looking for help with my battery - Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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looking for help with my battery

This isn't so much a Saturn Sky question, but maybe someone here has a suggestion. My Redline has a dead, dead battery. And it's parked in a location I can't get to the side to remove half the damn car to get the battery out. I don't have a key, so a jump's out of the question. And I can't have the locksmith come out to make the key until the cars has a working battery. I've scoured the Internet and read conflicting things. I know trickle chargers have some protection thing where they won't come on if the battery's too discharged to be detected. This is 5 months without starting, and prior to starting it I had some weird parasitic drain which would cause the battery to go dead if I didn't drive the car for 3 or so days. Just to see I borrowed a friends slow charger, and it never came on. It's a less than a year old Bosch battery, so I'm assuming it's not a bad battery. The drain thing started happening a few weeks before I lost the key. Any who, I'm guessing at this point my battery's probably shot. I'm just trying to figure out a way to charge it enough so the guy's able to make a key. Then I can move it, and take the fender off and go get the battery tested and swap it if it's bad.

What I need help with is a method to do this. There are hundreds of different trickle chargers and I've hear there's are ones that will work on a totally dead battery. Anyone happen to know what I need here? My "helpful" neighbor told me to hook jumper cables from his car and just let it charge for half an hour. While I'm no a car expert, I know this is not a good idea lol. It's nice of him to potentially offer to ruin his battery in a quest to help me.

I just want to send a big THANK you to the designer(s) who thought where they put the battery was a good place. And also THANK YOU to the higher up's who gave this design a thumbs up and sent it into production.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 06:59 PM
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My preferred first step would be to go to a GM dealer with your VIN and proofs of identity and ownership and have them make a new key.

My alternate first step would be to hire a tow truck, put skates under two wheels, and use their sling under the other two to relocate the car to where it can be worked on.

If you want to charge the battery, all you need is a normal charger. I have charged a completely dead battery with one more than once.
Note: If the battery has a shorted cell or six, the charger's self-protection circuit will normally shut the charger off.

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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 07:22 PM
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To begin with...even if the battery was working...u need a key to start it.....but forget the other methods...when u need to jump a battery....just take as many cables and hook them together until it reaches your terminals...that was always the way to jump a car when one cable was too short. Of course u must leave the engine of the jumper car running so your dead battery gets some juice. Revving your engine helps the flow of juice quicker.

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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by marlboromike View Post
To begin with...even if the battery was working...u need a key to start it.....but forget the other methods...when u need to jump a battery....just take as many cables and hook them together until it reaches your terminals...that was always the way to jump a car when one cable was too short. Of course u must leave the engine of the jumper car running so your dead battery gets some juice. Revving your engine helps the flow of juice quicker.
If you try this, and the battery is actually shorted, you could damage the charging car's generator.

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 09:32 PM
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If you try this, and the battery is actually shorted, you could damage the charging car's generator.
That's what they say...but I have had no experience with this...and people who I know never did either....but if u do not want to run the car when turning the key....just turn off the engine...but first rev the engine to give the dead battery a boost.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 10:04 PM
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That's what they say...but I have had no experience with this...and people who I know never did either....but if u do not want to run the car when turning the key....just turn off the engine...but first rev the engine to give the dead battery a boost.
I have. I have also had two batteries explode.

Batteries are electrochemical bombs, and automobile generators are expensive to replace, so why risk either one? A decent battery charger will cost about $50 and include protective circuits that reduce the danger significantly.

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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 12:26 AM
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I have. I have also had two batteries explode.

Batteries are electrochemical bombs, and automobile generators are expensive to replace, so why risk either one? A decent battery charger will cost about $50 and include protective circuits that reduce the danger significantly.
Guess he will need to choose wisely...or foolishly.
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 03:29 AM
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If you try this, and the battery is actually shorted, you could damage the charging car's generator.
Can we discuss your use of the term "generator"? Is it not an alternator? Seeing as my family owned a very old auto supply which sold even older generators used in vehicles long ago. I tend to use the term generator for it's ability to be reversible. Generators used to also be used as starters on some cars. Apply electrical current to the generator it would spin just like a starter. Spin the generator and it would produce electrical current. Not so with today's alternators.

Plus the whole concept of wires being spun inside a magnetic field vs. magnetic field being spun inside wires, armatures, brushes..etc.

