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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had regular service at the dealer and was told that my front battery needed to be replaced. It's 7 years old but has shown no problems starting the car. It doesn't even hesitate to start.

Do the hybrid batteries help start the car when the regular battery goes bad? How soon after replacing the front battery do most people have to replace the hybrid batteries? When the hybrid batteries start to fail, can you still drive the Escape in full gas mode?

My Escape isn't worth much now and I'd like to keep it as long as possible. But, I will get rid of it as soon as expensive repairs are needed. So far, I've only put tires and brakes on it. I've been very lucky!
 

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The Low Voltage (Front) battery does not start the Hybrid, it only runs the electronics. But, if the battery is weak, it prevents the HEV from going into electric mode, reducing gas mileage as the hybrid system tries to charge the weak 12V battery with the hybrid system in "generator mode".
 

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7 years is borrowed time on the 12v battery. I just replaced mine in January... It was 5 1/2 years old, and I knew I was on borrowed time (I usually recommend replacement at 5 years, even if you're not having problems), but I was waiting for some other bills to be paid off first before I bought a new battery. I upgraded from the stock lead acid to a Lithium battery.

 

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Love the Engrish, "No use Lead-Acid battery charger". I get 7-9 years out of batteries, I don't have to deal with cold or cold starts, but high ambient and underhood temps are likely the down fall for them.

I learn more and more about the hybrids the more I read about them here, many things I never would have guessed, like this. Rarely are details like this in the owners manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. I've always had service at a Ford dealer and expected them to test everything. I will get it replaced as soon as possible as I have had problems with the car not going into electric mode. When that happens, the mileage drops significantly But, replacing and oxygen sensor fixed that and I'm consistently getting 33 mpg.

BTW, the factory battery in my 1998 Ford Windstar lasted 7 years, also. I just thought they were putting better batteries in new cars these days.
 

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Jay2TheRescue said:
.... I upgraded from the stock lead acid to a Lithium battery.
I have been wondering if the 12v battery is a deep cycle(it seems it should be).. mine has no information on it.
I didn't know you could get Lithium car batteries.. Can you give more info on the one you got? ..And a review would be great.

Thanks,
-LT.
 

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MAX_LT said:
Jay2TheRescue said:
.... I upgraded from the stock lead acid to a Lithium battery.
I have been wondering if the 12v battery is a deep cycle(it seems it should be).. mine has no information on it.
I didn't know you could get Lithium car batteries.. Can you give more info on the one you got? ..And a review would be great.

Thanks,
-LT.
The battery was $400. Took 2 weeks to arrive from China. The life is supposed to be over 10 years. The FEH ran great on the lithium battery, but it was hit and totaled a little more than a year after I installed it. Insurance wasn't going to give me any extra to account for that battery, so I took it out before they towed it away. That battery is now in my Grand Marquis.
 

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I was pondering a lithium battery for my 2017 Escape, which already has the AGM battery since it has auto start/stop. At 60k miles it is finally testing lower than stated CCA (maintenance for life means every 10k miles it goes in for oil change and 25 point inspection/tire rotation) but still strong, I can tell it is taking longer and longer to restart automatically, and it sat so long that it phoned me telling me it was going into low power mode, so I started it up, and then drove it to do some deliveries.

Probably price prohibitive still for my Fusion, but it has a tiny battery that doesn't have an AGM version, most people hack the tray to get one to fit, most lithium batteries are much smaller.
 

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The 12v battery needs enough juice to close relays that connect the hybrid battery to the electric motors in the cvt. The hybrid battery then provides the power to the electric motor to spin the gas engine.

Before the 12v battery becomes too weak to close the relays, you will be getting strange failures such as in the instruments. Like the devil has gotten into it.

The problem with this is that we are used to noticing weak 12v batteries by slow cranking. The feh will crank just fine as long as those relays get closed, masking the weak 12v battery until some day it won't start.

7 years is far more than what I get out of 12v batteries.
 

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Jay2TheRescue said:
MAX_LT said:
Jay2TheRescue said:
.... I upgraded from the stock lead acid to a Lithium battery.
Sorry to hear your feh is toast. Are you going to get something similar?

I have been wondering if the 12v battery is a deep cycle(it seems it should be).. mine has no information on it.
I didn't know you could get Lithium car batteries.. Can you give more info on the one you got? ..And a review would be great.

Thanks,
-LT.
The battery was $400. Took 2 weeks to arrive from China. The life is supposed to be over 10 years. The FEH ran great on the lithium battery, but it was hit and totaled a little more than a year after I installed it. Insurance wasn't going to give me any extra to account for that battery, so I took it out before they towed it away. That battery is now in my Grand Marquis.
 

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I bought a CPO VW Jetta SportWagen TDI. Been averaging low 30s in town and close to 50 on the highway. Plus, the cargo area is bigger. It was the same price as a nice, low mileage well maintained FEH, but is a couple years newer, and comes with a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty.
 

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Jay2TheRescue said:
I should also note... the FEH battery is not a deep cycle.
Yeah, now that I think of it, deep cycles are good for boats or RVs that run lights, fridges etc. overnight or for multiple days. I'm not even sure if you can get a deep cycle small enough to fit the battery tray in the FEH.
A deep cycle would be nice for camping and such but probably not worth the extra cost.

