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itsonlywater

Battery charging issue

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itsonlywater

I'm having an issue keeping my battery charged while out on the water and I'm hoping ya'll can help point me in the right direction on how to attack this problem. I have to be sure that the engine is running while the stereo is on or when filling bags or else it seems like my battery is drained in a matter of minutes. I constantly worry about being stranded. This is what I can tell you (some of which may or may not have anything to do with this issue):

-boat is a '99 Sunsetter bought last spring

-new battery bought last year

-what looks to be the original altenator

-gauge reads 11 amps at idle and 12 while cruising

-pretty sure the stereo amp is fried (different tower speakers & boat speakers work randomly at different times, sub never works)

-head unit seems to work fine (but may have something to do with speakers cutting in & out)

-sure this doesn't relate but my RPM gauge is now working after not working the entire season last year

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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BlastRlxi

Don't know what kind of battery you have, but, if applicable, check the cells and see if you need to add water.

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RTS

-gauge reads 11 amps at idle and 12 while cruising

Provided your gauge is accurate, that's too low. You should be looking at 14+ volts (not amps, by the way) when the engine is running, even at idle, and 12+ volts when the engine is off and there is no draw on the battery.

Any auto store can check your battery. If it's bad, you run the risk of messing up your alternator by continuing to use the bad battery. I'd take the battery to have it tested as a first step.

I would also put a multimeter set to volts across the battery terminals to verify your gauge reading, if you have access to one.

Edited by rts

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Ndawg12

Provided your gauge is accurate, that's too low. You should be looking at 14+ volts (not amps, by the way) when the engine is running, even at idle, and 12+ volts when the engine is off and there is no draw on the battery.

Any auto store can check your battery. If it's bad, you run the risk of messing up your alternator by continuing to use the bad battery. I'd take the battery to have it tested as a first step.

I would also put a multimeter set to volts across the battery terminals to verify your gauge reading, if you have access to one.

He might have all ready done damage to the alternator. While running or at idle the guage should be reading the output of the alternator.

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Lance B. Johnson

Here is what I would do:

Run a good portion of your accessories (ballast, blowers, stereo etc) and test the battery voltage with a meter (don't use gauge) Engine running. This applies a load to the alternator so you can test to see if it is keeping up with demand.

If your reading is above say 13 volts while loaded at idle then your alternator is doing its job. It will probably be higher.

Not sure what type of battery you have but make sure it is one that is suitable for both cranking and deep cycle (marine). Automotive batteries won't last long if your filling ballast, running the stereo etc.

If alternator is fine, suspect the battery. Make sure all of your connections are good etc.

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itsonlywater

I meant volts....was thinking of the stereo amp whe I was writing. Anyway, it sounds like I need to test the battery and get ahold of a meter and check everything out as recommended. I had started to think that all of my problems were related to one another. Hopefully they're not and I can get this battery issue taken care of then move on to the stereo. Thanks for the help!

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Flatwater

Im having the same issue, its charging at 14.5 volts every now and then, then it will quit all together, even while running at higher RPM. Is the voltage regulator built in to the alternator so i have to change the whole thing, or could it be something else? I was kind of suprised to see it charging at 14.5 when it was charging, seems a little high.

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itsonlywater

I took the battery to an suto parts store and it tested out fine. I did noticed the label on the battery reads "starting marine". I must admit I don't really know the difference between a deep cycle battery and a car battery. Through a small amount of research I have found that a "starting" battery is typically used in cars and are meant for recharging small discharges many times, "deep cycle" batteries are meant for lager discharges, and "marine" batteries fall somewhere inbetween. Is my battery meant for a 2 battery setup where one battery is used primarily for starting and the other battery runs the accessories?

Could my issue be as simple as using the wrong type of battery?

btw, I still have my old battery and it is quite a bit heavier than the new. Could this be due to a denser lead plate in the battery that makes it more deep cycle than the new? (The test on the old battery is inconclusive and only charges to 70% but I kept it hoping it could serve as a backup)

I'm still trying to get ahold of a meter to test out the gauge accuracy. I just want to understand the battery aspect.

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SFD

I'm having an issue keeping my battery charged while out on the water and I'm hoping ya'll can help point me in the right direction on how to attack this problem. I have to be sure that the engine is running while the stereo is on or when filling bags or else it seems like my battery is drained in a matter of minutes. I constantly worry about being stranded. This is what I can tell you (some of which may or may not have anything to do with this issue):

-boat is a '99 Sunsetter bought last spring

-new battery bought last year

-what looks to be the original altenator

-gauge reads 11 amps at idle and 12 while cruising

-pretty sure the stereo amp is fried (different tower speakers & boat speakers work randomly at different times, sub never works)

-head unit seems to work fine (but may have something to do with speakers cutting in & out)

-sure this doesn't relate but my RPM gauge is now working after not working the entire season last year

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Being a 99 you might want to disconnect things under the dash, in the engine compartment, clean, lube and reconnect.

Normal electrolysis will occur. sounds like a good time to look at the stereo and fix that too. I went through my 95 when I bought it just as a precautionary so I know I would not be stuck somewhere dead.

Edited by SFD

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