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Discussion Starter #1
Quick question: In using a multimeter or battery tester to check battery, alternator, etc., MUST you connect tester leads to the ACTUAL battery terminals, or can you get an accurate reading using the remote terminals? What is the BEST method to get accurate result?

Thanks very much.
 

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Okay, here is some knowledge for anyone who needs it, maybe it will help someone. I connected new battery maintainer last night to the remote terminals, and after about 30 minutes I got an error light indicating that I had a bad battery and that it would not take a charge. My question above was so I could do some troubleshooting.

However, I just went and hooked the clamps to the actual terminals (they are really not difficult to access). Voilà, the maintainer is working perfectly.

LESSON: Use the actual terminals.
 

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You can check the connections by checking voltage at the battery terminals first, then check voltage at the connectors that attach to the battery terminals. If there is any voltage drop between the battery terminals and the cable terminal connectors, You could have a corrosion problem there that can be fixed by cleaning the terminals and connectors. Cars will vary some but my voltage with the engine running is between 13.5V and 14V. If you do remove the battery connections to clean them, be sure to use another battery to supply voltage to the car while your battery is disconnected so you don't lose any settings. You can connect it to the positive connection at the under hood fuse box and the negative just about anywhere on the block. You can't use your battery maintainer for that purpose. Once it senses that there is no battery connected, it will shut down.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
"If you do remove the battery connections to clean them, be sure to use another battery to supply voltage to the car while your battery is disconnected so you don't lose any settings. You can connect it to the positive connection at the under hood fuse box and the negative just about anywhere on the block."

Thank you for the info., Joybill. This would be necessary when replacing the battery as well. When you say "You can connect it to the positive connection at the under hood fuse box" I assume you mean the remote positive terminal. Is that correct? And the negative could go on the remote negative?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also, as an alternative to hooking up another battery, don't they make devices you can plug in to the 12V outlet to keep the presets while you change the battery?
 

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Okay, here is some knowledge for anyone who needs it, maybe it will help someone. I connected new battery maintainer last night to the remote terminals, and after about 30 minutes I got an error light indicating that I had a bad battery and that it would not take a charge. My question above was so I could do some troubleshooting.

However, I just went and hooked the clamps to the actual terminals (they are really not difficult to access). Voilà, the maintainer is working perfectly.

LESSON: Use the actual terminals.
If you are getting different results at the remote terminal than you are at the battery, you have a bad cable or connector. I have always connected my maintainer/charger/booster, to the remote terminal.

Also, as an alternative to hooking up another battery, don't they make devices you can plug in to the 12V outlet to keep the presets while you change the battery?
Yes. It is a battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, John. I definitely got a different (i.e., better) result once I switched to the actual battery terminals. It's been working perfectly for about 4 hours now.

"Battery Memory Savers" is the device I'm thinking of, couldn't recall the name when I posted earlier. Several different kinds, some plug into OBD-II, some are powered by 9V battery and plug directly in 12V port. From what I've read 9V is sufficient during the swap, but probably best to do all the prep work (i.e., accessing battery) ahead of time to minimize the time that 9V is relied upon.
 

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"If you do remove the battery connections to clean them, be sure to use another battery to supply voltage to the car while your battery is disconnected so you don't lose any settings. You can connect it to the positive connection at the under hood fuse box and the negative just about anywhere on the block."

Thank you for the info., Joybill. This would be necessary when replacing the battery as well. When you say "You can connect it to the positive connection at the under hood fuse box" I assume you mean the remote positive terminal. Is that correct? And the negative could go on the remote negative?

Thanks.
yes.
 

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Okay, here is some knowledge for anyone who needs it, maybe it will help someone. I connected new battery maintainer last night to the remote terminals, and after about 30 minutes I got an error light indicating that I had a bad battery and that it would not take a charge.
What "remote terminals"? I'm guessing you probably made the rookie mistake ( :) ) of connecting to the Red AND Black terminals at the fuse box? If so, the Red terminal is fine for the positive connection, but the Black terminal is NOT A GROUND POINT. A ground point is available as a metal strip sticking away from the engine block alongside the fusebox. So then, you can connect your maintainer to that (circled below) and the Red terminal, and just leave the Black terminal alone.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, TomatoSoup. I am admittedly a "rookie" with the Solstice, but I did not make that mistake. I connected to the red remote at the fusebox and to the metal ground strip attached to the engine block. Now, it is possible that corrosion on the ground strip was the culprit. I did hit it with a wire brush before connecting, but I probably could have done a better job of it. There is no corrosion on my actual battery terminals.

btw: for what it's worth, the battery in there from the previous owner is a Wallyworld special with a date of 1/16 on it and I haven't had a problem with it yet. I'm amazed.
 

