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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Do any of you know what happens when the alternator connector becomes unplugged to the alternator ?
Not the charging cable but the small wire connector plug.
Does it not charge the battery, or does it go to a constant charging state that could overcharge and ruin my battery ?
I just had this situation occur and my battery drained. It’s a brand new Red Top Optima, but when I put it on the charger at 10 amps it won’t even come up into the charging range, it’s still down in the battery test range which scares me because that’s what my old battery of 4 years did right before it went bad.
I have it on the charger right now at 10 amps for the next 4 hours to see if it will take and still hold the charge.
Please let me know if you’re sure what happens with the alternator when the connector is unplugged.
Thank You for your time...
 

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I can't help with your alternator questions, but I can suggest you review the proper way to try and resuscitate an AGM battery:

Optima; said:
This is a recovery method for the do-it-yourselfer using the equipment you've got in the garage. With this option, you're going to trick your traditional charger into charging the deeply discharged AGM battery.

Here's what you need:

Battery charger (under 15 amps)
Jumper cables
A good battery, preferably above 12.2 volts. (It can be an AGM or flooded battery- it doesn't matter.)
The seemingly dead, deeply discharged AGM battery
A voltage meter
A watch or timer
Now, here's what you do:

Hook up the good battery and deeply discharged AGM battery in parallel – positive to positive and negative to negative. Do not have the charger connected to the battery or turned on at this stage.

Now, hook up the good battery to the charger. Turn on the charger. The charger will "see" the voltage of the good battery (hooked up in parallel), and start providing a charge.

After the batteries have been hooked up for about an hour, check to see if the AGM battery is slightly warm or hot to the touch. Batteries naturally become warm during charging, but excessive heat may be an indication that there really is something wrong with the battery. Discontinue charging immediately if the battery is hot to the touch. Also discontinue the process if you hear the battery "gassing" — a hissing sound coming from the safety valves. If it's hot or gassing, STOP CHARGING IMMEDIATELY!

With your voltage meter, check back often to see if the AGM battery has charged to 10.5 volts or above. This generally takes less than two hours with a 10-amp charger. If it has, disconnect the charger from the wall outlet and remove the good battery from the charger. Now, connect only the deeply discharged AGM battery to the charger. Turn on the charger and continue until the AGM battery reaches a full charge, or until the automatic charger completes the charge process. In most cases, the AGM battery will be recovered.
 

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Do any of you know what happens when the alternator connector becomes unplugged to the alternator ?
Not the charging cable but the small wire connector plug.
Does it not charge the battery, or does it go to a constant charging state that could overcharge and ruin my battery ?
From the diagram and experience with other old GM alternators there is no charge when there is no power to the regulator. Some modern cars will supply a small charge when the PCM does not supply a digital signal to the alternator.


It’s a brand new Red Top Optima
If this is a AGM battery my memory says that a smart(chip controlled) charger will not charge them when they have been over discharged. The AGM voltage will be too low and the charger thinks they are unchargable. Google AGM will not charge. From memory a big old transformer type charger will work because it charges at a high(16volt?) level until the battery chemistry returns to normal and the smart charger can then be used.



I have run a lot of miles at -35C to +35C and have had no problems with standard batteries. Over discharge hurts any battery but the old lead acid batteries are less sensitive to over and under voltages than AGM.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I can't help with your alternator questions, but I can suggest you review the proper way to try and resuscitate an AGM battery:

Optima; said:
This is a recovery method for the do-it-yourselfer using the equipment you've got in the garage. With this option, you're going to trick your traditional charger into charging the deeply discharged AGM battery.

Here's what you need:

Battery charger (under 15 amps)
Jumper cables
A good battery, preferably above 12.2 volts. (It can be an AGM or flooded battery- it doesn't matter.)
The seemingly dead, deeply discharged AGM battery
A voltage meter
A watch or timer
Now, here's what you do:

Hook up the good battery and deeply discharged AGM battery in parallel – positive to positive and negative to negative. Do not have the charger connected to the battery or turned on at this stage.

Now, hook up the good battery to the charger. Turn on the charger. The charger will "see" the voltage of the good battery (hooked up in parallel), and start providing a charge.

After the batteries have been hooked up for about an hour, check to see if the AGM battery is slightly warm or hot to the touch. Batteries naturally become warm during charging, but excessive heat may be an indication that there really is something wrong with the battery. Discontinue charging immediately if the battery is hot to the touch. Also discontinue the process if you hear the battery "gassing" — a hissing sound coming from the safety valves. If it's hot or gassing, STOP CHARGING IMMEDIATELY!

