More Jeep battery problems…and a rat problem


For some reason the Jeep just goes through batteries. I think it’s probably because it never really goes anywhere and so the battery is never really fully charged. But that’s just a guess. Anyway, we seem to go through this every winter. The past two mornings after rather cold nights it has been reluctant to turn the starter motor over, and I thought I’d better take the opportunity of a warmish afternoon to see if servicing it will help.


Step one: Clean off the battery, clean and tighten the connections. And all are indeed filthy, so that could just possibly fix the problem right there. In fact if it doesn’t – and if the problem doesn’t turn out to be in the starter motor, which happened one time – the next step is a new battery.

Having done that, which took no time at all, I went into the powershed for my Battery Minder…


[Honest Trailer Awesome Voice] In a world where a man finds himself dinking around with batteries all the freaking time…he needs a Battery Minder.


sigh – preferably one that hasn’t been quietly rat-chewed since the last time he used it.

Break out the tools and a soldering iron. Search till you find where you left the solder, which of course you didn’t store with the frickin’ iron. Trim the wire and solder it together – of course you can’t find your heatshrink so tape it tight as you can…


…and we’re back in business.


The Jeep and the Battery Minder are old friends. Last year they spent a whole month together when I went to the city without them. So I’ll let them catch up on business overnight, and then in the next few cold mornings we’ll see if that fixed anything.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to More Jeep battery problems…and a rat problem

  1. Ben says:

    You are quite possibly correct that your Jeep simply doesn’t get enough running time to keep the battery charged. They make little 5 and 10 watt PV battery chargers with built in battery charge regulators. Would something like that, permanently installed to keep the battery up, make sense? ( By the way, the regulator is an absolute necessity, even on a sub-one amp trickle charger. )

  2. Kentucky says:

    With the pandemic limiting my “into town” runs, my truck frequently sits unstarted for a week, sometimes two. Began experiencing no-start episodes when I did need to go somewhere. On one of my infrequent town trips I bought a little totally-regulated battery minder at W-Mart, hooked it up, and leave it connected all the time since (except when driving, of course). No further problems.

  3. Robert says:

    What Ben said.

  4. Zelda says:

    My vehicle often sits unused now in very cold weather so I paid the price for a glass mat battery which is in its third winter. So far no issues except the initial cost which required smelling salts and a chair to sit down on although I’d always bought the biggest and best lead acid. Maybe the AGMs don’t cost as much now.

  5. Desert Rat says:

    I had the same problem. Because of Covid, my truck has been driven A LOT less, sometimes it will sit for two or three weeks. I bought a little $20 Coleman solar battery minder from Walmart, and have been using it about 5 months now. It works great. I’m hopeful it will continue to work through the rest of the winter. I just leave it on the cash and plugged into the cigarette lighter, which on my old truck is always not even when the ignition is off. It comes with a long cord and alligator clips if you don’t have a cigarette lighter that is always hot, so you can hook it up to the battery.

  6. Spokes says:

    Speaking of batteries…how is your e-bike holding up? Last I read, some time ago, there was an issue and you were waiting for parts. Did you get it sorted and are you still finding it a useful alternative to shoe leather or Jeepin”? Does the colder temps diminish the battery range enough to notice?

  7. B says:

    What Ben said. In fact, if you get the regulated unit, it will be just like your Battery Minder while the sun is shining.

    A decent lead-acid auto battery should last 5 or more years if it is kept above 85% state of charge.

  8. Joel says:

    The ebike is doing well. We did have a harness failure in (I think) June which took a month or so to sort out but I can only say nice things about Rad Power customer support. The open circuit turned out to be in the battery mount which was impossible to pinpoint just by wiggling harness connectors and in the end they expensively sent me one of every part the open circuit could possibly be in. Can’t complain about that.

  9. Mike says:

    As others have said, solar battery minders are a good investment. I have one on a JD S240 that only gets flashed up once a month for cutting th lawn or plowing the snow. It hasn’t let me down yet. (looks around for wood to knock on)

To the stake with the heretic!