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Sea Warrior

< 1 yr old Motorcraft replacement battery already starting to die

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Posted (edited)

Either the quality of Motorcraft replacement batteries are slipping or I'm unlucky.

I jumped in the car for a short ride to the post office today and I see the message " Battery Off to conserve power", or something or other.

 

The last time a message like that appeared was last Spring right before the OEM battery completly died. I posted last April on this forum a concern about Motorcraft on this thread:  "Battery issue after vehicle sat in shop for so long

So practically a brand new Motorcraft BXT-94RH7-730 that the dealer put in (11 months) ago is already starting to give up the ghost.

 

It'll undoubtedly be covered by the battery warranty. But the dealer said they have to follow a testing protocol of some sort putting it through a (3 hour) long test. Then they can write the death certificate ... replace the battery under warranty ... and return my car

 

Not knowing if I would have enough juice tomorrow to turn over the engine to take it to the dealer, I drove around for 50 minutes.

With gas at $4.30 / gal,  it couldn't suck any more right now at the start of the weekend

     

Edited by Sea Warrior

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1 hour ago, Sea Warrior said:

Either the quality of Motorcraft replacement batteries are slipping or I'm unlucky.

I jumped in the car for a short ride to the post office today and I see the message " Battery Off to conserve power", or something or other.

 

The last time a message like that appeared was last Spring right before the OEM battery completly died. I posted last April on this forum a concern about Motorcraft on this thread:  "Battery issue after vehicle sat in shop for so long

So practically a brand new Motorcraft BXT-94RH7-730 that the dealer put in (11 months) ago is already starting to give up the ghost.

 

It'll undoubtedly be covered by the battery warranty. But the dealer said they have to follow a testing protocol of some sort putting it through a (3 hour) long test. Then they can write the death certificate ... replace the battery under warranty ... and return my car

 

Not knowing if I would have enough juice tomorrow to turn over the engine to take it to the dealer, I drove around for 50 minutes.

With gas at $4.30 / gal,  it couldn't suck any more right now at the start of the weekend

     

 

Hi SW. That message does not necessarily mean the battery is failing. There are many other variables. Too many to explain without knowing your current pandemic driving habits.

 

Variables such as...How often you drive the car? How long the car sit unused? How far you drive when you do drive etc. etc.? They are explained in your Owners Manual.

 

Also, letting us know what model year your MKZ is might help.

 

Have the Dealer test the battery and go from there. If your car is out of warranty, you can often find coupons for a free battery test on the Lincoln Owner and Ford Owner websites. Also on many individual Dealer websites.

 

Let us know how you make out and good luck.

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Posted (edited)

 

It was the dealer I called who said this indicates a low charge.

So what do I know. 

 

As far as driving variables, I drive it every day.  But driving distances have been short thoughout the time I owned it. I'd say a weekly average is maybe 90 -120 miles.  I'll drive farther some days that'll add 50 mi / week or so. A conservative estimate, maybe 140 -170/wk

 

Are you saying dealers charge for the test either way even if its a bad 1 year old battery they installed ? 

If so, I'm heading to the Lincoln Owner or Dealer sites to look for coupons 

[EDIT] The new Vehicle Warranty expired already this year
  

Edited by Sea Warrior
Omitted info

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Sea Warrior said:

 

It was the dealer I called who said this indicates a low charge.

So what do I know. 

 

As far as driving variables, I drive it every day.  But driving distances have been short thoughout the time I owned it. I'd say a weekly average is maybe 90 -120 miles.  I'll drive farther some days that'll add 50 mi / week or so. A conservative estimate, maybe 140 -170/wk

 

Are you saying dealers charge for the test either way even if its a bad 1 year old battery they installed ? 

If so, I'm heading to the Lincoln Owner or Dealer sites to look for coupons 

[EDIT] The new Vehicle Warranty expired already this year
  

 

Hi SW. If the battery tests bad, there should be no charge for the test and battery replacement. If the battery test good, a Dealer may try and charge for the test.

