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Discussion Starter #1
So our '12 Focus SE Sport w/ 201a package has a weird problem lately. It will enter 1-hour audio mode normally when the volume button is pressed, but it shuts off by itself with no warning after 3-5 minutes. The audio system won't turn back on, even with the key in ACC mode, until the car is re-started.

The car has 54k miles with its original battery, but shows no other electrical weirdness or signs that the battery would be on its way out. With the car off, the battery reads 12.2 v across terminals. Starting the car only drops the voltage to 10 v and while running, I'm seeing about 14.7 v across terminals.

The car has a dash-cam hardwired to the cigarette lighter circuit, so it stays on for about 30 minutes after the engine is shut off. It seems weird the car would allow the cigarette lighter circuit to stay active, but kill the radio after 3 minutes if it thinks it's drawing too much power.

Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Does it give a "Battery Low" message on the screen?
Nope. Nothing. It just shuts off. This car has the base non-sync audio system. Maybe it's not smart enough to display a low battery message?

EDIT: We are taking the car on an 800 mile trip soon. I'd hate to have battery issues on a trip.

EDIT 2: In test mode, the car reports the batteries voltage to be fluctuating between 11.6 and 11.7 volts. Maybe this is low enough to trigger the car's battery saving measures. The battery reads 11.9 volts across terminals now, which is quite a bit lower than the 12.2 it read earlier today.
 

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11.6v is very low. 12.6v I think is usual not overcharged voltage. I would check to see if the battery has swollen or if it has dead cells. But 11.5v is basically a dead battery I would charge it and get it checked out because it shouldn't be that low.
 

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Nope. Nothing. It just shuts off. This car has the base non-sync audio system. Maybe it's not smart enough to display a low battery message?

EDIT: We are taking the car on an 800 mile trip soon. I'd hate to have battery issues on a trip.

EDIT 2: In test mode, the car reports the batteries voltage to be fluctuating between 11.6 and 11.7 volts. Maybe this is low enough to trigger the car's battery saving measures. The battery reads 11.9 volts across terminals now, which is quite a bit lower than the 12.2 it read earlier today.
If you've got an accurate voltmeter / multimeter, what does it read at the in-car 12v outputs?

I think you might be triggering the car's battery-saving system with voltage that low - my battery for example is reading about 11.9-12.0v in the heat (I will probably need a battery by winter)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you've got an accurate voltmeter / multimeter, what does it read at the in-car 12v outputs?
With the doors closed and no accessories running, I get 11.89 v out of the cigarette lighter. It was driven on Friday and we live far enough out where a short trip into town is about 12 miles, so I know it has enough time to charge when it is driven.

The car has a 2/12 build date, so the battery is probably about 4.5 years old now. I just hate to replace it if it has more life left in it.
 

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With the doors closed and no accessories running, I get 11.89 v out of the cigarette lighter. It was driven on Friday and we live far enough out where a short trip into town is about 12 miles, so I know it has enough time to charge when it is driven.

The car has a 2/12 build date, so the battery is probably about 4.5 years old now. I just hate to replace it if it has more life left in it.
When the battery is healthier I've seen alternator voltages around 13.8v, during the winter when my voltage was sagging to ~11.6v I saw 14.7-14.9v charging voltage.

I'm guessing the car just thinks your battery as at the end of its road :(
 

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My 2012 was doing the same thing and a new battery solved the problem.

As a suggestion, have your Ford dealer replace it and make sure they reset the Body Control Module to reflect installation of a fresh battery. The Focus battery-charging strategy is complex and are lots of comments here about why resting the BCM is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My 2012 was doing the same thing and a new battery solved the problem.

As a suggestion, have your Ford dealer replace it and make sure they reset the Body Control Module to reflect installation of a fresh battery. The Focus battery-charging strategy is complex and are lots of comments here about why resting the BCM is a good idea.
Yeah, I think I'll probably just go ahead and replace the battery.

I have a USB OBD-II adapter and For-scan on my laptop, so I'm going to reset the BMS system that way.
 

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It seems weird the car would allow the cigarette lighter circuit to stay active, but kill the radio after 3 minutes if it thinks it's drawing too much power.
The battery cut-off for the APIM is high (~12.1v) ... the BCM will eventually cut the lighter but later on.

This is to save the battery because it is not a deep cycle one.

