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Battery is *dead*

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Old 04-16-2018, 11:01 AM
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Default Battery is *dead*

Went to leave for work this morning, and the battery was so dead, it wouldn't even unlock the doors when I hit the "unlock" button on the FOB. I put the key in to start it, and didn't even get a click. The speedometer and tachometer were illuminated though (which I thought was odd).

I'm making this thread because this is completely out of nowhere. The truck is a '13 5.0 with 60k(ish) miles on it. Battery is original. The truck sits outside so its had several winters of cold/hard starts every morning. I realize that I'm probably toward the end of the battery's life anyway, but it never exhibited any signs whatsoever before it completely died on me.

The truck hadn't been driven in 5 days, and in that time, I was in and out of it a few times to retrieve things. So the interior lights were on occasionally.

Truck is 100% stock. Nothing aftermarket whatsoever that might put extra strain on battery (stereo/lights/etc).

I'm just wondering if there's something I need to look into before I just throw a new battery in it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:39 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if the battery died. I've had them go from hero to zero with a stroke of the key. That's indicative of an internal bridge failure. One thing to check though, is your park indicator switch. If you ever come out and find the cluster to be mysteriously illuminated, you have this problem. This is assuming you have a center console shifter. To verify, turn the key on and look at the gear indicator in the cluster. The "P" should be red, and only turn white when you squeeze the release trigger on the shifter. If it's white all the time you have a bad park indicator switch and it causes abnormal battery drain. Ford doesn't sell the switch but it's available through Digi-key for $7. If you need one let me know and I'll get you the part #. I have it at home but I'm not there right now.

Last edited by PerryB; 04-16-2018 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by PerryB View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if the battery died. I've had them go from hero to zero with a stroke of the key. That's indicative of an internal bridge failure. One thing to check though, is your park indicator switch. If you ever come out and find the cluster to be mysteriously illuminated, you have this problem. This is assuming you have a center console shifter. To verify, turn the key on and look at the gear indicator in the cluster. The "P" should be red, and only turn white when you squeeze the release trigger on the shifter. If it's white all the time you have a bad park indicator switch and it causes abnormal battery drain. Ford doesn't sell the switch but it's available through Digi-key for $7. If you need one let me know and I'll get you the part #. I have it at home but I'm not there right now.
Nope. Column shift.

Thanks for the info though. It wasn't the whole cluster that was illuminated. Just the spedo and tach.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:32 PM
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Other issues that can cause a draw on the battery ...
  • leaving the key in the ignition.
  • the mirror cover on the passenger visor does not close causing the light to stay on
  • dimmer control tuned-ON- dome light
  • leaving devices plugged-into the electrial recepticles. *they're ALWAYS hot.
  • faulty ignition switch
  • faulty door -closed- switch
    .....
If the battery does need to be replaced remember ...

Don't forget to follow the instructions in the owner's manual regarding changing and/or the battery and the need to rest the BMS (Battery Management System).
Maintence CHANGING THE VEHICLE BATTERY Battery Management System ...
After battery replacement, or in some cases after charging the battery with the external charger, the BMS requires eight hours of vehicle sleep time (key off with doors closed) to relearn the new battery state of charge. Prior to relearning the state of charge, the BMS may disable electrical features (to protect the battery) earlier than normal.
*NOTE: FoMoCo dealership service can reset the BMS using their IDS (Intergrated Diagnostic System) negating the eight hours of vehicle sleep time requirement.

(owner's manual) Don't have one -OR- would like a digital, searchable desktop document?
Owner's Manuals -click-

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Old 04-16-2018, 12:49 PM
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Wow. Thanks, Joe!
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:25 PM
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Your truck is a 13, but could well have been made in 12. The 19's will be out before we know it. At any rate 5-6 years on a battery is normal. Sometimes they last longer, sometimes less. A lot depends on where you live. It is hot weather that kills batteries, not cold weather. But it is when it is cold that we normally find out they are bad. In warm weather a battery on it's last legs will still start the engine, not when cold.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by marshallr View Post
Your truck is a 13, but could well have been made in 12. The 19's will be out before we know it. At any rate 5-6 years on a battery is normal. Sometimes they last longer, sometimes less. A lot depends on where you live. It is hot weather that kills batteries, not cold weather. But it is when it is cold that we normally find out they are bad. In warm weather a battery on it's last legs will still start the engine, not when cold.
Thanks, Marshall. I'm in Ohio. So I get a good bit of heat for ~4-5 months/year, and its parked on blacktop all day. It basically snows for 6 months. There's a 2-3 week transition period till its hot, and then another 2-3 weeks transition before it starts snowing again.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by carpetdenim View Post
Thanks, Marshall. I'm in Ohio. So I get a good bit of heat for ~4-5 months/year, and its parked on blacktop all day. It basically snows for 6 months. There's a 2-3 week transition period till its hot, and then another 2-3 weeks transition before it starts snowing again.
being our neighbor I'm SE Michigan I just laughed really hard at this statement!!
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:19 PM
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Drop a new battery in it and disconnect the BMS sensor on the negative battery cable. That'll disable the load shed operation and allow the alternator to charge all the time like they used to do before some engineer wanted to make a name for himself by incorporating that non sense.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Rnlcomp View Post
Drop a new battery in it and disconnect the BMS sensor on the negative battery cable. That'll disable the load shed operation and allow the alternator to charge all the time like they used to do before some engineer wanted to make a name for himself by incorporating that non sense.
.
Not exactly non sense. The BMS charges the battery based on different factors. It keeps it from being overcharged or undercharged which increases battery life and compensates for operation under heavy electrical load. Without the BMS, like you said, the alternator charges at the same rate regardless. With BMS if the battery state of charge is high and electrical load is low the alternator will trickle charge the battery to maintain charge. On a cold, rainy, winter night when you have lights, blower, wipers, and heated seats all turned on the alternator will go to maximum output, higher than standard output traditional systems. Remember the good old days when your lights dimmed and wipers slowed down at every stop sign.
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