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To me, Ford should have had the system reset itself when it detected a new battery.
No vehicle or battery manufacturer has developed a way to reliably determine the "age" of any given battery in real-time based on any suite of tests of the sort you suggest. Even 'close inference' of "age" is for practical intents impossible by such means due to the varied new-baseline characteristics among similar batteries.

The only way that can be reliably accomplished is by having a chip in the battery with battery info which is read by the vehicle. That requires a specific chip-equipped battery and vehicle systems specifically designed to read the info held on the chip (and then utilize that info). Such has been developed and tested (Jaguar and a few other high-end makers IIRC) but lacking standardization and broad adoption by both vehicle and battery manufacturers is far from common.

As you say, think about it ... there's no set of measurements that can determine a "new" battery has been installed. For example, an "old" battery may be removed from the vehicle, placed on an external charger system to 'refresh, de-sulfate, and charge', then reinstalled. When reinstalled and 'measured' by all the means you suggest that battery will then 'appear' to be 'different' from the one removed, even though it is in fact the same battery, and in fact suffers the same inherent age-related limitations that it and any other "not-new" battery suffers. The Ford system contemplates and accommodates that exact scenario (it's discussed in the WSM and thus the instruction to never reset the BMS until a true "new" battery is installed).

Granted all this to-do about battery "age" has to do with 'Nth degree' optimization of charging strategy; one may argue that's a high degree of optimization with little real-world payback for most consumers. Nonetheless it's a degree of optimization that more than a few vehicle and battery manufacturers strive to achieve and implement in real-world applications.

Just for your consideration ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I'm not sure that it would be that easy. There are so many factors that affect starting that it might be hard to detect. It would not know that the new battery has a higher CCA capability unless it needed to use that to start the vehicle. If it starts in 5 seconds using 50 amps to turn the starter then it won't know whether the battery is capable of 200 CCA or 700 CCA. I'm not sure it determines the battery capability as much as it estimates it from age, amp in and amps out.

That said, I am rather disappointed in the algorithms being used. I have been monitoring this with Forscan and just completed a round trip from Boston to NY with over 3 hours of solid driving. Afterwards, my SOC was at 62%! After starting there is an initial charging current in the ~15 amp range. Then it dropped off slowly to less than 1 amp for the rest of the trip with the SOC going up very slowly from 55% to 62%. It wasn't trying to get the battery to even 80%, not at < 0.5 amp charge rate.


This is the state prior to starting up on the return trip. Overnight, nothing plugged in, so it should have done an SOC setting.prior to this reading.

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Here is what it was doing at the end of a 3 hour, 187 mile, non-stop drive just before I shut it down. :

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Anyone trying to get their battery charged up by driving around for a while after a jump start will be severely disappointed!

This algorithm may be prolonging battery life, but at the expense of having a fully charged battery. In Massachusetts in the winter I want my battery at 100% or something close to it. While I'm usually in my warm garage and it doesn't take much to start the car, I might park at the airport in an open lot for a week at freezing temperatures and I want it to start when I need it. 62% charge may not do that. If it has decided that I don't need full charge based on my starting history then it is doing it wrong, IMHO.

Of course the other possibility is that the 62% is wrong. At 14.9 volts, the SOC may be much higher than that. But that brings into question the reliability of the energy management system.

I've just left for vacation and put a battery maintainer on the Escape, connected to the positive terminal and chassis ground lug as prescribed. It will be interesting to see what the state is when I return. I'll post it when I'm back.
 

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Anyone trying to get their battery charged up by driving around for a while after a jump start will be severely disappointed!
Not sure how you reach that conclusion, a number of the second-screen-shot parameter values seem to show noticeable positive 'up ticks'.

Do you happen to have the explicit definitions for what each of those parameters is measuring / indicating?

In the second screen shot "BAT_V_DSD - Battery Charging Volta ..... 15.10 V" catches my eye. Not sure exactly what that actually is, but the voltage level 15.10 is only seen as an alternator output when the system enters "refresh phase" associated with conditions indicative of sulfation risk according to the WSM (?).

