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Keeping vehicle battery charged while sitting on lot

Discussion in 'Non-Mopar Tech Support' started by AllanC, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    This is not a technical but more of an operations question about vehicle battery maintenance on dealership lots. Vehicles today have a multitude of electronic modules which create a parasitic draw on the vehicle battery when the engine is not running. Some vehicles sell within 1 - 2 weeks after arriving at a dealership lot but many sit for months before being sold. At mega-sized dealerships with hundreds of vehicles how are the batteries kept charged due to a lengthy sit on the lot and not run? During winter months in cold climates a discharged battery is very susceptible to freezing and could be permanently damaged if left discharged.

    Does a dealership employee visit each vehicle on a periodic schedule and start and run the engine for 10 - 20 minutes to replenish the battery? I would think that takes time and consumes fuel which would eventually need to be replenished.
     
  2. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    I forget the name of it, but Chrysler cars have a fuse that is or can be removed for shipping or storage. A battery will go dead in 1 or 2 months if the alarm system is set. [I know this from experience - bad experience].
     
    Doug D likes this.
  3. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    When my brother bought his 88 Dakota new, it had to be jumped. While they were doing that, I looked for the tire jack, as he was driving directly off the lot from MA to FL. No jack. It's behind the seat, and the sales guy started looking under the hood (where some vans have it). So he did what someone had already done to my brother's truck - swiped it off another car and stiffed the next new car buyer.
     
  4. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    I believe the fuse in question is called the IOD fuse. When shipped from the factory the fuse is in the "up" position (not fully engaged) and as part of the dealer prep the fuse is then placed in the normal position. It's located in the TIPM - at least it is in my '06 Ram 1500 and '10 Journey SXT.

    There is a notation in the owner's manual to disconnect the battery if the vehicle will sit for more than 21 days without being run so as to not totally drain the battery. I imagine disengaging the IOD (Ignition-Off Draw) fuse would do the same, but not entirely sure. The longest my Ram sat without being started or run was 18 days when we had flown to my in-laws for Christmas one year.

    When I bought my Ram in September 2006, it had been on the lot for several months (manufacture date 11/2005). When I went to test drive it, it fired right up so the dealer must have been maintaining it somehow by either running it occasionally (doubtful) or disengaging the IOD fuse. The original battery still had good charge (just under 14 volts) when I replaced in the fall of 2012.
     
  5. paullybob

    paullybob Well-Known Member

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    Vehicles arrive from the Manufacturer in "Ship Mode" with minimal accessories engaged. Some vehicles have a IOD fuse (relay) that requires a physical interaction to engage it to the PDC (fuse block) while others require a combination of button presses to exit from this Ship Mode. Vehicles do indeed sit on a lot for long periods of time in some cases and I have recharged/had replaced several dead batteries over the year but if this Ship Mode setting is not disengaged, while looking for a vehicle on a large lot (my dealership holds about 200-300 cars depending on the time of year) the vehicle will not respond to the key press request with the horn alert. Makes it very difficult to find the car in any sort of timely manner. This is in the summer months.....add winter conditions/2-3 feet of snow/-35 degree temps and you can easily see the batteries going flat. Nature of the beast!!!!
     
  6. dana44

    Ad-Free Member

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    I have actually seen battery chargers attached at dealer lots, hoods up, showing off the cars. Yeah, there are so many things constantly being operated while a car is turned off for the past 15 or so years, it is a bit of an issue.
     
  7. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    On my 2010 Corolla, I went on a 3.5 month trip and it started right up when I got back. No storage prep at all.
     
  8. awyseguy

    awyseguy Well-Known Member

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    None of the dealerships I have worked at have ever pulled the IOD fuse back out or made any alterations to keep vehicles charged. Best case scenario is when they get started for "Lot Parties". I have seen inventory on lots for close to two years.
     
  9. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    "Lot Parties" . . . That certainly is an interesting term. I guess that means all the sales staff and other available personnel assemble and start up vehicle engines and move them around and change the display configuration. That allows the battery to be recharged after sitting idle for a period of time.
     
  10. awyseguy

    awyseguy Well-Known Member

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    We have so many at the dealerships that still think that letting cars run actually charge the batteries. I've seen them sit and run till they're out of gas, and have them out of gas with a dead battery.
     
  11. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    In below-freezing temperatures, a discharged battery is in danger of freezing and being damaged. Thawing can warp plates.
    Jump starting a new car or quickly installing a new battery for a test drive and potential sale doesn't look good in front of the customer. Chrysler got tired of having to replace batteries for dealer stock in the winter.
    Brake rotors have also rusted on cars that sat for months on the lot. New cars are now shipped with wheel shields to help prevent this?
    On (3 years old or more) used cars, a dead battery means that the OBDII readiness monitors have been erased. This can complicate a quick state emissions/safety inspection and sale.
     
    paullybob likes this.

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