While this is an annoyance, it has its purpose and it work well [thumb]

Lot of people listen to radio while car is off... that would kill lot of batteries if they let it cut-off too low. Even if the car still crank, battery was discharged too much and the capacity is shrunk.

EDIT:

I get 11.89 v out of the cigarette lighter. It was driven on Friday and we live far enough out where a short trip into town is about 12 miles, so I know it has enough time to charge when it is driven.

BTW, this is a common misconception... 12 miles is nothing for a battery... unless the engine was running more than 6 hours .... the battery was barely charged.

Lead-acid battery take looooong time to charge (hours) vs li-ion (mins) type.

FYI... 11.8v is a completely discharged battery (lead-acid)

EDIT2:

11.8v is not a scrap battery, it's just discharged at 0% ... I would put a battery tender on it overnight and see first if it can maintain 12.6v after charging

Don't rely on the alternator to completely charge your battery if you do short trips (<100 miles)
 

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The battery cut-off for the APIM is high (~12.1v) ... the BCM will eventually cut the lighter but later on.

This is to save the battery because it is not a deep cycle one.

While this is an annoyance, it has its purpose and it work well [thumb]

Lot of people listen to radio while car is off... that would kill lot of batteries if they let it cut-off too low. Even if the car still crank, battery was discharged too much and the capacity is shrunk.

EDIT:




BTW, this is a common misconception... 12 miles is nothing for a battery... unless the engine was running more than 6 hours .... the battery was barely charged.

Lead-acid battery take looooong time to charge (hours) vs li-ion (mins) type.

FYI... 11.8v is a completely discharged battery (lead-acid)

EDIT2:

11.8v is not a scrap battery, it's just discharged at 0% ... I would put a battery tender on it overnight and see first if it can maintain 12.6v after charging

Don't rely on the alternator to completely charge your battery if you do short trips (<100 miles)
I'm not sure if I believe this. I've seen voltage at 12.2v immediately after shutting off my car but then sag to 11.7-11.8v quickly. Alternator voltages also vary widely between 13.6v and 14.8v for me depending on the level of charge in the battery when starting.

My radio stays on for 30+ minutes (haven't tried to stretch it) even with my battery voltage at 11.6-11.8v. [popcorn]

I think there is more to the system than that.
 

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Car batteries have a very high amount of storage especially for a stereo that is probably at full volume around 150w rms, but starting an engine on it is a very different matter and it will drop voltage like mad to get the amperage up to start the engine. This is very hard on the battery over time and will lead to it not functioning. But since most people run their batteries till they won't function I guess that's not a problem for most.

I'm not entirely clear on what part of elcouz's post you aren't sure you agree with. But around 11.5-11.8v is "dead" for a car battery for the purpose of starting an engine. Can it start an engine? Sometimes it can but that doesn't mean that it's at all good for the battery, and being able to run a stereo doesn't mean much since they use comparatively next to no power. Also when I say dead I mean discharged, most people think dead means nonfunctional, but most batteries can be recharged from dead and work but you would need to use a battery charger. Nonfunctional batteries won't even charge.

If I got in my old car and turned off the engine and used my stereo at 2000wrms at about 75% the deck and everything would just shut off because the voltage would drop so low trying to make amperage it wouldn't be high enough voltage anymore to run the stereo.

Much like your stereo the battery can be low, and run a stereo and maybe start the car but it isn't good for the battery.

Hope that makes sense.
 

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Car batteries have a very high amount of storage especially for a stereo that is probably at full volume around 150w rms, but starting an engine on it is a very different matter and it will drop voltage like mad to get the amperage up to start the engine. This is very hard on the battery over time and will lead to it not functioning. But since most people run their batteries till they won't function I guess that's not a problem for most.

I'm not entirely clear on what part of elcouz's post you aren't sure you agree with. But around 11.5-11.8v is "dead" for a car battery for the purpose of starting an engine. Can it start an engine? Sometimes it can but that doesn't mean that it's at all good for the battery, and being able to run a stereo doesn't mean much since they use comparatively next to no power. Also when I say dead I mean discharged, most people think dead means nonfunctional, but most batteries can be recharged from dead and work but you would need to use a battery charger. Nonfunctional batteries won't even charge.

