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Discussion Starter #1
Well this is the 6th time that my battery has COMPLETELY died. I am not totally surprized, just dissapointed. When I do drive it, I usually drive it for at least 10 miles, and frequently over 100, it doesn't matter. This is the V6 Prerunner with Off-road package, but not with the tow package (would have been nice to have that bigger alternator)

I have an aftermarket security system installed, plus a high powered stereo w/ video system with 2 amps, navi, radar detector and sat radio. If I leave it sitting for more than 3 days, which I frequently do as I travel for work, I can pretty much assume it's going to lose charge and be so dead that it can't even unlock the doors when I return. My electronics must keep that alternator strained to the max of it's abilities to where it just has enough to do a little charging but next time around it's gonna die. The reason I'm so dissapointed is that I have a Jeep Wrangler and a Mini Cooper with pretty much IDENTICAL setups, same security system, similar electronics, and I can leave them for weeks without using them and they'll start right up. I have definitely checked to make sure that my gadgetry is not staying on when I shut off the truck. You can see the power lights turn off with everything, and to make sure I took out my volt meter and checked every item for current draw, they are all turning off properly.

So does anyone think that I should
A. Take it to the dealership and say, hey this thing sucks gimme a new battery? Because that seems pretty much pointless because they'll probably point at my stereo and say, yeah right.
B. Go buy an Optima Yellow top 34/78 and be done with it or
C. Try to buy an upgraded alternator, maybe the toyota towing version.
Thanks all,
 

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DUDE, u got all that electronics running of stock Battery and alternator?? YIKES.... u atleast need a Red Top cranking, and atleast a 1 Far Cap with a yellow Top deep cycle in series. Dont use the Yellow Top as a cranking Battery...some other Boneheads on here are...Its Deep Cycle for a reason...it Hold a Charge longer and there for takes longer to charge...the Red Top Peaks quick to give u starting power and can be charged quickly. It's your amps, u need to buy a terminal block for ur power wire...connect ur Cap within a foot of ur amps(if possible) This will keep ur amp draw off ur main Battery down to chargeable levels...You might wanna upgrade your alternator also, but you'll never get all that draw adequately supplied with a factory battery...wont happen.

silvertoy said:
Well this is the 6th time that my battery has COMPLETELY died. I am not totally surprized, just dissapointed. When I do drive it, I usually drive it for at least 10 miles, and frequently over 100, it doesn't matter. This is the V6 Prerunner with Off-road package, but not with the tow package (would have been nice to have that bigger alternator)

I have an aftermarket security system installed, plus a high powered stereo w/ video system with 2 amps, navi, radar detector and sat radio. If I leave it sitting for more than 3 days, which I frequently do as I travel for work, I can pretty much assume it's going to lose charge and be so dead that it can't even unlock the doors when I return. My electronics must keep that alternator strained to the max of it's abilities to where it just has enough to do a little charging but next time around it's gonna die. The reason I'm so dissapointed is that I have a Jeep Wrangler and a Mini Cooper with pretty much IDENTICAL setups, same security system, similar electronics, and I can leave them for weeks without using them and they'll start right up. I have definitely checked to make sure that my gadgetry is not staying on when I shut off the truck. You can see the power lights turn off with everything, and to make sure I took out my volt meter and checked every item for current draw, they are all turning off properly.

So does anyone think that I should
A. Take it to the dealership and say, hey this thing sucks gimme a new battery? Because that seems pretty much pointless because they'll probably point at my stereo and say, yeah right.
B. Go buy an Optima Yellow top 34/78 and be done with it or
C. Try to buy an upgraded alternator, maybe the toyota towing version.
Thanks all,
 

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It might be your alarm that is draining the battery as it requires power all the time. Also if the battery is low than it may take more than a 10 mile drive to fully charge it with all of the accessories that you have. There is a chance your battery is shot as the stock battery is not designed to fully discharge that often/many times.

As for the yellow top. I had a single yellow top in my truck (and my last truck) as the only and primary battery before I switched over to dual batteries. I had my fridge hooked to it as well and it always started and worked flawlessly. So than can be used as starting batteries (even Optima lists them as starting/deep cycle) even though that is not their primary purpose.
 