With your voltage meter, check back often to see if the AGM battery has charged to 10.5 volts or above. This generally takes less than two hours with a 10-amp charger. If it has, disconnect the charger from the wall outlet and remove the good battery from the charger. Now, connect only the deeply discharged AGM battery to the charger. Turn on the charger and continue until the AGM battery reaches a full charge, or until the automatic charger completes the charge process. In most cases, the AGM battery will be recovered.
Thank you very much for the informative answer on reviving an AGM battery. I will try your method right now.
I left the full quote because it so good as far as the information.
Great response !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Do any of you know what happens when the alternator connector becomes unplugged to the alternator ?
Not the charging cable but the small wire connector plug.
Does it not charge the battery, or does it go to a constant charging state that could overcharge and ruin my battery ?
From the diagram and experience with other old GM alternators there is no charge when there is no power to the regulator. Some modern cars will supply a small charge when the PCM does not supply a digital signal to the alternator.

It’s a brand new Red Top Optima
If this is a AGM battery my memory says that a smart(chip controlled) charger will not charge them when they have been over discharged. The AGM voltage will be too low and the charger thinks they are unchargable. Google AGM will not charge. From memory a big old transformer type charger will work because it charges at a high(16volt?) level until the battery chemistry returns to normal and the smart charger can then be used.

I have run a lot of miles at -35C to +35C and have had no problems with standard batteries. Over discharge hurts any battery but the old lead acid batteries are less sensitive to over and under voltages than AGM.
Thank you very much for the informative response.
I have an old fashioned non smart battery charger that has the 2-10-50 amp selector and the trickle charge capability.
Can I use this to snap the battery back in to a charging state ?
 

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I have an old fashioned non smart battery charger that has the 2-10-50 amp selector and the trickle charge capability.
Can I use this to snap the battery back in to a charging state ?

I have it on the charger right now at 10 amps for the next 4 hours to see if it will take and still hold the charge.

If your charger has a charge meter you would see a change from no charge to charge when the chemistry returns to normal. If you have a volt meter just check the battery by itself and see if the voltage is moving higher(could take hours?). If you do not have over 14volts when the AGM is on the charger I do not think it will work. Even some simple chargers are designed not to charge batteries with low voltages. In that case battery voltage would be the same with or without the charger. When I "play" with a battery I always have a Volt meter and a separate Amp meter connected so I can stop things if Volts or Amps get high. For batteries in good shape the "three stage" chargers take all the guess work out of a perfect charge. After two weeks of -30C nights the trickle charger and battery blanket(heater) have paid off for me.


Just because your charger will not recover your battery does not mean it is a write off. Some just need a high voltage to get things going again. For your safety do a little reading before trying anything.



Please be careful with the Optima method. When the AGM battery starts to take a charge it could take a surge of current from the other battery, much more than the charger would give. I never like warm batteries of any type when they are being charged. Let them cool and then charge again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have an old fashioned non smart battery charger that has the 2-10-50 amp selector and the trickle charge capability.
Can I use this to snap the battery back in to a charging state ?
If your charger has a charge meter you would see a change from no charge to charge when the chemistry returns to normal. If you have a volt meter just check the battery by itself and see if the voltage is moving higher(could take hours?). If you do not have over 14volts when the AGM is on the charger I do not think it will work. Even some simple chargers are designed not to charge batteries with low voltages. In that case battery voltage would be the same with or without the charger. When I "play" with a battery I always have a Volt meter and a separate Amp meter connected so I can stop things if Volts or Amps get high. For batteries in good shape the "three stage" chargers take all the guess work out of a perfect charge. After two weeks of -30C nights the trickle charger and battery blanket(heater) have paid off for me.

Just because your charger will not recover your battery does not mean it is a write off. Some just need a high voltage to get things going again. For your safety do a little reading before trying anything.

