Home Forums Welcome to the Viper Club Battery dead every winter..need help

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    • Profile photo ofV10ViperV10Viper
      Member
      Post count: 7

      Doesn’t fail. Winter is here and another dead battery.  I just replaced the battery 10 months ago. Can’t figure out why it’s dead every winter. All accessories are shut down or off. I put in hibernation mode. But the confusion is I DO drive it every so often(for the winter). Never sits for more than 2-3 weeks. The rides are fairy long too. Any thoughts would be greatly  appreciated.

    • Profile photo ofDeanWordGTS Dean
      Member
      Post count: 13

      Please confirm the year model, then coupe or convertible if G3/4.

    • Profile photo ofV10ViperV10Viper
      Member
      Post count: 7

      2013 GTS

    • Steve Fess
      Moderator
      Post count: 31

      Sorry for your battery issue. In my opinion, battery quality and longevity have both decreased over past 20+ years…especially for common brands of flooded lead acid batteries.

      Before I leave the store with a new battery, I check date of manufacture, resting voltage, cold cranking, and load test. This may irritate common auto parts store folks…too bad. These tests are generally more accurate only if the batteries have not been on a charger within past 30 minutes. I make this point because if you call ahead to find out if the store has your type of battery, some locations will slap a battery on a charger (particularly one with an older date sticker) before you arrive and it may pass some tests with the somewhat inflated readings.

      Before I install a battery into one of our Vipers, I fully charge it with a real charger…using appropriate settings for battery type. Battery tenders are not meant to do this…though I do use them regularly post installation. Starting and driving a car regularly is generally a good thing…BUT, is the drive of sufficient length and type to offset startup drain and support all accessories? Admittedly, this last point is more of an issue with a Gen I and II Viper where loafing down a highway for a short drive at 1300 rpm and observing speed limit with multiple accessories on may not fully recharge your battery…especially as it ages and/or it lives in a high heat location. Heat kills batteries !!

      For multiple reasons, starting over 16 years ago, I began changing our batteries over to AGM batteries instead of flooded lead acid types. My time between battery changes more than doubled…even in a Gen I and a Gen II that live in a non-climate controlled environment with no provision for battery tenders. These cars get charged every month (plus or minus a couple of weeks) either at my house or using a portable generator.

      NOTE: A Gen III Viper sitting (in hibernation mode) next to the above two Vipers has a 15 year+old AGM battery in it that still shows at least 50% charge even if the time between is 6-8 weeks.

      I do not use hibernation (sleep) mode in the Gen IV’s or V at home since they are on tenders. Therefore. I cannot quote an accurate IOD (Ignition Off Draw) amperage for those beasts with and without hibernation mode. Generally, a stock Gen I or II can draw up to 30 milliamps continously and still be “normal” per Service Manuals. You might want to consider the IOD test to look for an abnormal amperage draw.

      Yes, AGM batteries are more expensive, but to me they are a better valve…especially in Gen I and II Vipers where pulling the left rear wheel off to change the battery gets old quickly !!

      For what it’s worth, my two favorite AGM battery types are Interstate MTZ  and Odyssey…based on personal experiences…including consideration of warranty, availability, ease of return if it suffers premature failure, and service from the personnel.

      I hope this helps a bit as you search for a solution to your issue.

      Others may chime in with more specific info or differences of opinion.  “It’s all good !!”

       

       

    • Brent Barr
      Member
      Post count: 17

      I keep all my Vipers on battery tenders 24/7 and have zero issues. I buy junk batteries too. Walmart, Autozone and even factory seconds from a local battery plant for $100. If you don’t keep it on a tender, I highly recommend it.

      • Profile photo ofV10ViperV10Viper
        Member
        Post count: 7

        Do you connect the tender to the battery in the trunk or on the post and thermostat housing screw under the hood where they recommend jump starting the car?

        • Brent Barr
          Member
          Post count: 17

          I have my Gen 3/4’s set up right at the battery with the quick disconnect hidden in the rear diffuser. My Gen 1’s I plan on setting the ring terminal up under the hood on the side but use the clamps for now.

    • Steve Fess
      Moderator
      Post count: 31

      Either way will work easily on Gen III, IV, and V Vipers. Of course, the battery is little harder to access on most Gen I’s and all Gen II’s.

      I prefer to use the clamps on the jump terminals under the hood on all Vipers…BUT,  many mount the ring connectors to either the battery directly or to the jump terminals. This alternative connector to the clamps is generally provided with the tender…and, there is a quick disconnect plug that can be capped.

      As a firm believer in tenders (over 1.25 million Viper-tender-hours of use to date and counting), my rough estimate is that tenders extend the life of most batteries at least twofold if used continously.

      On rare occasions, I have encountered a failing tender that displays a green light only to find a failing battery in the car.

    • Profile photo ofDeanWordGTS Dean
      Member
      Post count: 13

      With my Gen 1 & 2 cars, I don’t often set the alarm in the garage. I routinely leave my car parked for 2, sometimes 3 months without a tender. When it’s been sitting that long, I’ll usually put a charger on at 2 amps and leave it overnight. Never a problem starting, but it is quite rare to cold-soak the car into the teens down here.

    • Profile photo ofV10ViperV10Viper
      Member
      Post count: 7

      What tender do you guys recommend? And thanks for all the help!!

    • RT Serpent
      Member
      Post count: 5

      I’ve got at least a half dozen of the Deltran Battery Tender Plus and a few of their  6v/12v chargers/maintainers for other applications around the yard.  Some of them are coming up on at least 12 years old.  Only ever had one fail.  Some were made in the USA others are now made in China I think, but they’ve been reliable for me.

      With the Vipers, I just wire in the quick connection under the hood and run in there.  Easy.

    • Profile photo ofV10ViperV10Viper
      Member
      Post count: 7

      Just purchased one . Thanks guys!

    • Bill Pemberton
      Member
      Post count: 24

      Dead batteries on Vipers are almost a right of passage and so common over the years that I would recommend our customers at Woodhouse considered a built in battery charger Mark Jorgensen had configured as an option.  The answer is a tender, because it really is not a matter of Generation, the batteries simply stink and I am only on my second one with my 2013, but it has been plugged in anytime it is not being driven.

    • Viperdrummer
      Member
      Post count: 1

      I have tenders on all my cars, foreign and domestic , including a 92 Viper—never an issue.

    • Profile photo ofV10ViperV10Viper
      Member
      Post count: 7

      Well it was the battery. Bought a new one and enjoyed a nice long ride. Also purchased the tender so all set. Thanks guys for all the input and help!!

      • Brent Barr
        Member
        Post count: 17

        Any time! Happy to help! Glad you got it all figured out

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