battery charge vs cranks - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:24 AM
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Question battery charge vs cranks

We have a 4WD ’03 Econoline RV conversion van. My wife drives it daily to the office, back home for lunch, back to the office then home in the afternoon. Cranks it 4 times a day. Problem is the engine only runs 7 – 10 min. each trip, with 5 min. of that at idle setting setting at traffic lights. Question…is that anywhere enough run time on the engine to charge the loss in the battery that occurs from each cranking?

Last edited by caver; 04-10-2006 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:51 AM
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What is the CCA rating on the battery? And what size is the engine?
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:22 PM
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short run

couple of problems with that-

One is water. When you run the engine, the combustion process creates water. But if the engine and exhaust system never get hot enough to evaporate that water, it just sits there in the exhaust system and turns everything to rust.

The other problem, which is actually a bigger concern for diesels like yours, is oil dilution. When the engine is cold, a lot of the fuel that pours into the cylinders never gets combusted. And some of the uncombusted fuel sneaks down past the rings and gets into your oil which dilutes your oil and makes it less slippery (because diesel fuel is not as good a lubricant as oil). And when you try to lubricate your engine with a mixture of oil and diesel fuel, the end result is that your engine won't last as long.

since the vast majority of your driving is done when your engine is cold, you'll be diluting your oil much more than the average diesel-engine owner. (By the way, if you had a gasoline-engine and drove it like this, you'd dilute your oil, too. But gasoline engines have a way of purging excess fuel from the oil when they get good and hot. Diesels really don't.)

could try a block heater to prewarm the engine, but change the oil more often. i would say once or every two months.

as far as the batterys, if your alt. is weak, it will not correctly charge the batts. in that short of time.....
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:29 PM
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as far as the charging system, its not really a concern although it may wear down the batteries in less milage since it gets cranked more...

the real think you are doing is not letting the motor fully lubricate itself and also you are aslo doing the things 099 listed above.....its really not good for a motor......the 6.0's dont benifit from the "not shutting it of" theory like the older diesels....but no motor benifits from those short trips like that.........Marc
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:12 AM
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Thanks for the input!

Banshee34 - CCV 750 rating, engine is a 7.3L

099f350 – good advice on the oil change. Have a block heater.

Marc – “no motor benefits from those short trips like that” I understand…the convince of living close to the office may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:25 AM
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My lil brother told me when I bought my PSD that short trips damaged the engine, but not why...... Very VERY nice to know WHY now!!! Thanks guys!
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