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Practical considerations for battery options on a minivan with a wheelchair lift

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So I've been asked to find a battery for the inlaws van, that has a lift.

My instinct is that any battery will do, the lift should be operated with the van turned on. Is it normal to put a better battery in for something like this?

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Does the van have a dual battery system?
If so, make the second one a deep cycle.

If not, get the biggest starting battery that will fit.

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An AGM (absorbed glass mat) completely sealed battery may be the best choice because it's supposed to survive multiple 80% deep discharges.  Worst for deep discharges may be the unsealed maintenance-free batteries from companies like AC Delco and Exide, which are known to die after the headlights are left on overnight just 1-2 times.  The Johnson Controls batteries (many brands -- WalMart Everstart, Interstate, some Sears Diehard) used to be made to withstand 6 deep discharges, but that was back when most of their batteries were low-maintenance, not maintenance-free, as they are today.

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Thanks, no. This is an off the lot minivan with a lift, no special wiring (wiring for the lift was done by fiancée's uncle)

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I know longer drive, but when I did, all my cars were equipped with a scooter lift. No special battery, just wired into car's electric system & battery. Started car to lift in car, but didn't to drop, as dropping uses less power. Never had a problem either.

From someone with actual experience with lifts for mobility equipment.

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If they are keeping it indefinitely, get the battery with the longest free replacement warranty that is available near you. Last time I checked it was AC Delco with 42 months.

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Yeah it is a scooter lift.

I priced out the optima yellow tips, probably $130 more than what I would normally get (advance auto /Johnson control with coupons)

Got some new info, apparently the car is shocking people. So need to inspect all the wiring, probably why the battery isn't working as hot too debate being only a few years old.

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Don't waste your money on optimas. They don't last any longer or have any better warranty.

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scrouds said:   I priced out the optima yellow tips, probably $130 more than what I would normally get (advance auto /Johnson control with coupons)

Got some new info, apparently the car is shocking people. So need to inspect all the wiring, probably why the battery isn't working as hot too debate being only a few years old.

  Optimas are no longer the only AGM batteries on the market, and a week ago I saw an AGM made by East Penn/Deka (most AGMs are) for as little as $124.

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Forget I mentioned this. Apparently they want a new battery because the lift is starting to struggle when operating. When the car is on. Checked under the hood and the wires are loose.

Now I need to consider them they don't actually need a new battery.

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scrouds said:   Now I need to consider them they don't actually need a new battery.
  That's not proper english.

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Convince.

Between autocorrect, spell check and my lack of English usage norms, I'm surprised sometimes I can even get the right message across.

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scrouds said:   Forget I mentioned this. Apparently they want a new battery because the lift is starting to struggle when operating. When the car is on. Checked under the hood and the wires are loose.

Now I need to consider them they don't actually need a new battery.
 

  
Do you have a battery tester? Also, I wonder if the wiring for the lift is even done correctly. Who installed it, a dealer or a mechanic? I'm wondering if it was properly grounded, there should be a ground wire attached to the frame. Maybe fixing the loose wires will solve the problem. If the battery is still good, it should handle a scooter lift just fine, as long as they start the van prior to loading the scooter. I would think a short due to improper grounding would cause the lift to behave erratically. If you got a voltmeter, I suggest you check the wiring to make sure the proper voltage is getting to the lift. Should be a sticker/label, usually on the lift arm, that gives the power it's rated for. If they have the manual that came with the lift, that will have more info, or copy the model/make # off the sticker/label and Google it. Hopefully, it's just simply fixing the loose wiring, and nothing else.

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My fiancée uncle installed it. Ground was run back to the battery. It's that wire that was loose in its fitting. Amazingly it's even fused.

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scrouds said:   My fiancée uncle installed it. Ground was run back to the battery. It's that wire that was loose in its fitting. Amazingly it's even fused.
  

My guess is he used the installation instructions that came with it. There are alternate connections for the ground, as long as it's attached to something metal, the battery holder will do, but attaching to the car frame is the most common.  Were you able to fix the wiring and test things to see if it was functioning properly? Also, there is a fuse, and the manual from the manufacturer should say what kind, so it can be replaced if needed. I don't think I've ever replaced the fuse in either of the two I had. First was an Amigo, second one was made by Rascal, I had the local mechanic install the Rascal, my dad actually put the Amigo in. My cars were hatchbacks, so the lifts were in the rear. With a van, they are by the door. May not need the battery replaced, it sounds like the whole issue was the wiring.

 

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owee, "fiancée"?

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Haven't fixed it yet. Going to be a weekend project along with the front hubs on my car.

I think all I really need to do is strip back the exposed wiring, clean the connector up good and I'll probably solder them in.

I will grab the brand and model and find the installation instructions. I want to check on wire length vs gauge to see if it's proper.

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scrouds said:   Haven't fixed it yet. Going to be a weekend project along with the front hubs on my car.

I think all I really need to do is strip back the exposed wiring, clean the connector up good and I'll probably solder them in.

I will grab the brand and model and find the installation instructions. I want to check on wire length vs gauge to see if it's proper.

  
Not a bad idea to check to see if the wire is the correct one. I guess they don't have the paperwork that came with it? Installation instructions are either in the back of the owners manual, or on a separate set of paper sheets. Most companies do have the paperwork online though, so you should be able to find a PDF on the manufacturer website.

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Our truck has a lift gate that we operate dozen of times in 4-5 days without running the truck engine. 

We have 3 batteries, but the wiring is not correct: should have had separate wiring for the lift, but we never had a problem. 

I suggest you get 2 good quality truck batteries, if you have the room, and check if the alternator will handle that.




 

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