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Dead Battery after leaving it at an airport parking service

dead battery battery life

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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   kuyaman00

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 10:40 AM

Here is the long story.  Our main question: Is it normal for the battery to die after 3 years or did something happen to the car?

 

We left our Ford Fusion Hybrid at A1 Parking on May 24.  The car was in good condition, with the last routine maintenance service on March 21, 2017.

 

However, when we picked up the vehicle on May 31, the car would not start and the battery was dead.  We were surprised to find that the battery died since this was a hybrid car, which we purchased 3 years ago and we were always up to date with routine maintenance.  We do not know how A1 Parking operated our vehicle from the time we left it with them on May 24. 

 

What we know is that after we left the car in their parking lot and surrendered our keys that day, A1 Parking employees drove the car to a separate parking lot where it sat for 8 days.  We do not know what they did to the car during those days.  We do know that an A1 employee was still able to retrieve our car from the parking lot to the parking area adjacent to the A1 office after we called for their shuttle to pick us up from Tampa International Airport around 11:45 pm on May 31.  This tells us that the battery was still working that time.  However, the car would not respond when we tried to unlock the trunk nor when we tried to start the car.  We found that the AC was left on.  We asked for assistance from A1 and 2 employees came out to attempt to jump start the battery, like how they would jump-start a non-hybrid vehicle.  It was obvious that they did not know the car was a hybrid and they were not familiar with hybrid cars.  When we asked who retrieved our car from their parking lot, the employee just gave a nonchalant shrug.  We demanded to speak to a manager when it was obvious that the 2 employees did not appear concern about the fact that the battery of the car died after we left it in their care and that it was already past midnight after a customer’s long flight.

 

A manager came after a few minutes.  We told her that the battery died on a hybrid car, which is not expected unless one of their employees did not operate the vehicle properly.   We pointed out that the engine will not respond or make a sound in the same manner as a regular vehicle that runs on gas (the hybrid engine remains silent until after driving it for about 30 seconds to a minute).  We also pointed out that someone turned the engine off with the AC running. 

 

It did not help that the manager’s first response was to point out that it is not normal for people to switch the AC off prior to turning the engine off.  She also tried to tell us that their employees are not at fault and we should call our insurance or AAA to help us because they are not responsible for the car.  We did raise our voice at her out of frustration and fear.  It was in the middle of the night, we are exhausted after over 12 hours of travel from Utah, and the car that was in good condition after we left it with A1 does not work but we have no clue what happened.  We demanded that they do something about it and find someone who can help start the car. The manager and the 2 employees left.

 

We spent another 15 minutes trying to get in touch with our insurance company.  Around this time, someone from A1 and the manager came back.  They were able to find a YouTube video on how to jump-start a hybrid car.  They were able to jump-start it and we eventually made our way home.  We took the car to AutoNation Ford, which is also where we take the car for routine maintenance checks.  Everything was in good condition as before, except for the battery test.  And so, we had to pay $260 for a new battery.

 

In hindsight, we decided to use A1 Parking instead of parking at the airport to save $80. That was a $260 mistake!

 

We would like to know your thoughts on this incident though.

 

Thank you very much for your time.









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#2 OFFLINE   fhalasz

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 11:50 AM

I don't have an answer that is exactly on point: came to your post because I had a "dead battery" after leaving the car for three months. In my case, when I attached a 6-amp charger it charged at a 4-amp rate, which implies that the battery wasn't really dead ( I didn't check the voltage before attaching the charger.)

 

What little I do know - the hybrid electrical system is complex. I believe the 12V battery (which runs the electronics, including door locks, etc.) is charged by the hybrid (i.e. lithium) battery rather than directly by the auto's generator/alternator. In my case, the hybrid battery came up indicating nearly full charge after a very few minutes' 4-amp charge of the 12V battery, and the car started normally. So my 12V battery may be dying (I have a 2013) but not yet dead, and the really expensive hybrid battery apparently is just fine.

 

$260 seems like a lot for a 12V car battery.

 

 



#3 OFFLINE   aschulz261

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 12:44 PM

Just my  $.02 says that the parking people did nothing wrong.  These cars are notorious for having a dead battery when left inactive for several days.  Especially if the battery is more than a couple of years old.  It has been stated ad nauseum that the 12V battery in these cars is entirely too small and since there are soooo many electronics that put a draw on the battery when it's turned off,  it kills the battery.  Even in the manual, it states that if the vehicle is to be left for 3 weeks that the battery be disconnected,

 

Fortunately, it doesn't take much to jump start them.  I keep a portable battery pack in the glove compartment just in case this happens to me....again.  It seems like the average life on the 12V battery is 2-3 years.  

