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Old 06-26-2017, 06:12 PM   #1
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2013 Ford Focus - Low Battery

I have a 2013 Ford Focus Hatchback. The car runs well and has no problems starting. I work in my car and often run the ac/heat and radio without leaving the car fully running. This car, which I was just given, will run the heat/ac and radio for under 5 minutes, then display a low battery warning and shut off - unless I leave it running the entire time I want to use either. Previous owner did not run heat/radio with engine off.

I had the battery and alternator tested today:
Voltage: 12.31U
Measured: 536 CCA
Rated: 500 CCA
Temperature: 23C

Battery is good but low on charge, charge battery and return to vehicle.

Average Life in Battery: 46 MO

Check for causes of low charge:
-Charging System
-Alternator Belt
-Cables and Connections
-Excessive Power Drains

Starter Test
Cranking Normal
Voltage: 11.23U
Time: 1.70S

Charging System Test
No Problems
No Load: 14.34U
Loaded: 14.350U

Charging System Output Test Normal

Any ideas on what to do from here? I have called 6 different mechanics. Two said buy a new battery, two said it's the alternator and one said it's the BMS that needs to be reset. Another said this car is totally unable to be used this way.



Last edited by goric; 06-26-2017 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:07 PM   #2
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Values are all normal, charging system is good and battery is good. I hope you understand heat/ac will do nothing but blow outside air into your car, engine has to be running for both of these to work. If you really are using them with your engine off, I would assume this means they key has to be in the on position, which would also make your automatic headlights come on. In other words what is happening is normal, the car is idiot proofed to shut anything off that it doesn't need to run once voltage gets low enough. Running blower motor/headlights/radio/PCM will drain a battery very quickly.
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:16 PM   #3
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The battery may be marginal, 12.31 volts is right at the line. Good batteries run from 12.5 to 12.8. 12.4 is acceptable. You have no battery overhead left, it then runs down quick.

And WHY on earth would you try to run a/c with engine off, it's OFF then. Even heat will only last a minute maybe with zero water circulation going on there.

You as a user have some really goofy ideas about how to use a car.
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:22 PM   #4
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ASE always told us 12.2-12.7(but I doubt they are perfect lol)

The mechanic that said the car can't be used that way is a smart one, remember him if you ever need repairs
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:51 PM   #5
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My previous car was an Escape. I could have things plugged in, run the radio all night and had no battery problems. This car you can't listen to the radio for 2 minutes?
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:54 PM   #6
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This car you can't run headlights/blower motor/radio/PCM for very long. Same on any car out there with the factory battery setup. Diesels could do it longer because of 2 batteries but that's a different thing
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Byron King View Post
This car you can't run headlights/blower motor/radio/PCM for very long. Same on any car out there with the factory battery setup. Diesels could do it longer because of 2 batteries but that's a different thing
Would a different battery fix the issue? Running the car for 5 hours straight multiple times a week won't be good for it.

On another note, is there a way to turn off the headlights while having the car on? We frequent a drive-in movie theater and our lights are required to be off but the car needs to be on to play the radio (sound for the movie comes through radio station).

(Apologies for my poor english with car terms, not my first language and though I speak the language well I dont in all areas).
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Old 06-26-2017, 10:22 PM   #8
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A bigger one could gain you a little time, don't know of any negatives to that off of the top of my head.

I absolutely hate automatic headlights, especially o es where you cant shut them off without unplugging something. It's possible but not simple
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:27 AM   #9
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My 2014 has been doing this since the very beginning. been back 2 or 3 times and I'm told charging system & battery are fine. sometimes it powers down in the aux position with only radio on after 1 minute. I have almost always had to leave the car running when I wax it to listen to the radio. The manual says 1 hour before power off but I rarely get past 15 minutes.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:45 AM   #10
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So here is an interesting bit for you

When I got my 2012 Escape (Used) someone had replaced the battery with some weird sized battery that was not the correct size for the tray. When I had that battery, I could use the radio forever, I would NEVER get that message on the screen about battery

Then, I got Ford to replace the battery for the OEM one. I was going to do it myself, but I learned you need to reset the computer which I can't do. After that, I can only go 5 mins without the message popping up

The dealer confirmed the last person to swap the battery didnt do the reset
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