You still seem to have a bit of confusion about the distinction between "SOC" (an ongoing real-time estimation value during drive cycle), and "SOC calibration" (the process that occurs during rest periods to improve the accuracy of SOC estimation during subsequent drive cycles). Please accept my apology if my inference is wrong.
 

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I think an unansered question here on top of all this technical discussion is how good is ANY device that measures votage and current and other parameters using indirect mehtods? I have a Foxwell battery tester and I have noticed that at times it can give very "fluky" readings. This is instument or measurement error. That also has to figue in.
 

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No vehicle or battery manufacturer has developed a way to reliably determine the "age" of any given battery in real-time based on any suite of tests of the sort you suggest. Even 'close inference' of "age" is for practical intents impossible by such means due to the varied new-baseline characteristics among similar batteries.

The only way that can be reliably accomplished is by having a chip in the battery with battery info which is read by the vehicle. That requires a specific chip-equipped battery and vehicle systems specifically designed to read the info held on the chip (and then utilize that info). Such has been developed and tested (Jaguar and a few other high-end makers IIRC) but lacking standardization and broad adoption by both vehicle and battery manufacturers is far from common.

As you say, think about it ... there's no set of measurements that can determine a "new" battery has been installed. For example, an "old" battery may be removed from the vehicle, placed on an external charger system to 'refresh, de-sulfate, and charge', then reinstalled. When reinstalled and 'measured' by all the means you suggest that battery will then 'appear' to be 'different' from the one removed, even though it is in fact the same battery, and in fact suffers the same inherent age-related limitations that it and any other "not-new" battery suffers. The Ford system contemplates and accommodates that exact scenario (it's discussed in the WSM and thus the instruction to never reset the BMS until a true "new" battery is installed).

Granted all this to-do about battery "age" has to do with 'Nth degree' optimization of charging strategy; one may argue that's a high degree of optimization with little real-world payback for most consumers. Nonetheless it's a degree of optimization that more than a few vehicle and battery manufacturers strive to achieve and implement in real-world applications.

Just for your consideration ;)

I get what you're saying, and yeah, for specific data, the battery would have to be "smart". I do appreciate some aspects of the system our Escapes use to help with battery life. Other aspects are a bit...less thoughtful. Perhaps I worded it wrong. But the system could work better, even with what is presently available, including a setting for when your habits change (like driving it less or more). But at the very least, a way to reset the monitor that couldn't easily be done accidentally would be nice. Sort of like the oil life monitor. Yes, this would make the owner more involved. But that's not a bad thing, in my opinion.
 

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I think an unansered question here on top of all this technical discussion is how good is ANY device that measures votage and current and other parameters using indirect mehtods? I have a Foxwell battery tester and I have noticed that at times it can give very "fluky" readings. This is instument or measurement error. That also has to figue in.
When you put your Foxwell on the battery terminals you're obviously making a "direct" measurement, but there's lots more in-play than instrument accuracy and precision that can contribute to "fluky" readings. Here's an article that discusses some of the potential 'flukes' in direct voltage measurement of a battery.

Direct measurement of current is even trickier with a battery since current delivery is a function of load on a circuit - that makes meaningful determination of a battery's capability to deliver current, and getting a meaningful meter-display-value, virtually impossible with a single-instant / single load-condition measurement. Those single-instant current measurement values can look "fluky" indeed.

Yeah, instrument (sensor) precision and accuracy can play a role, but in the case of voltage and current measurement tools IMO / IME most instruments (sensors) of any quality at all reduce those factors to insignificant levels for the purposes under discussion here.

IMO more critical for what's being discussed here is the instantaneous test condition and the conclusion(s) drawn from the measured value(s) based on those test condition(s); we all seem to recognize that it takes a suite of measurements under a range of conditions to characterize 'overall battery health'.
 