Please be careful with the Optima method. When the AGM battery starts to take a charge it could take a surge of current from the other battery, much more than the charger would give. I never like warm batteries of any type when they are being charged. Let them cool and then charge again.
That’s sound like excellent advice Z09...
Since I have the older style charger with an analog guage, I just hit it with the 50 amp charge for about 10 seconds and then unplugged the charger. I then changed it to a 10 amp charge for two hours, and have just now lowered it to the 2 amp setting.
I have kept putting my hand on the battery every 20 minutes to check it’s temp. It’s not hot at all. A little warm at the terminals. Buts that’s probably due to the old clips on my older charger.
I’ve got it up to 12.5 volts and have now changed to the 2 amp charger setting as a glorified trickle charge, I’ll let it run at that setting for another couple hours, then cross my fingers and see how it starts. I’m assuming this should have had a similar effect as putting a good battery in parallel with it.
Let me know if I’m wrong, the only other vehicle here at my home just got back about 20 minutes ago.
So I can follow your procedure now exactly as described if you think I still need to. Please let me know.
Thank you for all the assistance and excellent advice.
I appreciate it greatly...
 

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Didn't you just buy this battery? If so, take it back for another.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Since I have the older style charger with an analog guage, I just hit it with the 50 amp charge for about 10 seconds and then unplugged the charger. I then changed it to a 10 amp charge for two hours, and have just now lowered it to the 2 amp setting.

Sounds like something I might do in a battery box in the great outdoors. I might have pulsed it several times.


2 Amp rate would take 12-18 hours. If you need it today several hours at the 10 Amp would be needed to get a standard battery up to health.


If you put a under charged battery in your car the car will try to recharge it as fast as possible. After running a battery to discharged slow charging is better for it.


This reminds me of my diesel Olds 98. Left the headlights on for 12 hours. Left it alone for several hours then started it and got out on the highway. The upgraded alternator blew out the standard fusible links because it was pumping maximum amps into two very discharged oversized batteries. I had never thought of a situation where the alternator would try to send maximum power just to the batteries. It was a lesson that upgrading one part may require upgrading several. A extreme situation that would not happen normally with minor upgrades.
 

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Didn't you just buy this battery? If so, take it back for another.
Mark: Snowman-33



A AGM battery stuck at a low voltage and discharged is physical evidence of un warrantied damage. If he got it past the counter guy it still may be audited by the local company representative, or the supplier. As these batteries are expensive they may pay a little more attention to product losses. If it fails near the end of full warranty abuse would be very hard to prove.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Didn't you just buy this battery? If so, take it back for another.

Mark: Snowman-33
Yes Mark I did, and my concern is if I take it in one day later killed, they are going to realize I messed it up somehow and not cover it.
I was able to get the battery back up to a full charge by using the double battery jumper cable approach, it seems to have worked, but I won’t know until tomorrow when I go to start it if the battery has been permanently damaged.
The one thing going in my favor is I have a very good relationship with the manager at my local Autozone where I bought it, and Autozone generally won’t question too deeply returns for exchanges of faulty products. I do understand that Optima is not owned by Autozone and is a second party supplier who may audit the return.
For tonight I’m just going to stop stressing out over it until morning.
If it fires right up, I think I may have gotten very lucky.
If not, I’ve got nothing to lose by trying to exchange it for another.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Thank You for the input Mark...
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Since I have the older style charger with an analog guage, I just hit it with the 50 amp charge for about 10 seconds and then unplugged the charger. I then changed it to a 10 amp charge for two hours, and have just now lowered it to the 2 amp setting.

Sounds like something I might do in a battery box in the great outdoors. I might have pulsed it several times.

2 Amp rate would take 12-18 hours. If you need it today several hours at the 10 Amp would be needed to get a standard battery up to health.

If you put a under charged battery in your car the car will try to recharge it as fast as possible. After running a battery to discharged slow charging is better for it.

This reminds me of my diesel Olds 98. Left the headlights on for 12 hours. Left it alone for several hours then started it and got out on the highway. The upgraded alternator blew out the standard fusible links because it was pumping maximum amps into two very discharged oversized batteries. I had never thought of a situation where the alternator would try to send maximum power just to the batteries. It was a lesson that upgrading one part may require upgrading several. A extreme situation that would not happen normally with minor upgrades.
Yes. I’m also familiar with the old school way of desulfating a battery that is having a hard time performing.
That’s why I tried it ?.
Also as a precaution I disconnected my negative battery cable before doing anything to make sure I didn’t surge the electronics in my car.
I only hit it with 50 amps a couple times for less than 10 seconds, then charged it at 10 amps for 3 hours and then at 2 amps until I got a 13 volt reading on my VOM...
Once I finally measured a little over 13 volts while charging, I disconnected the charger, put the negative terminal back on the battery, and started it up.
No immediate problems, I went for a short drive of 10 miles and came back home.
I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to know if it’s going to hold the charge.
What’s really weird also is that at no time during all this, did my Battery/Charging idiot light ever come on, not once...
And No, the bulb is not burned out, it comes on during the check bulbs cycle when initially starting the car.

