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Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by stslawncare, Mar 10, 2002.

  1. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    hey guys, i got a 16 hp craftsman tractor ithats 22 years old about. its got a battery that is 3 years old (about). during the first or two years of the batteries life the tractor would sit a whole winter in a 3 sided shed without being start and start fine afterwards. this past winter id start it once a week and this past month its been haivng battery trouble and its been dead for the past week and a half. today i charged it and charged it some more, got it to start once then it stalled, charged it some more and more and no luck, any ideas?
  2. Green Care

    Green Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    You mite have a dead cell.

    I usually take the battery out completly during the off season and store in a warmer place.
  3. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    not really an option for me as i used it all winter, either for snow removal (once) or doing cleanups or moving dirt around. dead cell = dead battery?
  4. floydboy

    floydboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Will it charge? You cannot test a battery unless it is fully charged. Now alot of times a battery will show over 12 volts and you would think it has a full charge., but when you go to crank it, it just turns over slow then dies. This is was it know most of the time as a dead cell. A dead cell means that the battery has no amps ( the pressure in the battery, such as the pressure of water in a waterhose). recharge the battery on a two amp charge overnight and teat using a standard load tester available at any auto store for about $30. If it won't hold a load you can check the gravity of the cell with a gravity tester also available at any auto parts store. You may need to add some acid if the gravity is low. Otherwise replace the battery with about a 225 cold cranking amp battery. Hope this helps. Write back if any questions.
  5. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    I'm not sure how long those batteries are supposed to last, I do know they are very similar to a motorcycle battery and after 3 seasons, I don't trust the battery in my bike any more - and it stays inside the (heated) shop for the winter.

    Definitely check it the way floydboy describes, but I have a feeling the battery may have reached the end of it's life.
  6. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    so its just the battery or something, definitly nothing mechanically wrong with tractor?
  7. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    Can't say for sure it's the battery, however the fact that it is 3 years old, has been stored outside and for one or two winters sat all winter without being used all point towards the battery being at or near the end of it's useful life.

    As mentioned, I keep my bike inside all winter and last summer the battery died on me - and had been working fine right up until the day it happened. That said, I still blame myself for not checking it before heading out on a long trip, and for not thinking about the fact that it was at least 3 years old.............
  8. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    im going to get a new battery for it this week, still curious what could it be if not the battery?
  9. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    A buddy of mines did the same thing. I charged the puppy up, and it would not go to full charge. I tested the voltage, and it was below 12 as well. To bad the thing was only 8 mo old. I don't think these batteries are very good quality. Most will only give a very short warrentee, like none, or 30 days. Walmart carries the everstart, which is made by the company that makes the diehard. They are a good quality, as I understand both are made by Johnson Controls. I would trust them, and they have a longer warrentee, like 4 mo full replacement, then a prorated period. I bet it is your battery from the sound of it.

  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    At 3 years of age and after having been abused for 2 winters I would say this battery has probably given up.

    To get more life out of your battery you need to refresh the charge occassionally and do not store it in below freezing weather.

    The best way to store a battery is indoors and with a small "intelligent" charger attached to it like the Guest Battery Pal Maintenance Charger that lists for $27.99.

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