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Old 06-24-2011, 08:13 PM   #1
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Having Bad Experience with Braille Battery

Hi! Been with the forum for a few years but haven't had an issue with my Boxster S until now thats stumped me. Previous posts still haven't set me straight.

I own a 2005 Porsche Boxster S 987

My battery recently went dead. Standard factory Moll battery lasted a little over 5 yrs. I was impressed. As I noticed cranking to lessen, I ordered a 17lb Braille battery to replace it with after reading some good reviews on the site about them. I have an audio setup on my Box but its not terribly power hungry. I went for quality over quantity with my setup. Besides, I never run my system without the car running.

Had to jump start my car for the first time to drive it to the dealer when the factory battery failed me. They did a custom install of the Braille and there were no initial problems. Within the next 2 weeks I noticed a few issues. I knew the computer had to reset itself since the battery was replaced so i attributed them to that.

Note: My car is my daily driver. 96000 miles. I drive it almost every day. Love every minute.

#1 Every other day or so, the car would "reset". That is, when I started it, the hazards would be on and the time set back to 12:00 with all the lights coming up, and a rare PSM failure that corrected itself quickly on a few "resets". It didn't matter how long the car sat, 1 min or 1 day, it "reset" every other day it seemed. I assumed it would go away (never replaced battery before so I'm unsure). No dimming or other causes for concern.

#2 After like a week and half of this, one day I left work to go to lunch. Car started fine. Stopped at kfc, walked in, (had left my wallet at home ), walked out, sat down, turn key and nothing. Windows move and lights on in interior but will not start, and of course the key is stuck! No dash lights, no food, no start. Googled and saw the battery might be dead. ???? I'm sure it just cant die like that. When AAA comes, I do the front trunk trick (fun for first time), and open the front trunk, unclamp, and now the lights are on in the dash. WITHOUT jumping the battery, i just got the thought, and I try and start the car. It starts!

#3 From then on its like the car is charging the battery thru the rest of the day. Cranking is slower but it starts when I leave work later that day, as well as the next morning. For the next 2 weeks, I have intermittent times of slower than usual cranking (u know then the car isn't starting as strong as usual), and still the "resets". All this time I didn't think voltage. Stupid. When I finally did 2 weeks later, I just popped the radar detector in when I started it, and it warns me, low voltage. >.<

#4 A week from the Kfc incident, I got off work and sat in the car for about 15m with the key in the ignition (not turned on but amp draw is way more still), talking on the phone. God knows it wouldn't start when tried and it was dead again. This time I did need to jump start it. This is a brand new battery now and its gone dead twice. Or has it?

I call Braille first. Originally bought from tire rack. Tire rack has 30 day return policy. I talk to the braille rep, Ive had the battery less than 30 days and I've had these issues. I assume either the battery is bad, or I need to increase to the 21 lb battery. I cant ignore the fact that everything was fine before the battery swap. Braille rep says I can return 17lb for another 17lb, or I can upgrade to 21lb, but I only get 65% of what I paid for the 17lb towards it! And there's only 1 replacement. Tire rack says that Braille has to authorize the return before they will take it back! Braille says they only accept returns in 14 days. Please tell me I'm not screwed?! To even do an exchange? All Id like, is to pay return shipping and the difference in price for the larger battery.

At this point, the value of this battery is much lower since its possibly discharged twice. I can pay the difference and take my 65% purchase price offer if it comes down to it. However, that type of service seems a bit unfair. Ive had this supposedly premium product less than a month. But is there something I am missing here? What might you recommend? Its only a matter of of time before it leaves me stranded.

Thx

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Old 06-24-2011, 08:59 PM   #2
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Alternator?
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:16 AM   #3
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#2 After like a week and half of this, one day I left work to go to lunch. Car started fine. Stopped at kfc, walked in, (had left my wallet at home ), walked out, sat down, turn key and nothing. Windows move and lights on in interior but will not start, and of course the key is stuck! No dash lights, no food, no start. Googled and saw the battery might be dead. ???? I'm sure it just cant die like that. When AAA comes, I do the front trunk trick (fun for first time), and open the front trunk, unclamp, and now the lights are on in the dash. WITHOUT jumping the battery, i just got the thought, and I try and start the car. It starts!


I'd look at the ignition switch which can do odd things. Maybe its not turning off your electronics and draining the battery. Or, maybe, it's not allowing you to start the car when you think it is.

Either way, I'd dump that battery.
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:39 AM   #4
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You have a bad ignition switch.
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:47 AM   #5
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While you may have other issues (ignition switch, charging system, etc.), I really think you need to take a hard look at using one of these light weight batteries in a daily driver; these light weight units are designed for off road use, but are being marketed for street use; often advertising electrical output (CCA, reserve amps, etc.) that is measured using non standard methodologies (if these batteries were tested under BCI specs, they are actually much weaker than they claim). These light weight units are simply not designed for, or capable, of normal street usage.

We have had more than one customer install a light weight battery, only to shortly encounter all kinds of electrical and electronic “gremlins”, ranging from Litronics that would not ignite, to weird displays on the OEM electronics, and intermittent electrical issues (starting problems in both cold and warm weather, dim lights, stereo systems issues, etc. In most cases, we could find no organic issues with the car, the light weight battery failed a standard load test, and the problems went away with the installation of a correctly sized battery.
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Last edited by JFP in PA; 06-25-2011 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:15 AM   #6
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I have a braille in mine and have had similar issues. Fortunately, it's not a daily driver.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:32 AM   #7
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But would a bad ignition switch cause the car to reset like that? Its never acted up like this until I changed the battery. And your right, I think the weather might effect it. Those days I had the jumps were during a really hot week.