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Thanks, TomatoSoup. I am admittedly a "rookie" with the Solstice, but I did not make that mistake. I connected to the red remote at the fusebox and to the metal ground strip attached to the engine block.
Hmmm. In that case that whould've been a perfectly acceptable way of attaching it. Maybe either the cable from the battery to the red terminal is flaky, or you have a poor grounding connection to the engine block. If you have a multimeter, can you test the resistance from the + battery to the red terminal, and similarly the - to the block?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks. I will do that and report back. For now, keeping battery maintainer connected to battery terminals and everything is working perfectly. Battery tester shows that battery is in fact fully charged.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey, Tomato Soup. What Ohms setting on the multimeter should I use for testing resistance? And, acknowledging this is a "stupid question," but I assume this should be measured with engine and everything else turned off.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay - so I don't know anything about resistance (or how to measure it properly). :D

BUT, I do know how to measure voltage. I get the exact same number of volts (12.57) whether I measure across the actual battery terminals or across the remote red and the grounding strip. No idea if that means anything or whether it's a useful piece of information in figuring out why maintainer works only when connected to actual battery terminals.
 

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That is useful. It means you are getting voltage through the wiring. You should check the resistance too. For what you are checking, just set your meter to 20 ohms and check the negative connection by placing one probe on the negative terminal of the battery and the other on the grounding strip. You should read zero resistance (all zeros) if you have good connections. you can do the same with the positive battery terminal and the remote red terminal. Before you hook the meter to anything, set it to ohms, 20 ohms, 200 ohms, it really doesn't matter, then touch the two meter probes together. It should go from whatever you have it set at to all zeros, indicating no resistance
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, Bill. The lowest ohm setting on my multimeter is 200. If I set it to 200 and touch the probes to each other it goes from OL to 00.2 (no matter how many times I repeat it, it will not go to 00.0).

Moving to the car, I just did the measurements using the 200 ohm setting. On the red I got 00.2. On the black I got 00.3 For both, the numbers did jump around before settling at these values.

I should mention that earlier today I took a wire brush again to both the ground strap and the remote red terminal, and then tried to hook up the maintainer to them. No go. But when I hooked to the battery terminals it worked.

thanks.
 

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Thanks, Bill. The lowest ohm setting on my multimeter is 200. If I set it to 200 and touch the probes to each other it goes from OL to 00.2 (no matter how many times I repeat it, it will not go to 00.0).

Moving to the car, I just did the measurements using the 200 ohm setting. On the red I got 00.2. On the black I got 00.3 For both, the numbers did jump around before settling at these values.

I should mention that earlier today I took a wire brush again to both the ground strap and the remote red terminal, and then tried to hook up the maintainer to them. No go. But when I hooked to the battery terminals it worked.

thanks.
I should have mentioned that you will get a tiny bit of resistance no matter what. Your readings indicate that you have a good circuit. You might check the resistance between the negative ground strap and the block and you could remove the ground strap and clean the connection between the block and the strap. This is a real puzzler because the remote positive stud beside the underhood fuse box and the negative ground strap is exactly where I hook my maintainer. What type of maintainer do you have? Mine is a Battery Tender Jr. Most maintainers will shut themselves down if they do not sense a battery in the circuit and it sounds like that is what yours is doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks, Bill. The maintainer is the NOCO 2 (2 amp). When I try to connect remotely, it does sense that it is connected to a battery and it begins the charge. The issue is that it never progresses past the 25% charged stage and then, at some point, it displays a bad battery error. BUT, when I connect to the battery terminals, it progresses normally all the way up to fully charged and maintenance charge mode, and never displays an error. So, remotely, it's sensing the battery but then something goes wrong.

Maybe it's because I am using the big alligator clamps, and the connection to that skinny little remote terminal just isn't sufficient (good enough to sense but not to effect a charge)??

In any event, the good news is that my battery and alternator are both good (as confirmed by multimeter), and the maintainer does work perfectly as long as it's connected directly to the battery. I have not tried to do it through the 12volt outlet, although I have a connector to do so.

Thanks to you (and everyone else) for your time and your help.
 

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Thanks, Bill. The maintainer is the NOCO 2 (2 amp). When I try to connect remotely, it does sense that it is connected to a battery and it begins the charge. The issue is that it never progresses past the 25% charged stage and then, at some point, it displays a bad battery error. BUT, when I connect to the battery terminals, it progresses normally all the way up to fully charged and maintenance charge mode, and never displays an error. So, remotely, it's sensing the battery but then something goes wrong.

Maybe it's because I am using the big alligator clamps, and the connection to that skinny little remote terminal just isn't sufficient (good enough to sense but not to effect a charge)??

In any event, the good news is that my battery and alternator are both good (as confirmed by multimeter), and the maintainer does work perfectly as long as it's connected directly to the battery. I have not tried to do it through the 12volt outlet, although I have a connector to do so.

Thanks to you (and everyone else) for your time and your help.
Just a wild guess but it might be the maintainer. Borrow another one and see if it works better or try the 12v outlet with your maintainer.
 
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