Not busting your chops as I know you know WAY more about this than I. I await enlightenment good sir!

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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 07:24 AM
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Can we discuss your use of the term "generator"? Is it not an alternator? ..........
My 1963 MGB service manual called what it had a generator. It exactly fit the definition you used.
Virtually everything I have seen since then has been popularly called an alternator, but all of the technical documentation I have refers to generators.
The service manuals call what we have a generator, so that is the terminology that I use for it.

I think there are two ways to apply the definition in this case: 1) The type of current supplied (AC vs DC) and 2) The technology used (moving or stationary windings).
Do you define it based on what it does, or by how it does it?

I suspect that people started referring to them as alternators when the technology changed in the '60s to differentiate the two designs even though, in the strictest sense, it was still a generator.
I would like to find some early references to one, would it have maybe been called an "alternating current generator"? Later shortened to "alternator"?

This might be similar to turbocharger vs supercharger where a turbocharger is technically a turbo-supercharger.
Robotech and stungjoe like this.

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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 05:09 PM
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Do you define it based on what it does, or by how it does it?
I would have to say "how" since basically they both do the "what" of supplying electrical current.

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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 05:20 PM
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I have. I have also had two batteries explode.

Batteries are electrochemical bombs, and automobile generators are expensive to replace, so why risk either one? A decent battery charger will cost about $50 and include protective circuits that reduce the danger significantly.
Odd, we use Jumper cables all the time, never heard someone say oh no don't do that.

Jump packs are relatively knew thing. Just remember don't plug the ground to the dead battery, attach it last and attach it to a ground somewhere else.

problem with chargers/ jump packs, they have a nomincal 5v detection system to CHeck that you have them connected correctly, but that also means on a dead dead dead battery they wont work.

My sky battery was that way a few years ago, finally got it to +5 v and now put a a trickle charger on it. but you either need an old battery jump pack that doesn't check or jumper cables no options.

EDIT: by the way, the only safety in these new things is a 3 or 5V detection to make sure you don't plug pos. to neg. THere is no other safety built in to them Just make sure POS to POS. Neg to GROUND.

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I do not claim to be a GM representative, all of my postings are my own interpretation and personal opinions.

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Last edited by davhamm; 08-02-2019 at 05:23 PM.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 05:22 PM
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Buy or borrow a 2and 10 amp charger and put it on the 2 amp setting over night and if the battery is capable of taking a charge you will be good to go. How will the locksmith make a new key without the old one and why does the battery need to be charged if there is another way of making one? I would think making a key is a mechanical thing not an electric thing.
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 06:16 PM
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I would have to say "how" since basically they both do the "what" of supplying electrical current.
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I haven't found the word "alternator" in any of my service manuals.
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Odd, we use Jumper cables all the time, never heard someone say oh no don't do that. .........
A battery that is completely dead, and that has been that way for months, like this one has, can have any number of internal problems. Low electrolyte, cracked plates, and corroded internal connections can all contribute to an internal spark that will ignite the hydrogen gas that is sitting over the electrolyte and cause a really nifty explosion. When the battery in my Bravada exploded the hood was closed, so no one got hurt. The top of the battery ended up on the other side of the engine bay and everything under the hood was covered in acid.

I've been working around lead-acid batteries for the better part of 50 years, and that has only happened twice. Both times were from internal faults, one when a battery was being charged and the other when it was just starting the engine.

A completely dead battery can also have an extremely low internal resistance, and connecting it to another battery with a heavy gauge jumper cable can result in a very high current that can damage the good battery and can also overload the generator (if it is running) and damage it. All I'm saying is, why take the chance when a battery charger is current limited and a lot cheaper?

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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 06:25 PM
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current that can damage the good battery and can also overload the generator (if it is running) and damage it. All I'm saying is, why take the chance when a battery charger is current limited and a lot cheaper?

Cause he cant do much else...

This story sounds odd. no key??? wtf.. cant replace battery ( hey I get that my car is parked in a way I can't get to it).

Hook it up and see.. mine had only sat a few month.. Yeah several years.. yeah buy some wheel skates and get the car to where you can just replace the battery..

WHEEL SKATES ARE AWESOME...

Dont but the Harbor freight ones, apparently they put them on really cheap bearings.. DOH..

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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 06:40 PM
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Cause he cant do much else... ......
Why not? My standard battery charger has recharged a completely dead battery. I would think they are still available.

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