-LT.
 

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So I just took a trip up the west coast (traveling to visit family while remaining isolated by solo camping) and ran smack into a 12v battery problem....from a relatively young battery at that! (I had to put it in when I got my '12 barely 20k miles ago). I only REALIZED it was a battery problem by the sulphur dioxide smell when I started up one morning because I had no other indication the battery was down at 10.7 volts (evidently that is still enough to throw the start relay) and the charge current was boiling the electrolyte.

Now I'm kinda miffed by the timing because I had figured I'd throw a LiFePO4 (lithium iron-phosphate) battery in there knowing it hardly needs any current to start, and get some deep(er) cycle use out of it with a solar-chargeable system for camping trips just like this one....but those weren't available in the one autozone in the small town closest to where I discovered this mess (and neither, frustratingly enough, was a Pep Boys who should have been able to warranty the one that went bad)...so I'm $160 into another lead acid brick.

What I'm wondering, though, is if this was related to an error code I'd gotten a few times in the days prior; wrench light came on and ODB2 scan informed me it was "engine electronics overtemp" (from which I learned this is a distinct engine electronics coolant temp sensor). I know these present 12v battery problems very strangely...since that sensor seems only to read voltage, I'm HOPING it was the dying battery that helped trigger it

The remaining possibilities that I can see are
1. a problem with the electronics coolant pump (if there is a distinct one...I need to look into this)
2. It was just legitimately hot. Dash was reading 102º outside for at least one of these...and that might be too much for the system to handle together with hill climbs and A/C (though I don't recall having trouble in similar conditions before)

...I'm hoping it wasn't either of those and that it wasn't in fact the heat that killed the battery

Anyone else have error codes thrown with a dead 12v draining on the system or is it mostly more reluctant EV mode and instrumentation strangeness?

EDIT: I should add that the front battery is definitely NOT a deep cycle and appears to be just the same spec as the gas-only escapes.
 

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EscapeFromLA said:
So I just took a trip up the west coast (traveling to visit family while remaining isolated by solo camping) and ran smack into a 12v battery problem....from a relatively young battery at that! (I had to put it in when I got my '12 barely 20k miles ago). I only REALIZED it was a battery problem by the sulphur dioxide smell when I started up one morning because I had no other indication the battery was down at 10.7 volts (evidently that is still enough to throw the start relay) and the charge current was boiling the electrolyte.

Now I'm kinda miffed by the timing because I had figured I'd throw a LiFePO4 (lithium iron-phosphate) battery in there knowing it hardly needs any current to start, and get some deep(er) cycle use out of it with a solar-chargeable system for camping trips just like this one....but those weren't available in the one autozone in the small town closest to where I discovered this mess (and neither, frustratingly enough, was a Pep Boys who should have been able to warranty the one that went bad)...so I'm $160 into another lead acid brick.

What I'm wondering, though, is if this was related to an error code I'd gotten a few times in the days prior; wrench light came on and ODB2 scan informed me it was "engine electronics overtemp" (from which I learned this is a distinct engine electronics coolant temp sensor). I know these present 12v battery problems very strangely...since that sensor seems only to read voltage, I'm HOPING it was the dying battery that helped trigger it

The remaining possibilities that I can see are
1. a problem with the electronics coolant pump (if there is a distinct one...I need to look into this)
2. It was just legitimately hot. Dash was reading 102º outside for at least one of these...and that might be too much for the system to handle together with hill climbs and A/C (though I don't recall having trouble in similar conditions before)

...I'm hoping it wasn't either of those and that it wasn't in fact the heat that killed the battery

Anyone else have error codes thrown with a dead 12v draining on the system or is it mostly more reluctant EV mode and instrumentation strangeness?

EDIT: I should add that the front battery is definitely NOT a deep cycle and appears to be just the same spec as the gas-only escapes.
How did it turn out?
It kind of sounds like a problem with the voltage converter - HV to 12v. Like it wasn't managing the charge properly.. damaging the 12v battery and overheating.
 

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The replacement 12V has seemed fine since replacement: I'll throw a meter on it before starting next time, just to see what the resting voltage is. Now that the hot weather has abated some, I've not had any more overtemp warnings either
 

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Sooo...interestingly enough I checked resting voltage from the cig lighter/outlet in the dash before starting up today and it was 12.0 (just under 12.1)...which is pretty low. Car thought so too as the engine started IMMEDIATELY on key turn.

Perhaps I have more problems than a short-lived lead acid after all. I'll check in again if I come up with anything
 

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I've noticed both batteries drain if I don't use the vehicle for a number of days. I have a solar panel(25w) with a lighter plug that I put on the dash if I'm not going to be using it for awhile. It seems to keep the 12v battery above 12 quite nicely. Might be something to think about.

-Max.
 

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I just ordered a battery tester (not a load tester) that gives you a state of health and state of charge on the 12V system. I think this will be a good indicator of when to change the 12V battery. Should earn my money back just from the piece of mind knowing when to replace it.
 
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