 

Therefore my advice would be to play it safe. Download/print a free battery test coupon in case you need it. 

 

Regarding what the Dealer told you: Yes, that message indicates a "low charge". That is what the warning is for. However, a "low charge" does not necessarily mean the battery is failing. The charge in a healthy battery can be low for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with a failing battery. I briefly mentioned some of them in my previous reply, and the Owners Manual explains more.

In other words, you can get that message with a healthy battery, because a healthy battery can also wind up with a low charge.

 

Keep us updated and good luck.

Edited by bbf2530

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4 hours ago, bbf2530 said:

 

Hi SW. If the battery tests bad, there should be no charge for the test and battery replacement. If the battery test good, a Dealer may try and charge for the test.

 

Therefore my advice would be to play it safe. Download/print a free battery test coupon in case you need it. 

 

Regarding what the Dealer told you: Yes, that message indicates a "low charge". That is what the warning is for. However, a "low charge" does not necessarily mean the battery is failing. The charge in a healthy battery can be low for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with a failing battery. I briefly mentioned some of them in my previous reply, and the Owners Manual explains more.

In other words, you can get that message with a healthy battery, because a healthy battery can also wind up with a low charge.

 

Keep us updated and good luck.

Indeed.  I've gotten that message several times, and it was not due to a failing battery; once when I was installing front and rear dashcams and had the car in 'Accessory' mode for extended periods for testing.  That was about 2 years ago.  Still on that battery.

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Sounds like you have frequent short trips, and that alone can drain the battery over time.  Do you have aftermarket accessories such as a car alarm? Those things can drain the battery,  too. Also,  if your alternator is not charging properly that can cause issues.  So you probably need your alternator tested,  too.  Lastly, it is possible you got a defective battery.  Take it to the dealer and let them do a thorough diagnosis. 

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The other day my 2019 MKZh "texted" me via the Lincoln app that my vehicle went into a low power mode while I was at the gym and shut down its remote app start/unlock.  I've not been driving it much, and when I do, the trips are often short.  I charged the battery when I got home and no issues since.

 

One thing to keep in mind if you're going to charge the battery.  The BMS, battery management system, keeps track of the amount of charge going in and out of the battery and does this via a current probe on the negative battery clamp.  So when you attach a battery charger you attach the positive clamp to the battery's + terminal and the negative clamp to a ground point (on my hybrid the battery is in the trunk and there are several ground straps I can attach to).  This way the BMS sees the charge entering the battery and won't try to overcharge it later.

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8 hours ago, scn101 said:

The other day my 2019 MKZh "texted" me via the Lincoln app that my vehicle went into a low power mode while I was at the gym and shut down its remote app start/unlock.  I've not been driving it much, and when I do, the trips are often short.  I charged the battery when I got home and no issues since.

 

One thing to keep in mind if you're going to charge the battery.  The BMS, battery management system, keeps track of the amount of charge going in and out of the battery and does this via a current probe on the negative battery clamp.  So when you attach a battery charger you attach the positive clamp to the battery's + terminal and the negative clamp to a ground point (on my hybrid the battery is in the trunk and there are several ground straps I can attach to).  This way the BMS sees the charge entering the battery and won't try to overcharge it later.

I got that message last month when my wife and I were both quarantining with COVID.  We hadn't driven the car for 5 days.  IIRC, it said something to the effect that there was nothing wrong and that the car just needed to be started and driven.

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Hi Leftoverture, sounds like your right. I don't make a habit of short trips, but this week, it just happened to turn out to be the case. I made maybe four 1 mile trips (one per day) without ever driving it anywhere else on two of those days. The other days were pretty average 15 -20 miles / day 

 

I cancelled the dealer appointment for now. I don't see any reason for testing right now. Next week will be different and going forward will be too. It was just seeing that message that threw me off little . . after I dealt with it last year before the battery died.   

 

I'm guessing if the dealer had tested it today, they would've likely found nothing. Then the next words I would've heard is: The total for today will be ...."

