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95 Ram 1500 4x4 Battery Life

1550 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  rampage
A family member has the above truck with 24k and is like new. I went to move it today and the battery just couldn't kick it over. The truck sits in a heated garage with very little use. My question is the battery is a year and a half old and could the constant sitting kill a battery? It ran about a month ago. The truck is used for plowing.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Super Moderator
12,344 Posts
Yes, all vehicles in the last 30 years or so draw somewhere between 15 and 35 mA or so of current while off, sometimes more, as backup power to the computer. Remote starters and alarms draw more. A month is about 700 hours, so you can easily draw 35 amp-hours of capacity out of it. While that doesn't sound like much compared to a new battery rating, it can be enough so that the voltage drops quite a bit while cranking.

Also, plowing at low speeds generally doesn't rev the engine up to highway speeds for any length of time, and the current demand in moving a blade around can be high.

So, yes, probably it should be run more often and driven about an hour each time. A load test can confirm if the battery is still good.

· Virginia Gentleman
8,737 Posts
Not sure about that particular year, but the owner's manual for my '06 1500 indicates the battery should be disconnected if the vehicle is to be sitting for over 21 days:

If you are storing your vehicle for more than 21 days, we
recommend that you take the following steps to minimize
the drain on your vehicle’s battery:
• Disconnect the Ignition-Off Draw fuse (I.O.D.) fuse
located in the Integrated Power Module, located in the
engine compartment. The I.O.D. cavity includes a
snap-in retainer that allows the fuse to be disconnected,
without removing it from the fuse block.
• The electronic shift transfer case should be placed in
the 4HI mode and kept in this position to minimize the
battery drain.
• As an alternative to the above steps you may, disconnect
the negative cables from both batteries.

I realize the truck you are referring to may not have an IOD or electronic shift transfer case, but the disconnecting the negative cable would be the best suggestion - especially if it isn't driven that often and you know it won't be for an extended period of time. Clocks and alarms (if it has one) have small residual drains which over time can kill a battery if the vehicle is not run on a consistent basis. Vehicles need to be driven a on somewhat consistent basis.

I have left mine sit for up to 18 days without running it - we flew to my wife's parents for Christmas vacation a few years back. When we arrived home, I unlocked the truck and she fired right up.

I would suggest disconnecting the battery when it is known the vehicle won't be used for a long spell. Then put the battery on a trickle charge 24 hours before it is needed.

· Super Moderator
1966 Crown Coupe, 2016 200 S AWD, 1962 Lark Daytona V8.
17,323 Posts
Get the battery tested. Most auto parts stores will do this for free (it sells batteries, belts and alternators).
A battery needs to be fully charged in order to make the test valid. The test result should meet or exceed the battery's CCA rating.
Batteries discharge and 'sulfate' from sitting dormant.

· Registered
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Started right up today. Let it run at 2000RPM for a half hour or so. I'm going to run it for the next few days and get some fresh gas in it. I know this truck was driven maybe 10 miles during the past year. It was my fathers but he died a few years ago and now it sets.
All great replies, thank you.
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