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I get what you're saying, and yeah, for specific data, the battery would have to be "smart". I do appreciate some aspects of the system our Escapes use to help with battery life. Other aspects are a bit...less thoughtful. Perhaps I worded it wrong. But the system could work better, even with what is presently available, including a setting for when your habits change (like driving it less or more). But at the very least, a way to reset the monitor that couldn't easily be done accidentally would be nice. Sort of like the oil life monitor. Yes, this would make the owner more involved. But that's not a bad thing, in my opinion.
I can agree on the BMS reset. If you have seen the many posts, most all of us that this was an epic FAIL by Ford. Not even a sticker to say it is needed. Also, I kind of like the concept of having driver conditions input. I am retired. I put very low mileage on the car and when I do it is mostly stop and go short trip errands. I have learned to love my battery tender and hope that it will extend the life of my battery. We typically get 3 year in the Houston area.
 

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When you put your Foxwell on the battery terminals you're obviously making a "direct" measurement, but there's lots more in-play than instrument accuracy and precision that can contribute to "fluky" readings. Here's an article that discusses some of the potential 'flukes' in direct voltage measurement of a battery.

Direct measurement of current is even trickier with a battery since current delivery is a function of load on a circuit - that makes meaningful determination of a battery's capability to deliver current, and getting a meaningful meter-display-value, virtually impossible with a single-instant / single load-condition measurement. Those single-instant current measurement values can look "fluky" indeed.

Yeah, instrument (sensor) precision and accuracy can play a role, but in the case of voltage and current measurement tools IMO / IME most instruments (sensors) of any quality at all reduce those factors to insignificant levels for the purposes under discussion here.

IMO more critical for what's being discussed here is the instantaneous test condition and the conclusion(s) drawn from the measured value(s) based on those test condition(s); we all seem to recognize that it takes a suite of measurements under a range of conditions to characterize 'overall battery health'.
I guess I should have been more specific in my comment. From the foxwell, I have seen difference in voltage simply by connecting and disconnecting and starting over. The principal concept that I had in mind though was the Foxwell SOC reading (calculation). Rarely, does it agree with my Ford OBDII reading. Even after the car has been left sitting idle overnight with no current draw.
 

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I can agree on the BMS reset. If you have seen the many posts, most all of us that this was an epic FAIL by Ford. Not even a sticker to say it is needed. Also, I kind of like the concept of having driver conditions input. I am retired. I put very low mileage on the car and when I do it is mostly stop and go short trip errands. I have learned to love my battery tender and hope that it will extend the life of my battery. We typically get 3 year in the Houston area.
If I remember correctly, we had a car that did have a setting for less use regarding the battery. I think it might have been one of the Caddies. It worked well, if you had a healthy battery. It also had few points of information available for battery and charging information. It was handy. Dare I say older, but substantially better from a user point of view than what we're picking nits with right now?

But yes, it's a sore spot that this isn't mentioned more specifically somewhere. I find a lot of gaps in information in the manual. It's a bit frustrating. But Ford used to make more comprehensive manuals. I had an older Ford once, the manual went into great detail. I smirked when I came across a page telling you how to use the clutch! I only thought, "If you can't do that beforehand, why'd you buy it?"
 

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The principal concept that I had in mind though was the Foxwell SOC reading (calculation). Rarely, does it agree with my Ford OBDII reading. Even after the car has been left sitting idle overnight with no current draw.
SOC being a "calculated" expression with any number of 'legitimate' ways to derive, lack of comparability between the two should be no big surprise.

That doesn't mean one is 'wrong' and one is 'right' or 'more correct/accurate'. All that matters is that any system deriving a calculated SOC expression to drive an action in response to that expression keep it all consistent within that system.
 

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This algorithm may be prolonging battery life, but at the expense of having a fully charged battery.
The main reason these vehicle battery management systems have been developed is to reduce fuel consumption. If the alternator is running with a low output current then there's less load on the engine. So the fuel economy improves. It helps Ford meet their mandated fleet wide fuel economy figure. Corporate average fuel economy - Wikipedia

(Battery life probably wasn't their highest priority with the BMS programming. It could possibly even be a case of just making sure the battery outlives any warranty.)
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
Not sure how you reach that conclusion, a number of the second-screen-shot parameter values seem to show noticeable positive 'up ticks'.

