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Buell Forum » Knowledge Vault (tech, parts, apparel, & accessories topics) » Troubleshooting (Poor Starting/Running/Handling/Ride Issues) » Error Code 16 Low Battery Voltage just started « Previous Next »

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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Three times now in the past 2 weeks. Only ride here once a week in the Winter for an hour or so. Been keeping it on a trickle Charger.

Ironically, I contacted Buell regarding the new Race ECM (that I installed last Fall) Batt Voltage parameters and am being told that they are much tighter than the OEM ECM with no cushion. Thus, if the battery goes below 6.5 Volts level, the idiot light comes on. Where as the OEM ECM was more in the tune of 6.0 threshold before illuminating the idiot light.

I am actually getting a Yuasa YTX14H 260CCA to replace the YUASA YTX14-BS 210CCA that is in her at the moment. Local old HD mech recommended that I get more start up power as it will not use as much juice on start up thus dropping the voltage to below mins.

Comments/Verification.

EDIT: Just did a voltage reading check. It's reading 12.7 prior to turning on the key, key on it read 12.33. Shut off, voltage climbed back up to 12.75. Turned the key back on and it dropped to 12.33. Shut off it returned to 12.75. Repeated two more times and got the same results.

Does Amperage have anything to do with Error Code 16 Low/High Voltage?

(Message edited by RickPXB12SCGR on January 29, 2015)
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015 - 04:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Ok... here is an update.

Went out and read the voltage this morning after having it on the trickle charger all night. 12.83.

Went ahead and started it up and it dipped to an even 7 volts on crank up. After which she climbed up to 14.39 or and remained there till the fan came on. Then it dipped to 11.6 and the Idiot light came on.

I then shut her down and restarted. The crank was a longer pause than usual and the voltage dropped to 6.4 volts on crank up and then just climbed up to 11.5 and remained there.

I am assuming that the battery is shot per the Maint Manuals comment on Error Code 16 and Low Voltage on start up. This also from other threads I have read that anything below a drop at 10 volts on crank up indicates a bad dying battery.

Can someone please confirm this assumption.

BTW, I have a new Yuasa YTX14H 260 CCA on the way.
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Buellistic
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015 - 04:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

You must understand that a BATTERY can be FULLY CHARGED, "BUT" if the CRANKING "AMPS" are not there it will not START your bike ...
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015 - 04:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

And what does that essentially mean Buelistic.

Shot battery?
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Reepicheep
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015 - 04:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)


quote:

Then it dipped to 11.6 and the Idiot light came on




So it was running and it did that? That isn't right. Could be a battery, could be the stator, could be the voltage regulator, could be the connection between one of those bits.

Pop off the primary chain tension adjuster cover and take a whiff of the primary. If it is an eye wateringly intense smell like a burnt up chemical factory, it's your stator.
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015 - 04:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

All smells good. Can only smell the sweat smell of the Klotz Primary Chaincase oil.
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Buellistic
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015 - 06:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Rickxb12scgr: "YES !!!"

OLD SCHOOL: If you get the last ELECTRON out of your BATTERY it will usually take
one or more electrical components with it ...

BATTERY Class 101, just PM me for a copy ...
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015 - 07:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

PM Sent... thanks.


Last question:

Battery is 18 months old. What is the typical cause of deteriorating battery such as this.


EDIT: Just found the answer to my question here.

" A healthy 12 volt motorcycle battery should maintain a range from 9.5 - 10.5 volts under the load for a good 30 seconds straight. If the battery begins to hold and then steadily drops in voltage, there is a problem. If the voltage instantly drops to 0 volts, that is also a problem. We call this the open cell. On a new battery, this can be a result of manufacturing flaws, but it also may be caused by sulfate crystal buildup. Under the intense heat of the load, one or more of the weld pieces connecting the cells is coming loose and separating. This will cut the current, and voltage will drop. When the battery cools off, the pieces will touch, barely giving a complete connection. This gives you a false voltage reading. Batteries with open cells may read fully charged in idle, but they fail under a load test every time. Once a battery reaches this point, there is no going back. The best thing to do is recycle the thing."

http://www.batterystuff.com/blog/how-to-tell-if-your-battery-is-bad.html


Obviously my current battery failed the load test of cranking it over miserably by drooping down to 7 volts and then 6.4 on the second crank up.