 

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11 hours ago, scn101 said:

The other day my 2019 MKZh "texted" me via the Lincoln app that my vehicle went into a low power mode while I was at the gym and shut down its remote app start/unlock.  I've not been driving it much, and when I do, the trips are often short.  I charged the battery when I got home and no issues since.

 

One thing to keep in mind if you're going to charge the battery.  The BMS, battery management system, keeps track of the amount of charge going in and out of the battery and does this via a current probe on the negative battery clamp.  So when you attach a battery charger you attach the positive clamp to the battery's + terminal and the negative clamp to a ground point (on my hybrid the battery is in the trunk and there are several ground straps I can attach to).  This way the BMS sees the charge entering the battery and won't try to overcharge it later.

The dealer lent me their battery charger last year. I had it for about 4-5 days before I could get scheduled in for the replacement. Thanks though, their mechanic showed me. I wonder what dealers charge for a charge ?   

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I'm starting to wonder if the Motorcraft batteries are less than stellar. On my 2017 3.0T, I had the battery fail (shorted plate, according to the 3 hr. test) under warranty around 16~17 months ago. My booster box wouldn't get it going but my old reliable Sear charger/starter set to stun for 30 seconds let it crank and the charging system brought the system voltage above the 13v point right away so I made an appointment & drove it to the dealer right away and got a ride back home. Replaced under warranty and all was fine until my "report card" after the dealership oil change said, (rpl. battery immediately). I pointed out how new it was as and accepted the car as is. Short story, I've put the battery on a 4A max charger/maintainer with an automatic high-freq. mode 3 times, and it's calling "fully charged" at 12.9V instead of the usual 13.3~13.4v I get with my other cars & a spare deep cycle RV one. Going to let them rpl. it with whatever battery pro-rated warranty it still has (car out of warranty now) and eat the labor, I guess. Like 6 of the 7 Dwarfs, I am not Happy.

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On 4/13/2022 at 9:55 PM, 17MKZ3.0TT said:

I'm starting to wonder if the Motorcraft batteries are less than stellar. On my 2017 3.0T, I had the battery fail (shorted plate, according to the 3 hr. test) under warranty around 16~17 months ago. My booster box wouldn't get it going but my old reliable Sear charger/starter set to stun for 30 seconds let it crank and the charging system brought the system voltage above the 13v point right away so I made an appointment & drove it to the dealer right away and got a ride back home. Replaced under warranty and all was fine until my "report card" after the dealership oil change said, (rpl. battery immediately). I pointed out how new it was as and accepted the car as is. Short story, I've put the battery on a 4A max charger/maintainer with an automatic high-freq. mode 3 times, and it's calling "fully charged" at 12.9V instead of the usual 13.3~13.4v I get with my other cars & a spare deep cycle RV one. Going to let them rpl. it with whatever battery pro-rated warranty it still has (car out of warranty now) and eat the labor, I guess. Like 6 of the 7 Dwarfs, I am not Happy.

 

Yep, I told my dealer "the replacement battery isn't even a year old... has to be the recent short trips I've been doing".  I still get the messages every now and then. Don't know how my 1 yr old  battery could be the reason though when my driving distances have returned back to how I've always driven.       

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I can verify the battery is bad, as it cannot be charged above 12.9V, but so far I haven't gotten any messages. I'm going to the dealer to replace it and make sure it gets properly pro-rated, just haven't had time lately.   

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Posted (edited)

Adding to the topic...our 15-month-old Motorcraft battery went completely dead a day after returning from a 3-day road trip. The MKZ had also been on numerous 1-day road trips this summer with no issues and no "conserving battery power" alerts.

 

It was on a Battery Tender prior to the trip as a precaution. We drove 500 miles, then another 250 miles doing local stops at our destination, with 500 miles home.  If dealerships blame "short trips" are the cause of low voltage,  why did our battery slump after a week of constant use?  We don't run the AC, radio, or Nav that much either. But the trunk did get opened and closed quite a few times, followed by hours of run time that should be charging the battery.  I'll even switch to Sport mode periodically to boost engine revs if I feel we've been cruising too long at low rpm's.  