Do you happen to have the explicit definitions for what each of those parameters is measuring / indicating?

In the second screen shot "BAT_V_DSD - Battery Charging Volta ..... 15.10 V" catches my eye. Not sure exactly what that actually is, but the voltage level 15.10 is only seen as an alternator output when the system enters "refresh phase" associated with conditions indicative of sulfation risk according to the WSM (?).

You still seem to have a bit of confusion about the distinction between "SOC" (an ongoing real-time estimation value during drive cycle), and "SOC calibration" (the process that occurs during rest periods to improve the accuracy of SOC estimation during subsequent drive cycles). Please accept my apology if my inference is wrong.
My conclusion is based on the fact that the system has basically stops charging the battery even when it believes that it is only 62% charged. Actually less than that since the charge current dropped below 1 amp when the SOC is under 58%. It only reached 62% after another 2 hours of 70 mph driving. Yes, it is charging and the readings are improving but at that rate I'd have to drive for 12 hours more non-stop (an impossibility) to fully charge the battery. That doesn't seem correct to me.

I don't have the Forscan parameter definitions but most of them seem self-explanatory. <edit> The definitions/descriptions are available in Forscan but only when connected to a vehicle. I'm on vacation and don't have a device - or Ford - with me now. :)

My apologies for not being as specific as I should have been in the use of SOC. I do know the difference between the calculated SOC and doing an SOC calibration. What I meant by the fact that it had sat overnight with nothing connected was that the initial 52% SOC reading should have been after an SOC calibration cycle and therefore a fully calibrated value, not an estimated one, and as correct as the system would have. I should been more clear in my description.

All that matters is that any system deriving a calculated SOC expression to drive an action in response to that expression keep it all consistent within that system.
I agree completely. My issue is with the action of this system in response to what I consider to be a low SOC. See below.

The main reason these vehicle battery management systems have been developed is to reduce fuel consumption. If the alternator is running with a low output current then there's less load on the engine.
Even older relay voltage regulators cut the alternator output to zero when the battery was charged. They may not have been as exact and the full on-full off operation may not have been great for the battery but they worked and the alternator didn't load the engine when it was off. The electronic regulators varied the field current in the alternator to control the output and a fully charged battery would not be loading the engine by drawing current. This Energy Management System can't cut the load to less than zero and as best as I can tell is just a more involved control scheme.

Irrespective of battery type, age, or any other input to the SOC calculation, I would expect that if it thinks the charge is low then it should try to charge the battery and it doesn't seem to be doing that. To me that says that the system thinks that ~60% charge is the desired level.

If the way they improve mileage is by not charging the battery to full charge then I reiterate that I consider this incorrect. There is little, if any, fuel savings by maintaining the charge at 65% vs. 95%. Once the battery is charged to the 95% level and the current is reduced to the same 0.38 amps that it provided at 62% the engine load is the same and the fuel consumption is the same. Yes, it takes some fuel to get to 95% but that is where it should be IMHO. Perhaps even just 80% if that is where it should be to prevent sulfation, but it isn't getting there either in a reasonable amount of driving time.

As an additional data point, the resting voltage measured with a voltmeter prior to turning on the ignition was 12.1 volts. That seems in line with a 52% charge state. Even if the unit was trying to do a desulfation phase and get he voltage to 15.1, then I would think that it should have been putting out more than .38 amps when he voltage was at 14.85. Maybe not according to the algorithms but if the system can't accomplish what it wants to do in 3 hours of highway driving I'd be interested to know how it could ever do it.
 

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SOC being a "calculated" expression with any number of 'legitimate' ways to derive, lack of comparability between the two should be no big surprise.

That doesn't mean one is 'wrong' and one is 'right' or 'more correct/accurate'. All that matters is that any system deriving a calculated SOC expression to drive an action in response to that expression keep it all consistent within that system.
Concur.
 
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