Thank You all again for all the great help and information you have provided for me!
I really, really appreciate it !
 

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I wasn't sure if you had "Messed" it up. I recently had to put a battery in my wife's car too. It was a different brand than the MAXX. It only lasted about a month. It was the third one in less than a year. Luckily I got all three in the one year replacement. If it goes again I'm getting her the MAXX. Sometimes things happen. I was surprised that the last battery was made in the Czech Republic. Once I get may car up again, I"m getting this one. https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/platinum-5003/battery-accessories-16452/battery---automotive-16864/battery-12836/aa237490c00e/super-start-platinum-group-size-34-78-dual-terminal-battery/3478plt/4742695/1993/chevrolet/caprice?pos=2
Best of luck on this.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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why did you post the alternator connector was removed not connected ?


the connector on the rear of alternator is for field excitation and sends back a voltage to the dash to throw a alternator low output light.



you put new batt in and it worked then you say battery when sitting is dead . could be battery connections loose . or you left some light on or something plugged in the cig lighter socket.



I have a clamp on current meter so I would shutdown the vehicle key out and do the current drain test.
50MA is a good range 200MA and more is a problem.


AGM battery does work well in these old charging systems as the AGM does like 14.5 volts.. so these AGM BATT work well.. on new vehicles like my 2016 Toyota the batt volts is around 13.3 volts when at temp and driving for an hour or so.. so many did do some alternator tweaking to boost up the volt output ..


AGM batteries do have available computer controlled chargers specifically for these batteries ..sends out pulsations of charge then when it hits 14.75volts charger shutdown .. then when the volts drop to a certain voltage it begins the pulsation charging .


I do have 3 chargers one is a standard charger that continues to charge until it hits 14 volts.. the other is a deep cycle charger which I do not use much .. provides constant 10amp charge..


my favorite is the trickle computer controlled charger .. turns on when batt needs charge the shutsdown then when the volts drop to a certain point turns back on ... does a cycling to prevent sulfate damage on the plates..


so some chargers WILL NOT charge if your battery volts drops to a certain voltage.


....Procedure to recover deeply discharged ODYSSEY® batteries For safety reasons many 6V/12V automotive/commercial type chargers will not turn on when an attempt is made to charge any style 12V battery that has a very low open circuit voltage (OCV). For example, a charger set for 12V charging connected to a 12V battery that has an OCV less than 4-5V, the charger senses it is connected to a 6V battery (which it is not) and therefore will not initiate a charge because it is set for 12V charging. Your ODYSSEY battery has very high recharge efficiency and is robust enough to accept a charge even when its OCV is less than 5.0V. As long as the charger’s output voltage does not rise above 15.0V the following procedure should allow you to bypass the charger’s safety circuit and safely attempt to recover (charge) the ODYSSEY Battery. One note; ODYSSEY batteries that have been operated over a prolonged period of time and have not routinely been charged back to near or full charge will have developed sulfated oxide and can be more difficult to recover. In some cases, if the sulfation condition is well developed especially over time, it may not be possible to achieve full capacity. This condition is not a warrantable claim as it is not the result of a factory manufacturing defect but abuse or neglect in the application. With the charger connected and even though the battery has a low OCV and the charger does start up, then a full recharge should be attempted. Monitor the battery temperature and if it should get hot to the touch (125+°F, 51°C), then stop charging and allow the battery to cool. Once at room temperature, reengage charging and allow to fully charge. Test for capacity and if still low, discharge to 10.0V and recharge again and retest. If the charger will not engage, the following procedure can be used – 1. Using jumper cables connect the positive terminal of a healthy battery to the positive terminal of the dead ODYSSEY battery; then connect the negative terminal of the healthy battery to the negative terminal of the ODYSSEY battery. If you are using the battery in a car, do not run the engine during this operation. 2. Monitor the voltage of the ODYSSEY battery with a good quality voltmeter until it reads 11.5-11.8V. 3. Disconnect the jumper cables on the ODYSSEY battery, then quickly connect the positive cable of the charger to the positive terminal of the ODYSSEY battery; then connect the negative cable to the negative terminal of the ODYSSEY battery. 4. The charger needs to be of a minimum charge current capability per the chart below. 5. Plug the charger into standard wall AC power and start monitoring the battery voltage. 6. Make sure the charge voltage at the battery terminals does not exceed 15.0V and continue charging for approximately 8 hours. 7. Disconnect the charger and allow the battery to sit open circuit with no connections for 12 hours or install the battery and turn the headlights on for 2 minutes to remove the charging surface charge voltage. Turn the headlights off, allow the battery to rest for a few minutes and read its voltage. A fully charged ODYSSEY battery will read 12.84V verifying a full charge. Battery Models Minimum Charging Amperage PC310 – PC680 6 amps* PC925 - PC1200 12 amps* PC1220 – PC1750 25 amps* PC1800-PC2250 50 amps* * Recommended charging amperages are for single (boost) recovery charge cycles, not for repetitive deep cycle charging.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I posted in the electrical forum because it was kind of off topic in the oil pressure switch thread. Even though it was a continuation of my problem in this thread.
It didn’t drain sitting, it drained while driving with the alternator unplugged.
I did get the battery to charge all the way up to 14.0 volts using the 10 amp setting, then 2 amps until it hit 14.3 volts before I reconnected the negative cable to the battery.
I’ll know more today as to whether my stupid mistake damaged the battery or not.
It started on its own and I drove it to the store and back last night so I think I’ve dodged a bullet.
When I got home yesterday I checked the battery, it was down to 11.4 volts, that’s as low as it got, so I’m hoping everything will be ok.
I’ll let you know.
Thank you JCat and the rest of you for all the help, information and advice. It helped immensely...
It’s hard to swallow a couple days of stress, due to my own mistake.
I’m embarrassed and sorry that I took up people’s time because of it.
The alternator must have become unplugged while I was using compressed air to blow off the engine, drying out all the primary ignition terminals, spraying them out with electrical connector cleaner, and then applying a little dielectric grease to the connectors and seals before trying to start the car.
All because I washed my damn engine after taking my granddaughter to the emergency room on a rainy, extremely muddy, flooded night...
 

