Unplugged Alternator Charging State - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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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 ?
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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Last edited by SoCalChlln; 02-13-2019 at 03:43 PM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 03:57 PM
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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:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Optima;
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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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
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.


Quote:
Its 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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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingsKrew View Post
I can't help with your alternator questions, but I can suggest you review the proper way to try and resuscitate an AGM battery:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Optima;
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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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z09B4U View Post
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
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 ?

Quote:
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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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z09B4U View Post
Quote:
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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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 07:47 PM
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Didn't you just buy this battery? If so, take it back for another.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
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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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
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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