 

$260 sounds pretty steep for a battery replacement.  The only place you can get a 12V battery is from Ford and they are around $100-$125.

 

And shutting the car odd with the AC on makes NO difference at all.  That is one of the few things that actually turns off when you shut the car down.

 

It goes without stating that you need to read the manual and become familiar with things like jump starting your car because it's different than a "normal" car.  Expecting a parking attendant to know how to jumpstart a hybrid seems a bit of a reach to me. 



#4 OFFLINE   kuyaman00

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 04:56 PM

Thanks to those who answered my questions.  To clarify, the battery itself was 179.95, but went up to 260 after other charges (taxes, labor, etc.).  How much would a battery usually cost?  And are the prices you guys mentioned available if I installed the battery myself?  Thanks again.



#5 OFFLINE   sjgbam

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:41 PM

Is there a problem keeping my 2014 Energi plugged in for two weeks during my absence?



#6 OFFLINE   Thomz Fusion

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 09:32 AM

I just returned from a week away and found out my battery was dead. Do you have any advice for a portable battery pack? It sounds like a good thing to have. I assume your potable battery pack hooks up to the terminals in the engine compartment, rather than through the lighter socket. 

 

Tom

 


I keep a portable battery pack in the glove compartment just in case this happens to me....again.  It seems like the average life on the 12V battery is 2-3 years. 

188762.png

 


#7 OFFLINE   Timewellspent

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 12:07 PM

This is what I have https://www.youtube....h?v=AGlieOI9IKI


409947.png


#8 OFFLINE   Thomz Fusion

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 01:42 PM

I experienced the dreaded 'dead battery' yesterday. Of course, I couldn't get in my trunk where my jump cables were located. Fortunately my wife's car was available and I was able to successfully jump my vehicle (2013 Fusion hybrid).

 

I just ordered a Li-Ion jump battery, to store in my glove box. I figure my conventional (trunk) battery may be getting weak. If this happens repeatedly, I'll of course replace it.

 

However, it occurs to me that it likely takes very little battery power to start the vehicle. I assume the engine is started by the hybrid battery and not the trunk battery. The trunk battery handles the electronics and the like (plus radio, heater, lights, etc.). But, in a pinch might I be able to start the car, or at least open the trunk, with a small battery designed to re-power mobile phones?

 

Can anybody reply to this logic? Is it farfetched?

 

Thomz


188762.png

 


#9 OFFLINE   murphy

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 02:34 PM

Your logic is correct but it has to be a 12 volt battery.

Connect a piece of rope to the emergency trunk release handle and place the other end behind the fold down rear seat back.



#10 OFFLINE   aschulz261

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 02:07 AM

This is what I keep in my glove compartment.  The upside is that it does a lot more too.

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1



#11 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 09:31 AM

This is what I keep in my glove compartment.  The upside is that it does a lot more too.

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

What would be the process to use that in the event your 12v battery goes dead?


IMG_2641c_160w.jpg


#12 OFFLINE   murphy

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 11:06 AM

What would be the process to use that in the event your 12v battery goes dead?

Take the physical key out of your fob.

Pop the cap on the driver's door handle and unlock the door.

Open the door and pop the hood.

Get the jumper box and connect it to the jump terminals under the hood.

Start the car.

Disconnect the jump box.



#13 OFFLINE   ElectricFan69

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 11:18 AM

What would be the process to use that in the event your 12v battery goes dead?

The 12 volt DC subsystem is used to run the ECUs and most accessories in the car.  The current demand is relatively modest relative to ICE-only vehicles, but the voltage has to be stable, and above a trip minimum - under-volt will scramble the ECU brains.  Ford specifies 67R battery - NAPA has one for $165 or so, Autozone for $130 or so. 

  

The process would be to connect the booster either directly to the battery posts in the trunk or to the terminals under the bonnet.  You wait a few minutes, and the ECU should boot up, allowing it to activate the charge cycle from the traction battery, and start the ICE.  If the 12volt is bad enough (e.g. open cell), you could have problems with keeping things running.



#14 OFFLINE   Multitask

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Posted Yesterday, 03:34 PM

To answer one of the OPs first questions, yes, 3-4 years is normal for the 12v battery to last.  some go longer , but not by much.

So expaect to replace it about every 3-4 years as normal.


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