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Low voltage when car running


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4 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   hikyuuri

hikyuuri

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  • Region:U.S. Great Lakes
  • Location:Minnesota
  • Current Vehicle:Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium
  • My Hybrid's Year:2014

Posted 13 July 2017 - 12:46 PM

I'm pretty sure my 12V battery is shot because when I turn the car off, the voltage drops down to 11.8 almost instantly, even before I open the door to exit.  However, I noticed today during my commute that the voltage also seems low when driving.

 

I have a scanguage in my car.  Most of the time, it shows between 14.0 and 14.5 volts when driving.  But lately, under certain conditions, it drops as low as 13.5v, even when the vehicle is running.  I'm wondering if this is possibly the root cause of my 12V battery failing due to it not being charged properly.

 

Before anyone asks, those "certain conditions" are:

1. Max AC (so HVAC fan on high)
2. Cooled driver and passenger seats
3. Headlights

     a. On - 13.5 thru 13.7v

     b. Off - 13.7 thru 13.9v
4. Engine

     a. On - 13.6 thru 13.8v

     b. Off - 13.7 thru 13.9v

 

Obviously, it is expected voltage to drop as load increases (to some extent), but at the same time, I feel that the DC to DC converter should be capable of easily delivering the amperage and voltage under these "standard" loads.  The Power display on the dash only shows about a 1/4 to 5/8 load (not sure how accurate this gauge is, or what its "range" is).

What really surprises me is that when the engine is running, my voltage drops a measurable amount.  I expect there to be a bit more of a power draw with the engine running (fuel pump, coolant pump, etc), but seeing a measurable voltage drop surprises me.

 

I can add pictures/video if people want.  Basically, I'm hesitant to get a new 12V battery if I am experiencing a charging issue.

Other than a dealer visit, does anyone know a way to test this?  What are the limits of the DC to DC converter?  Is it possible that this is truly pushing it somehow?  Would the DC to DC converter be covered under the hybrid drive train warranty?

 

Finally, before anyone tells me what I already know, 13.5v is still higher than the 12.6v "ideal" voltage of the battery, so some charging could still be occurring.  My concern though is the 1v drop from the charging system under a factory stock load.  I would expect power drops like this if I was running some aftermarket stuff (amps, extra lights, excessive 12v accessories), but again the power gauge shows a low draw on the bar.









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#2 OFFLINE   lolder

lolder

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  • Current Vehicle:2010 FFH 501A Trim
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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:00 PM

Replace the 12 vdc battery. You don't have a charging issue.



#3 OFFLINE   hikyuuri

hikyuuri

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  • Location:Minnesota
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  • My Hybrid's Year:2014

Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:27 PM

Car is in the shop right now for a few things.  Asked them to test the 12V battery and charging system while they had it.  I'll see what they say when I pick it up.

 

I figured it was just the battery, just seemed odd that even with the car running the voltage dropped below the 14v I'm used to seeing.



#4 OFFLINE   murphy

murphy

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:40 PM

When the battery reaches full charge the voltage has to drop or it would eventually destroy the battery by over charging it.



#5 OFFLINE   lolder

lolder

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:40 PM

The battery is initially charged to over 14 v. and then it backs down to about 13.6. The fact that you usually saw 14 and it went to 11.8 after you stopped means the battery is no good. Do not pay for anything else before they change the 12 v battery. Trust us on this.






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