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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Car needs boost to start in cold weather

Battery cold weather subzero 99rt4

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9 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Linda99

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 06:18 PM

As soon as the weather (in Montana) got really cold, my son's 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE wouldn't start. He needs to get a boost anytime the car has been parked for more than about an hour.  The battery has been tested (twice) and he's been told it "passed with flying colors".  He has also been told it has a CCA rating of 390.  I get the impression from reading these forums, and searching online, that the newer model of the battery (99RT4) has a higher rating (470?).  Is this correct?  Will getting a newer model battery (will have to be ordered--neither the Ford dealer nor local automotive retailers have it in stock) solve the cold weather starting problem?









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#2 OFFLINE   VonoreTn

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 10:08 PM

See how low the battery voltage drops with a 100 amp load on it.  You can buy a 100 amp load tester at Harbor Freight or Ruralking.com for $22 or $15 respectively.  Google it. If the voltage drops below 10.3 volts, at 100 amps, the battery is bad.  If it does not, there is a load larger than 100 amps from the car on start up.  It could be a defective condenser fan motor, the seat heaters, your headlights on high beam on startup, you can track the load down from there by elimination.  The 12 volt battery does not start the car like a conventional 12 volt battery.  it lives a pampered life of lower loads, being constantly recharged by the high voltage system once the engine is running.  I suspect the battery will drop to like lower than 9 volts at 100 amps, which will barely support the ignition system for the plugs and the fuel pump, which would be why the engine won't start.  Mine finally failed at 112,000 miles.  I charged it, drove 20 miles to the dealer, had them install a new one for $147.   


Edited by VonoreTn, 05 January 2018 - 10:10 PM.

Regards from Knoxville, Tennessee area
FFH 502A package, purchased August 2009

#3 OFFLINE   Linda99

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 02:54 AM

The battery's been tested by Walmart and Ford, and they both said it's fine. Wouldn't their test include what you describe?  Also, the car starts fine if it's stored in the garage... the problem is only if it has been outdoors in the cold (below freezing), and then it is even if it has been only an hour or two. 


Edited by Linda99, 06 January 2018 - 02:55 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 11:00 AM

See how low the battery voltage drops with a 100 amp load on it.   

Why would the 12v battery have a 100 amp load on it since it doesn't power a starter motor like in conventional cars?


IMG_2641c_160w.jpg


#5 OFFLINE   Fission

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 11:15 AM

Linda99, when you say "doesn't start" - does the engine turn over but not fire up ( making a rrr-rrr-rrr sound) or does the engine simply not turn over? Do all the dash lights come on normally? Are there any fault codes stored (an auto parts store will read this for you for free).

#6 OFFLINE   murphy

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 11:57 AM

Why would the 12v battery have a 100 amp load on it since it doesn't power a starter motor like in conventional cars?

A 100 amp load is the standard test for the condition of a wet cell lead acid battery.  It has nothing to do with the actual load in the car.

 

https://www.amazon.c... battery tester



#7 OFFLINE   Linda99

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 01:56 PM

To answer Fission -- it's completely dead. Key fob won't open the door, no lights come on. 



#8 OFFLINE   murphy

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 03:25 PM

Something is draining your 12 volt battery when the car is off.  That is what needs to be tracked down and fixed.



#9 OFFLINE   Linda99

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 03:31 PM

Murphy, if that was the case, wouldn't it happen regardless of temperature?  This ONLY happens when temps are well below freezing.  If the car spends the night in the garage, or if weather is just around freezing, it starts with no problem. 



#10 OFFLINE   murphy

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 04:13 PM

Murphy, if that was the case, wouldn't it happen regardless of temperature?  This ONLY happens when temps are well below freezing.  If the car spends the night in the garage, or if weather is just around freezing, it starts with no problem. 

That is true however low temperatures are hard on a battery.  Also a wet cell lead acid battery, that has been completely discharged, has very likely been permanently damaged.  Material flakes off of the plates and collects at the bottom of the cells.  If the pile of debris reaches the bottom of the plates the cell shorts out and that is the end of the battery.  I have a 2013 Energi and replaced the lead acid battery in 2013 with an AGM battery.  That required modifications to the battery tray.  There is now supposed to be one that is the correct physical size and is a direct replacement.  A wet cell lead acid battery is the wrong battery for a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid.  It is not used to start the engine so there is no high current demand requirement.  An AGM battery is much more appropriate but they cost more so Ford didn't do the right thing by the customer.  It is now 4 years later and the AGM battery in my car is still working fine.  I do have to charge it with a smart battery charger when I don't drive the car for a week because the drain from all of the microprocessors will pull it down if the car sits unused.   Unlike a classic car, which is really off when it is turned off, the Fusion is a computerized car that is never turned off.  An example: the accelerator pedal is connected to the computer, by 6 wires, not to the engine.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Battery, cold weather, subzero, 99rt4

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