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Make sure your amps are turning off. Maybe the remote lead is hooked up wrong. I have no idea who installed your system, maybe you did, but if they rigged the remote input to get power from the main power line to the amp then your amps would be running constantly. The alarm could be a problem as well, but you still should get at least a week or more before the batter drains itself. I had a Clifford in my BMW which had three active sensors (motion, glass tampering, and shock) and the battery would last at least a week before it needed a charge. One thing you can do to troubleshoot is unplug the power cable that goes to your stereo (leave the alarm hooked up of course) next time you take a trip. See if this makes any difference. If it does then there is something wrong with the stereo install, if not then maybe an alarm problem.

EDIT: sorry i just finished reading your post, it seems that you've checked to make sure that everything is off.
 

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I have the problem if I keep my scanner pluged in(not on) for 2 days. The battery dies. Just make sure the electronics do not have constant power going to them while the ignition is off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies folks. Good stuff so far, to address some concerns,
Yes, everything does shut off, with the exception of my alarm, my primary suspect as it is the only thing that remains on, however like I said, two other vehicles with the same alarm, (Viper 2 way pager deal) and they do just fine. I do actually have a 1F cap on my amps, everything is wired very nicely, and again, I checked to make sure nothing was draining.

Since it has died completely so many times, I think it can't hurt to take it to the stealership and see if maybe it is just a bad battery and to take my chances.

My next step was to go to an optima 34/78 Listed on optimas site as "Dual Purpose (Starting and Deep Cycle) Batteries for Professional Use". But I think the problem may be that my drain is just outstripping supply from the alternator in which case a deep cycle will only get me so far. Anyone have suggestions on how to upgrade my alternator, I'm rather mechanically inclined, I just need to know where to look for the part, who makes it etc...
 

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When the vehicle is off the alternator really has nothing to do with it as the alternator does not charge the battery when the vehicle is not running. Sounds like something is draining somewhere, maybe the amps as stated above, the alarm, something...

By the way the 34/78 yellowtop is what I had in my truck as well.
 

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non towing models i.e. Prerunner etc. have 100amp alternators, towing pack models have 130amp...i'd call Toyota and order that 130amp one, and run RedTop 800 cca up, and a YellowTop in series. Be done with it..

You can also test ur Alternator with a Volt meter...take a float reading with engine off, then one with it running...if its 12.5 with engine off...it should be 13.5 or so with it running...that'll tell u ur Alternator is working...Now with ur truck running...turn on each piece of electronics on one at a time...wait a few minutes and take a reading...go through all of ur addons and log there readings...you'll see which device is drawing the most current...then you can add up totals..you'll see if a 100amp alternator is adaquate.


silvertoy said:
Thanks for the replies folks. Good stuff so far, to address some concerns,
Yes, everything does shut off, with the exception of my alarm, my primary suspect as it is the only thing that remains on, however like I said, two other vehicles with the same alarm, (Viper 2 way pager deal) and they do just fine. I do actually have a 1F cap on my amps, everything is wired very nicely, and again, I checked to make sure nothing was draining.

Since it has died completely so many times, I think it can't hurt to take it to the stealership and see if maybe it is just a bad battery and to take my chances.

My next step was to go to an optima 34/78 Listed on optimas site as "Dual Purpose (Starting and Deep Cycle) Batteries for Professional Use". But I think the problem may be that my drain is just outstripping supply from the alternator in which case a deep cycle will only get me so far. Anyone have suggestions on how to upgrade my alternator, I'm rather mechanically inclined, I just need to know where to look for the part, who makes it etc...
 

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Is it dying over night--- If so, you have a piece of equipment draining it down during the night. Sometimes it may just be an amp staying turned on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
TacomaOffRoadGrl said:
When the vehicle is off the alternator really has nothing to do with it as the alternator does not charge the battery when the vehicle is not running.
Oh, this I fully understand. What I'm thinking is happening is that while the vehicle is running (with all the gadgetry going) that it is never really getting a chance to recharge the battery, hence why it dies 3-5 days later from a minor amount of drain (such as the alarm). So anyone done an alternator in their taco yet? Or know of someone who has they can point me to? Thanks again folks.
 

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Call ur Dealer and get a 130amp Alternator...or reduce ur current draw on ur battery...dual battery setup...its that simple...u can have a local auto repair shop swap it out ur alternator for you...i'd put money on a bet....its ur amps...

silvertoy said:
Oh, this I fully understand. What I'm thinking is happening is that while the vehicle is running (with all the gadgetry going) that it is never really getting a chance to recharge the battery, hence why it dies 3-5 days later from a minor amount of drain (such as the alarm). So anyone done an alternator in their taco yet? Or know of someone who has they can point me to? Thanks again folks.
 