 

I think we need a definition of what's considered hard use on these batteries.  If the dealer 15 months ago forget to reset the Battery Age monitor, would that reduce charging levels? 

 

Update: The car was dead again this morning after a period of active driving then five days of no driving. Will go through the recharge ritual again and have them measure capacity again. A second Ford dealer claims that the Motorcraft MAX batteries (which we have) are "junk" and they don't sell them. Seriously?

Edited by jmcgliss

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The thing that is missing here, is that a battery is only as good as the environment it is being used.

 

Short trips will not keep it charged.... and may lessen how long it lasts.

 

When you see the message, are you checking the terminals?  Making sure the cables are tight and clean?

 

Also, remember that is what a warranty is for, the chance that the battery will not last very long is why we have them.  Manufacturer defects... also does not mean it will last that long, but that it is covered.

 

People are not perfect, thus the things they make are also the same.

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When I picked up my new 2019 MKZh in Jan of 2020 its battery was dead due to sitting on the lot for too long without being started.  They replaced the battery of course.  One year later I was getting the conserving battery warning along with a litany of other systems shutting down like the auto lock/unlock when you touch a door handle other than the drivers, the radio shutting off within seconds of the shutting the car off (before opening a door), no Lincoln approach lights, etc.  Dealer said I wasn't driving enough yet I was keeping the battery on a battery tender, they replaced the battery.  Fast forward to earlier this year and the same thing.  This time instead of going to the dealer I disconnected the battery from the vehicle and put the battery charger in "restore" mode.  That's supposed to take up to 4H to complete but it took over two days to complete.  I then hooked up the battery and the issues were gone.  The battery tender/charger I used was the Noco Genius G3500.

 

I read that the car measures the battery charge when the car is left undisturbed for eight straight hours, which of course is every night.  However, I read in one place that this measurement only occurs if the vehicle is locked, which I do not do in my garage.  Since the battery restoration about two months ago I've been locking the car at night.  My driving is still sporadic (I work from home) but so far no electrical issues.  I don't know if locking the car has made any difference but so far no issues.

 

One thing to note, due to the BMS (battery management system) in our vehicles, if you charge the battery with an external charger (battery tender, etc.) you need to connect the negative lead to a chassis ground point, not to the battery's negative terminal, this allows the BMS to measure the charge going into the battery.  You still connect the red positive lead directly to the battery.

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Speaking of the BMS, I just watched a YouTube video about replacing the battery.  Guy was talking about needing the BMS reset after installing the new battery.  Wonder how many are doing the rest?

 

I'm getting the "System Off to Save Battery" message.  After the message a loud click.  Either side of the speedometer are blacked out.  Figure it's about time.  It's been in for around 6 years and 53,500 miles.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo_QR0FCffo

 

Costco https://costco.interstatebatteries.com/home/results?key=auto&amp;ZipCode=91325&amp;l=91325&amp;Program=100500&amp;choice1=2047492&amp;choice2=2048950&amp;choice3=2048975&amp;choice4=2048976&amp;choice5=2048977&amp;Country=US

 

Going to give them a call and see if they are capable of the BMS rest.

Group Size: H6 (48) AGM   $179.99*   

 

I just picked up the H6 battery from CostCo and it is too big.  The tag on the Hybrid FoMoCo battery i BXT-99RT4.

Edited by rubyinla
Update battery size.

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In our case, the dealer assured me they reset the battery age. However, at 18 months I tried the folklore sequence (which escapes me now) and did manage to get a dashboard confirmation of BMS reset.

 

I also read that hitting the Lock button twice (horn beeps) will cause the vehicle to deep-sleep it's modules sooner than just pressing Lock one time.  We'll see if that changes anything.

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2 hours ago, jmcgliss said:

In our case, the dealer assured me they reset the battery age. However, at 18 months I tried the folklore sequence (which escapes me now) and did manage to get a dashboard confirmation of BMS reset.