I considered the alt. But it didnt match with instant death of the battery like that. And it is charging otherwise the car wouldnt run now with the short time that battery can run things.

Should i try dthe 21lb? Or take my losses and go with another brand?
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:55 AM   #8
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Any battery you chose that does not meet the correct BCI specs (CCA, reserve amps, etc.) for your car is going to eventually cause these problems. What makes me chuckle is how much extra you have to pay in order to have all this grief. So you decide which battery is best for your world..............
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:57 PM   #9
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I guess ill just get a regular battery and lose weight somewhere else. Itll cost just as much to upgrade to 21 pounds. Maybe I can sell the replacement battery from braille.
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Last edited by darkstormvx; 06-25-2011 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Wrong post
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:40 PM   #10
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JFP is right. Lightweight battery + daily driver + audio system = bad news.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:12 AM   #11
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Darkstorm - have you tried charging your new battery over a 12 - 15 hours with an external battery charger?
Sometimes new batteries (light weight or not) require an initial, steady state charge over a protracted time frame that a car alternator cannot give...
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:03 AM   #12
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It's the battery. I put on a new alternator and a new ignition switch and still had the issues. Be careful using just any battery charger. Braille makes their own dedicated charger, and using any other charger voids the warranty.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:27 AM   #13
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I can get a charger, but wouldnt I run into the same issues anyway? Im assuming it came out of the box with a full charge based on the date of manufacture. And it still ended up dying randomly. I dont operate anything in my car without it running.

I think if the battery needed an initial charge the manufacturer would've indicated it. In any case, the very next day after install I made a 450 mile trip to DC and back. Wouldnt that be sufficient to charge it?
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkstormvx
I think if the battery needed an initial charge the manufacturer would've indicated it. In any case, the very next day after install I made a 450 mile trip to DC and back. Wouldnt that be sufficient to charge it?
Yes, it should. The issue is not the level of charge, it is the power reserve capacity (amps) of the unit; the Braille is light because it does not have the lead/lead oxide mass necessary to store the power to run all the stuff in the car, like your aftermarket stereo system, which is a huge power draw. These batteries are problematic for street use.

You need a correctly sized battery...............
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:19 PM   #15
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I'll just sell the replacement they send me and get an interstate battery. Id rather my car ran like it should, and this battery will kill my power system eventually.

Thanks for the advice. Maybe I can get my hands on one of those costco batteries.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:46 PM   #16
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Maybe simply loose battery cable connections or a faulty new battery.

If your primary car use is DD or weekend joyride and you want bulletproof operation, use a standard battery. If your primary use is motorsport and this is one of the few ways to lose weight and remain class legal, use a light weight AGM battery.

FWIW I have been using a 15lb AGM motorsport battery for two years. If the car will sit for more than two weeks without use I put it on a battery maintainer as long term storage will discharge it. Otherwise I have had no issues and appreciate the weight savings.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:02 PM   #17
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Update

The good: I snatched an optima yellow top battery from advanced auto and after about 2 hrs building a hold-down, its in there. Ive NEVER heard my car crank up so strong. Its like night and day from the braille. Much better for my setup.

The bad: Even with the optima, there is still something wrong. I started it up the morning after (same strong start) and I had the hazards come on and the clock was reset to 12:00 again. At the mall, I went in and bought a shirt came out, sat down and put the key in, lights came up and as I turned the key everything cut off. Lights out in the dash but interior lights were bright. Key stuck again. Had guy come with jump box and popped hood. We had a hard time getting the power to flow thru when he put the clamps on. He had to wiggle the positive side as the dash lights flashed on and if it moved they cut off. Sometime dash lights came on, id turn key and it'd cut off. Finally started it and it started just as strong. When I started to drive off the headlights started dimming for a few seconds then stopped and I drove home.

Anyone have an idea of what could be causing this? I put the battery in myself so I know the cables are tight and correct. The battery is brand new and a deep cycle. I feel it in my bones, it wasn't dead. What I do know...is that none of this ever happened (hazards coming on, key stuck no power, computer reset, and alarm went OFF unexpectedly 2 nights), none of it happened until I had the dealer install the braille battery. And I know it started happening right after they did it.

I swear its like something is stopping the flow of power. I doubt the braille caused these issues now.

Ignition switch? Maybe, but it happening RIGHT after battery swap is very coincidental.

Alternator? Maybe, Never had any problems with it.

Did the dealer cut a line or cross a cable? Should I just take it back? Any ideas are appreciated.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:26 PM   #18
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Make complete sure your ground cable is secure from the battery to the firewall.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:32 PM   #19
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Ill check that! I did notice it was a little loose when I put the new battery in. Thx.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:51 AM   #20
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Similarly to the earth also check the other end of the power cable. It attaches to a single bolt on the battery side of the firewall. Also check how well the cable is installed into the battery clamp. If wiggling the positive terminal is causing the inside lights to flicker (along with all your other symptoms) then I would drive to the nearest Auto parts store and buy a replacement positive lead. It's about a foot long with a battery clamp on one end and a eye on the other. It'll cost 10 bucks and will probably solve your issue.

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