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silvertoy said:
What I'm thinking is happening is that while the vehicle is running (with all the gadgetry going) that it is never really getting a chance to recharge the battery, hence why it dies 3-5 days later from a minor amount of drain (such as the alarm). So anyone done an alternator in their taco yet? Or know of someone who has they can point me to? Thanks again folks.
Get a Battery Tender or a good charger if you don't already have one. Hook it up and let the battery get a full charge. Then drive the truck a few days without using all the high power toys on it. See if the battery still dies. If not, then the alternator can't keep up with all the juice being sucked out with the big tunes going.

Go have the battery load tested at the dealer also ... it could be weak. If it was left fully discharged for a while the plates can sulfate and it will never be 100% again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I ran out and bought a Yellow top 34/78 today and dropped that in, very easy to install, truck started right up as the battery comes precharged. I took a good look at my old battery (which is twice the size but half the weight of the optima battery), and the indicator window was still green, very odd I thought. I took out my voltmeter again, and the thing was practically dead, not even 1V out of it. I am going to take it into the dealership sometime next week to have a look at my charging system, make sure the alternator is working properly and such.

Superbusa, I have actually done what you're talking about and I had no problems, but then again, I can drive it for 2 weeks of nothing but quick trips to work, and then let it sit for a couple days it will be fine, then drive it one more time, come back a day or two later, and completely dead.

The thing I don't understand is that my amps really aren't that big, an audiobahn A6004t and an A4002T Combined they're probably putting out 400W realistically and 20A, if that.
If all goes well at the dealership, for now I'm going to run with the optima and see how things go. If it drains even once, I will not hesitate to get the 130 amp alternator and put that in. For now.... I just have to figure out where to get one inexpensively.
Thanks all. I'll keep ya posted.
 

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Nothing in the system, even with all your extras should be killing a battery like that unless something is bad.


You need to do a parasitic drain test on the electrical system. You need a DVOM capable of 10amps. Disconnect your negative battery cable and put the leads from the DVOM on the negative post and to the negative wire. This 'should' give you a reading of 50ma draw or less. Anything over 50ma can kill a battery fairly quick.
 

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silvertoy said:
I took a good look at my old battery (which is twice the size but half the weight of the optima battery), and the indicator window was still green, very odd I thought. I took out my voltmeter again, and the thing was practically dead, not even 1V out of it. I am going to take it into the dealership sometime next week to have a look at my charging system, make sure the alternator is working properly and such.
Sounds like something is not quite right with the OEM battery. If it was that dead, the indicator window should have shown it as bad. Maybe there is an internal problem with the battery, or maybe the indicator simply got stuck for some reason. In any case, it certainly wouldn't hurt to get your charging system checked out.
 

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You could prob just have it rebuilt to a stronger amperage for cheaper.
 

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I agree with Chad with checking out your amperage to see what is causing the dead battery. I had to do the same thing to find a drain problem and discovered that one of the stereo components remote-on circuit was shot. This is a good way to find shorts as well which can happen in alternators, fuse blocks, etc. Remove all your fuses and plug one in at a time to see what could be drawing the power. Car alarms can draw more than expected, especially if its set too sensitive and goes off all the time, which can be a issue if you park at a airport or live on a Air Force base. Nothing like going on leave or TDY to find out your battery is dead..

I installed a Painless (yeah right) wiring harness into a Mustang. When I hooked up the juice and turned the key I had a instant short, which ended up being a faulty factory crimp connection from the main power cable to the the multiple wires that ran to the separate circuits. So, anything is possible when it comes to electricity.. Start off with the cheap or free checks and then worry about buying that $400 alternator...
 

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I had a similar problem with my 2005 Tacoma Pre-runner 2WD. It cranked over kind of hard recently one morning but did start. I got a few blocks from home and then my alarm started going off while I was driving (hazards blinking, horn honking). I turned around and parked it in my drive and shut it off. It then wouldn't turn over when I tried to start it. The indicator light on the battery was green also, but I took it in had it checked and it was defective. I put a new battery in and had the alternator checked and it checks out ok,, it's pushing 13.8 amps with the air,lights, and radio on. I installed a satellite radio a couple of weeks ago and was hoping that didn't have anything to do with this problem. The truck also only has the factory alarm installed in it.

I guess I'm just going to hope I don't have any further problems. It's just kind of fishy to me that the battery went dead already on a 2005 model. Also,, can anyone explain why this set my alarm off while I was driving?
 
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