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What’s really weird also is that at no time during all this, did my Battery/Charging idiot light ever come on, not once...
And No, the bulb is not burned out, it comes on during the check bulbs cycle when initially starting the car.

Catch-22 the connector's other wire is the one that turns on the warning light.


Yes. I’m also familiar with the old school way of desulfating a battery that is having a hard time performing.

It has been a while since I read about the AGM batteries, but when over discharged they will not start recharging until they are above a certain voltage. This is different than a sulfation problem. Modern(electronic) flooded acid chargers will refuse to charge them when discharged. They charge fast under normal conditions but do not like high voltage.


Like any battery they do not like over discharge but a one time discharge usually does not kill them. It may affect the battery's life span. I hope that after it gets to normal charge it will preform normally.
 

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you have no problems with the AGM batteries if they do loose power due to lack of charging . why do owners use these ? reason is they go OFF road and prefer these batteries , as they will have camping electrical equipment and install 2 of these AGM batt... with a switch .


Toyota 4runner owners esp in your area have all of this stuff installed .. Death Valley camping ///,,


I prefer driving on the beach rather than a desert region ..I am now on the beach in east coast florida.. with my toyota ride ...


Impala on the beach not a good day LOL..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Since I discovered and plugged the alternator connector back in, all the problems, charging and system monitors are now working fine.
I believe the oil switch had failed, but the rest was from an unplugged alternator.
So...
For everyone’s own information, and future reference;
Your charging idiot light will NOT function, much less come on, if the plug going to the alternator has become unplugged.
Your car will not charge, and as the battery starts to run out of juice, oil lights, (ABS) lights will come on and off, the tachometer will fluctuate wildly, then go dead, the transmission will also start to slip a little when pulling away from a dead stop. There’s probably more stuff happening as well
Have a great day everyone, I’m gonna try to. ?
 

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You can have an alternator that charges properly but has a bad diode trio and when you shut the engine off the alternator will drain the battery because of the faulty diode trio. Find someone with the proper test equipment to check for a faulty diode trio in the alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You can have an alternator that charges properly but has a bad diode trio and when you shut the engine off...
Thank You for responding and the excellent advice.
The battery was draining during driving though, not while it sat.
I had unknowingly unplugged the alternator field connector so it was discharging while I would drive it.
Since discovering my real problem, the rest of the issues have taken care of themselves.
I did need a new oil pressure switch though, the rest was an avoidable mistake.
Thank you for the help. I appreciate your time and effort.
 
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