If I got in my old car and turned off the engine and used my stereo at 2000wrms at about 75% the deck and everything would just shut off because the voltage would drop so low trying to make amperage it wouldn't be high enough voltage anymore to run the stereo.

Much like your stereo the battery can be low, and run a stereo and maybe start the car but it isn't good for the battery.

Hope that makes sense.
Most everything you say is correct, however ElCouz seemed to state that the car would shut off the radio (APIM) at 12.1v which is incorrect. I refuted that statement.

The starter in this car seems very efficient and can start the car as low as 7 volts (old battery, cold winter here last winter). I am aware of the amperage draw and voltage droop, and the dynamics of electrical systems. (I work with computers and electrical circuits often, including the use of Liquid Nitrogen on computer systems which has affects on circuit resistance, voltage and etc.)...

My comments were only made in regard to the battery management system on this car and the alternator's charging ability - yes, short distances are not ideal for charging the battery effectively however the car seems to manage charging output very intricately as well as it does shutting down systems when the car is not running.

Everything you said makes sense but I didn't need the explanation.
 

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Lol alright. I didn't know what you did or didn't know and wasn't sure what you didn't agree with.

Also the explanation is there as well to help others who might not know.

I'm and assembly technician at a company that manufactures equipment to test and r&d batteries and other power storage systems.
 

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My 2014 is very inconsistent as to when the "battery low, power off" message will come on. Sometimes after only a minute or two, sometimes up to 15 minutes. When I'm waxing the car I have to keep turning it on to listen to tunes. On my 2011 focus I ran the battery too low twice and had to jump start it while using the radio while detailing. Had no clue the battery was getting low as the stereo still worked. So the feature does protect the battery but a PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just for kicks, I took the original battery to NAPA for testing today. Their analyzer said that the battery was basically on borrowed time and to "replace soon". The battery is 4.5 years old now and has been subject to Texas summers, so I can't really complain about a 4.5 year lifespan. My wife is the main one that drives the Focus, so I don't want her stranded because of a bad battery.

I was able to get a 590 CCA Autocraft Gold for $80 from Advance Auto Parts. It's made by Johnson Controls just like the Motorcraft battery. If it lasts another 4-5 years, I'll be happy.
 

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Referring to the thread start, my Ford Connect 2018 does exactly the same stupid thing. I can pull whatever current out of the lighter outlet, the pre-heater works on schedule every day, my USB charger with voltage display shows about 12.0v but the radio stops after a few minutes and won't come on until engine start.
So now I pollute the air 30min every lunchbreak to have the radio (and Bluetooth phone) available. Thanks Ford :(

My radio unit is updated so it even speaks to me in my native language, but what's the use when the stupid thing shuts off?

I've had older ford Connect too and it's always the batteries and the charging that is a problem. This is almost never a problem on other brands. Never had a Transporter do any of this nonsense.
 

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Thanks for all of this, I thought I was just losing my mind when the radio kept turning off while engine off/key was in accessory mode. I guess it's time for a new battery in the near future. My Focus is not even 4 years old, but most of my trips are very short (5 miles, 8-10 minutes) to work - which likely explains the battery condition.
 

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Hello everyone,

Just came across this thread while researching for ACruiseC. I have/had the same issue but couldn't find anything. After some digging I discovered what the issue is. It occurred to me when I changed FCDIM (screen) to retrofit Sat Nav. I had the European monochrome matrix and worked fine, but once I unplugged it it started turning off after 3:45, unless I started the engine. Same thing happened once the color Nav screen arrived. So I investigated to the procedure of how the dealers are supposed to remove the FCDIM and there are a few steps needed to be taken:
306871

It therefore seems logical to me that having the BCM reset to the original FCDIM or reprogramming the BCM to the new one would solve the problem. I am no expert, but my battery is almost brand new, and this seems a very logical explanation as to why the display turns off. Additionally it should be noted that the although the radio has no direct code, it needs an indirect code which is linked to the VIN. Once the engine is on and the immobilizer is disabled, the VIN is supplied to the ACM and works fine. But every time it boots up, its on "safe mode" where it would only show if its working or demo purposes. This can also be supported that if you connect the car with foCCCus or unplug the battery the 3 min timer will reset.

This is therefore the reason I do not think we should spend money on batteries. Possibly a BCM reset via forscan or a trip to the dealer to decode the ACM will work
 
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