 

I also read that hitting the Lock button twice (horn beeps) will cause the vehicle to deep-sleep it's modules sooner than just pressing Lock one time.  We'll see if that changes anything.

 

According to this video about Ford BMS resets you can flash your headlights 5 times and then your brake peddle 3 times.  There are a number of videos confirming this.  Not sure if it works with the hybrid though.

 

I had to alter the url so it wouldn't bring up the whole youtube screen >>> https://   www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEDKsKEetMg

https://  www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiBBDnTUcIY

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Thanks for posting the link, rubyinla.

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I replaced my battery yesterday with the FoMoCo battery BXT-99RT4A for $150.  It's only 8" across vs the 11" for the H6 (48) AGM.   It's only got 390 CCA, compared to the 760 from the H6 battery.

The BXT is for the Hybrid.  Costco couldn't even find a cross reference for it.

 

I asked the service writer at the Ford dealer about the BMI and resetting it with a Scan tool.   He said there was not necessary for cars built before 2020 or 2021.  I put a trickle charger on while I was replacing the battery, just in case the war stories were correct that we'd lose radio settings, idle settings and so on.  That seems to have worked, but can't tell if it was necessary or not.  Next did the 5 head light flashes and 3 brake pushes.  Within a couple of seconds after that I heard mechanical sounds from the engine bay.  Not sure if it was just the brakes or something else.  No indications on the dash, as we don't have the 12 volt battery warning.

 

20220924_101820[1].jpg

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I think your SA was incorrect.  Ford stared using the BMS for the 2011MY.  See here.  This guy is a Ford tech.

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On 9/25/2022 at 9:41 AM, rubyinla said:

I replaced my battery yesterday with the FoMoCo battery BXT-99RT4A for $150.  It's only 8" across vs the 11" for the H6 (48) AGM.   It's only got 390 CCA, compared to the 760 from the H6 battery.

The BXT is for the Hybrid.  Costco couldn't even find a cross reference for it.

 

I asked the service writer at the Ford dealer about the BMI and resetting it with a Scan tool.   He said there was not necessary for cars built before 2020 or 2021.  I put a trickle charger on while I was replacing the battery, just in case the war stories were correct that we'd lose radio settings, idle settings and so on.  That seems to have worked, but can't tell if it was necessary or not.  Next did the 5 head light flashes and 3 brake pushes.  Within a couple of seconds after that I heard mechanical sounds from the engine bay.  Not sure if it was just the brakes or something else.  No indications on the dash, as we don't have the 12 volt battery warning.

 

20220924_101820[1].jpg

Curious why you'd use a substandard spec battery in a car that seems to already snack on the more robust OEM ones?

Edited by 17MKZ3.0TT

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On 9/26/2022 at 12:05 AM, drolds1 said:

I think your SA was incorrect.  Ford stared using the BMS for the 2011MY.  See here.  This guy is a Ford tech.

 

I watched his videos.  He had a couple, mostly relating to Fords.  His 5 flash routine is what I did.

I also added his link in my post, which, for some unknown reason, is not available anymore according to youtube.

 

Most of these service advisors have no clue what's going on.  Every day is brand new and just more paper.  Unfortunately they guard the gate to the mechanics, so there's little choice.

 

Just trying to pass on what I have been told and seen.  Obviously, ymmv  🙂

Edited by rubyinla

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On 9/26/2022 at 3:08 PM, 17MKZ3.0TT said:

Curious why you'd use a substandard spec battery in a car that seems to already snack on the more robust OEM ones?

 

I think you may have missed my comment that this battery is for the HYBRID, not a 3.0 V6.  It's a whole different deal electrical system.  There is no alternator for starters (pardon the pun).  This is the Ford battery from the Ford dealer.  It is the only one that fits the space.  760 CCA just aren't needed for it.

Also, the substandard battery lasted 6 years and 53,000 miles, so it did ok.  As above, ymmv :)

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