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Old 05-03-2005, 07:00 PM   #1
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Flashing headlights dead battery

I left my headlights on, as usual. However, this time I did not think to turn them off when I discovered a dead auto battery. I put the battery charger on the battery and let it run. I came home a couple hours later and my headlights were flashing! The battery charger was alternating between charge and charged but the battery was not charged when I tested it. Now here is the problem the battery will no longer stay charged. Even after I get it fully charged and with nothing turned on; the battery will loose all charge overnight. This is a one year new battery which has served me well.
Next question, since I always drive with my headlights on, which is a habit and I almost always foget to turn them off, can I install an idiot buzzer to tell me turn them off?
Thanks.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:47 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have a shorted plate in the battery. It happens form time to time. The plates can either break loose, or they sulfate to the point that they touch. Once that happens it is time for a new battery.

The idiot buzzer is the way to go, all you need to do is wire it to the light switch and an accessory that is powered on when the key is on. Once you turn off the key the voltage difference will make it go off.
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:02 PM   #3
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Idiot Buzzer

A local auto parts store may have the warning light.

Last year, I contacted JC Whitney Auto and inquired about such a device. Here is their reply:

Thank you for contacting JC Whitney!

We do have a headlights-on-alarm that we can offer. The part number is zx734756n priced at $7.99.

Noe,
JC Whitney Customer Service
Http://www.jcwhitney.com

Hope this helps,

jim
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
can I install an idiot buzzer to tell me turn them off?
Hi Chaplain, Too bad that your battery died. I have a charger that claims to have a desulfination mode, but I've never used it.

On airplanes we have lots of little red flags attached to pins and covers and things that say "remove before flight". You could hang a little (or big) red flag on your headlight switch when it's off, and clip it to your key ring while you're driving. When you remove your keys it will remind you to turn off the lights. You then hang it on the light switch until you turn them on again. Would that work for you? Of course most cars have idiot buzzers these days and some are smarter than the owner and turn out the lights for them

Best of luck,

Steve
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:01 PM   #5
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Headlights on when ignition on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
Next question, since I always drive with my headlights on, which is a habit and I almost always foget to turn them off, can I install an idiot buzzer to tell me turn them off?
Thanks.
Why not get the headlights wired to the "ignition" side of the ignition switch?
When you turn the key off, the power goes off for the headlights. If they aren't on, they can't drain the battery, no matter what position the light switch is in.
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:44 AM   #6
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one good discharge top below 12 volts will kill most average batteries. They can be revived with a pour in solution of a chemical that Whitney also sells, I have not found it anywhere else, but it revived one that was dead and all swollen for my neighbor, it is still going strong.
I recently had an alternator failure on my son's Saturn,drained the battery down to 8 volts, it would not come back...and as we couldn't wait for the chemical to be ordered, we opted for a new replacement.
Supposedly a desulfating charger will also bring one back by shocking it with a deep charge, but my own experience on that is limited.
You might consider-- although costly- an Optima battery. they can be discharged fully and recharged many times with no ill effect. My coach battery is a yellow top, and it holds up well
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:21 PM   #7
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I took the baterery back to Sears and explained what happened. The gentleman tested the battery and said it was bad, gave me a new one for $20.00. It would have been free if I had remembered where I put the receipt.
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:43 AM   #8
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(If you aren't already doing this) i would get out and out a volt meter on the batteries evry so often, I do mine once a week when it is sitting...to be sure they are fully charged. If need be and i am noit driving it that week, I will run the gen or put on the charger for a few hours at a slow rate of charge. My el-cheapo auto zone chassis battery has held up for three years with no issues.
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:46 AM   #9
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An old trick of my father's - put a spring-type clothespin on the dashboard somewhere, and clip it to the ignition key whenever your headlights are on - in his case, for fog or daytime rain, but in yours (and mine), always. When you grab the key to turn the engine off, you'll remember. I scoffed at this idea, but after pushing the Beetle once or twice, adopted it for my own. He also would put it on his gearshift lever if he needed to get gas, so as he would throw it into reverse to back in the driveway, he would be reminded of that as well. Not bad for a free fix.
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:53 AM   #10
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I was just about to order the part from JC Whitney until they put up the shipping charge at $6.99 for a $7.99 relay they would place into an envelope. I think I'll use a clothespin, safteypin, sticky notes, and string tied on my finger for awhile to see if that helps.
Thanks for all the good tips.
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Old 05-23-2005, 03:45 PM   #11
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Two trips and several more times with my lights left on. I am hopeless. I broke down and ordered the alarm, not one but two. Here's an admission: I have also driven off with my levelers down since there is no alarm for those just a light which is blocked by the steering wheel. Today I went to install my alarms which said: "requires no tools" I knew I was in trouble. The instructions stated to plug the red wire into the fuse for the "Panel lamp" which should be a 5 amp fuse. mine was a 20 amp! The manual said it should be a 5 amp so I quickly changed that. I hooked up my red wire and then tried to find a buzz with my white wire. There was none. Turns out my panel lamp fuse registers only .40 volts on my meter and I need at least 12 volts. What gives here? My display or dashboard lights worked fine coming home last night or are these some other lights? Is there vsome where else I could hook this up to. I called the company and they were of no help what so ever. According to them there is one way and only one way to install the product.
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Old 05-23-2005, 06:57 PM   #12
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Might i suggest a pre-flight check list>?
Is antenna down?
Are levelers up?
Are the lights off on exit?
Is the dog still tied up back at the campground?
Are all the outside chairs inside?
Is the grill packed?
and so on....
;0
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Old 05-23-2005, 07:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
Turns out my panel lamp fuse registers only .40 volts on my meter and I need at least 12 volts.
Did the switch get rotated so the lights are dimmed?

How about getting the 12v right from the headlight circuit? Tail lights, markers, anything that comes on with the headlights

John
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:15 AM   #14
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I tried using the fuse for the tailights but all that accomplished was a continuous buzz. The headlights are on a circuit breaker built in to the switch according to the chassis manual plus there are several wires coming out of the switch. As for the pre-trip check list I would need a reminder to do the check list and then one to remind me to remind me and so on. At that rate I would never get started but would always be reminding. I am a prime candidate for idiot lights and buzzers.
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