's the battery looking thing under my hood? The battery looking thing can be seen on the right in the picture below:

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid Pictures & Photos - CarsDirect

You can see the "positive terminal" (to the right of the orange hoses) here.

Saron81
Saron81 Reader
5/27/20 7:50 a.m.

In reply to BattlePope :

Nope, those are the owner access point for jumping the car. That's the easiest way to do it. I'd recommend just going to your local Ford dealer and  buying a new Motorcraft BXT-99RT4-A for $129.95. They should have them in stock. The original one lasted 7+ years... why reinvent the wheel? Ps they're going up $5 June 1.

 

You'll also need to do a battery monitor reset. 

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/27/20 8:09 a.m.

I feel like we're all ignoring that this is a hybrid. Does that change things? There's some kind of battery pack for running the electric motor, right?

Saron81
Saron81 Reader
5/27/20 10:45 a.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:

I feel like we're all ignoring that this is a hybrid. Does that change things? There's some kind of battery pack for running the electric motor, right?

They still have a regular 12v battery for the normal stuff. It's just an odd size many places won't have. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/27/20 11:02 a.m.

If the factory battery is kinda weird and costs $129 from the dealer, that doesn't sound bad at all. 

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/27/20 11:15 a.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:

I feel like we're all ignoring that this is a hybrid. Does that change things? There's some kind of battery pack for running the electric motor, right?

The 12V battery is the same old battery used for decades and is used for starting/running the engine and running the accessories.  The battery pack for the electric motor is completely different and pretty much isolated from the gas motor parts.

So being a hybrid doesn't really change anything except that they may require a different battery group from the gas-only version of the car.

I would be concerned that there isn't anything coming from the alternator when the engine is running, so I would verify the alternator is putting out enough voltage as a completely dead battery can kill alternators and vise versa.  So you change one and find the other is also now not working.  Much like changing a clutch master or slave, generally not a bad idea to expect to change them both in pairs.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/27/20 11:19 a.m.

In reply to BattlePope :

Batteries located outside of the engine compartment have been done for years (the Beetle had them under the seat for example)  BMWs put them in the trunk on their larger engined cars to make room.  Miatas have them in the trunk for bettery weight balance.

The battery cable they use on those setups are quite large and able to handle the current necessary.  Jumping from the battery or via the jump points works more or less the same and is just about which is easier to access.

Even my Focus RS has jump points and its battery is mounted in the engine bay, but its tucked under the cowl a bit.

Saron81
Saron81 Reader
5/27/20 2:02 p.m.

I wouldn't trust Autozones diag, lol. 
It doesn't have an alternator. It uses a dc/dc converter that uses the hi voltage battery to charge the low. That's what the orange cables under the hood are hooked to. 

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