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Old 08-22-2016, 01:44 PM   #1
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Death, Taxes and Battery Replacement

Can't avoid the first two for sure and you will eventually have to replace a battery unless you trade cars often.

I bought my 2013 Focus SE Hatch brand new in July 2013. I searched all over the region to find it. It was one of only two manual transmissions available at the time. The car had been sitting on the dealer's lot for a long time as nobody wanted a manual and they had let the battery run down. They jumped it off when they made the car ready. I always knew the battery was compromised from that but I figured I would have it replaced under warranty if it failed. Suprisingly, it lasted over three years in spite of Texas 100 degree summer heat and failed shortly after my 3 year/36,000 mile warranty expired. It cranked with authority right up till the end and died. I went to start the car and it barely turned over but it did start. I headed straight for my Ford dealer, left the car running in the parking lot and went in and bought a battery. (you didn't think I was going to let them install it, did you?)

So I decided to "cheat" and not completely remove the air box assembly as the shop manual prescribes. This video describes that method:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcMapd-Z3Lg

Tools used:
Eye protection
Latex gloves! Sulfuric acid will burn you
10mm deep socket for the battery hold down nuts
10mm socket for the post terminal nuts

The MK3 uses a Motorcraft BXT-96R lead acid battery.

First, remove the front top cover of the battery box. (Some later model MK3s no longer have a front top cover) Then unsnap the rear top cover and lift it out of the way. Then you have to slightly open the front gate of the battery box to provide just enough clearance to remove the battery at an angle. Do this by lifting the gate up first and then pull it back until it touches the air box. The only problem with this method is that the battery has to be tilted at an extreme angle to slide it into the battery box. This can be dangerous as acid could seep out of the caps.

Tip: Park the car on an incline with the nose facing down so that the battery will not have to be tilted as much from horizontal to slide it in.

Slide in the new battery and complete the install.

Don't forget that a battery monitoring system reset must be performed by the dealer after you install a new battery:

"If the vehicle battery is replaced, carry out the Battery Monitoring System Reset using the scan tool. If the Battery Monitoring System Reset is not carried out, measurement data collected for the old battery is not deleted and future state of charge measurements will be inaccurate. For example, if an old battery has a state of charge of 60% and the new battery has a state of charge of 90%, the BCM will recognize battery state of charge being 30% lower than it actually is. With the battery state of charge being perceived lower than it actually is causes shedding of loads earlier than is necessary. This also impacts the smart regenerative charge system by causing the battery to be maintained at a higher state of charge than perceived by the BCM, reducing fuel economy benefits."


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Old 08-22-2016, 03:30 PM   #2
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Thanks for that DIY guide :) !!

It's worth a rep for sure!
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:58 PM   #3
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Lot more to newer cars,,,,,,,,,
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:32 AM   #4
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I did this method too the first time, until I realized all you have to do is pull up on the front wall of the box, it slides up and out. After you swap batteries it slides easily back in and snaps into place.

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Old 09-01-2016, 11:04 PM   #5
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What is the cost of the Battery Monitoring System Reset at the dealer?

Is this something that Autozone or Pep Boys, etc can do for free (with battery purchase)?
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Old 09-01-2016, 11:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heat1 View Post
What is the cost of the Battery Monitoring System Reset at the dealer?

Is this something that Autozone or Pep Boys, etc can do for free (with battery purchase)?
Since I purchased my battery from the Ford dealer, they did the BMS reset for free when I took back the core.

Autozone and the like can not reset the BMS as it requires a proprietary IDS computer with Ford licensed software.

Update: It has been reported by El Couz that FORScan software can now reset the BMS.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:24 AM   #7
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I've been extremely lucky with Ford batteries. 8-10 years is the normal life I see from them. I swapped one of the Mustangs to autozone battery and got 2 years.

Thanks for the write-up as I'm not sure my 2012 will last that long with the additional load and electrical systems.

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Old 09-02-2016, 08:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowflyn View Post
I've been extremely lucky with Ford batteries. 8-10 years is the normal life I see from them. I swapped one of the Mustangs to autozone battery and got 2 years.

Thanks for the write-up as I'm not sure my 2012 will last that long with the additional load and electrical systems.

Sent from my XT1045 using FF Mobile
Texas heat is hard on batteries.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavsine View Post
Texas heat is hard on batteries.
Yupp. We only get to low 100's in Memphis. I'll find out if it's weak this winter.

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Old 12-16-2016, 08:26 AM   #10
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Just had a really hot day 36C and a few days later battery on the blink and dead.
Motorcraft battery lasted approximately 5 years and 3 months for those interested.
Going to buy a Motorcraft again and probably get the dealer to do a BCM reset for me.
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