(Message edited by RickPXB12SCGR on January 30, 2015)
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Reepicheep
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 09:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

That description is OK, but it doesn't talk about what the load is, and the load could vary wildly. For example, a monstorous air cooled VTwin with 20w50 oil.

7 and 6.5 volts is low, but I've seen it on batteries that will still start a Uly.

The biggest red flag I have seen so far is if you saw 11.6 volts *while the engine was running*. That should never happen, and it suggests stator to me. Though usually they stink to high heaven when they go.

Check battery terminal connections, and check your "77" connector (disconnect and clean). You can also recover a lot of half dead Harley batteries with a smart charger / conditioner.

I got this Schumacher on a whim off the shelf at my local wal mart:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Schumacher-XM1-5-Maintai ner-1.5-Amp/15140193

And it has brought a couple of Harley batterys back to the land of the living. It won't do it right away though, I have two batteries, and one is in the bike and the other sits on this charger for a month or two at a time, and every few days when I walk out to the garage I disconnect and reconnect it to "restart" it's conditioning cycle. It probably doesn't really require a month, but it may need a week.

Again though, that low voltage with a running bike does not sound like a power storage issue (battery related). It sounds like a power making issue (stator). Though it is still possible it is the battery, the symptoms of charging failure can get weird and multiple components seem to fail together (one thing dies, and stresses another thing, and both fail).
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 06:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thanks REEP.

I just got off the phone with an old still active Buell Mech down at Antelope Harley and he is pretty certain that it is a battery issue.

He asked if I did the smell check in the Primary. That if the stator is checking out the smell is very obvious and a light blue smoke can also be observed escaping as soon as the cover is removed. I told him I did the check and saw nor smelt anything.

He then went on to the load voltage check during the crank up. That it should not drop below 8.0 volts. That the next load check is to let the bike warm up to normal op temps and idle rpms then shut her down. Wait a minute and then initiate a second crank up and monitor the voltage. If it is lower than the initial crank up, then you have a faulty battery and to replace it.

He restated the issue of one of the walls separating within the battery that is most likely the issue and can not be fixed nor can any recharging remedy.

He also highly recommended I get a higher rated CCA battery if I am not riding on regular longer than an hour rides. He said that OEM CCA's when the bike is not riden regularly will drain the AMPs and over a period of time fry the batteries ability to maintain a decent charge and amp rating.
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Reepicheep
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 06:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Let us know how it turns out! The stock battery is barely adequate on a good day, and it will fail over time regardless, so a new and better battery is a good investment regardless.
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Buellistic
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 08:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Rickpxb12scgr:

Keep good notes so you can sent me a BATTERY Class 101 ...


FM is how it all works !!!
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 04:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

OK.. Update!

I went ahead and took both the 77 and Stator pugs apart, cleaned them up real good with contact cleaner, pulled the wire bunch out straight and then totally rerouted them around the bar and behind the scoop. Put it all back together, started it up, and all voltage readings are normal. Killed it, restarted, batt power went down to 6ish on crank but instantly wound up to it's normal charging of around 14.6ish and remained there.

Repeated the start ups this morning and all is good.

Appears that either one of the two or both of the plugs were dirty and impeding the circuit or/and a wire within the bunch was kinked/grounded whatever.

So all appears to be on the up and up and no Idiot Light on either of the evolutions.

Regardless, I will replace the batt with the more powerful CCA one that is inbound.

Feedback???

(Message edited by RickPXB12SCGR on February 01, 2015)
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Reepicheep
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 05:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

A common problem and a common fix, I think you got it.

Get one of those smart chargers, put your HD battery on it for 6 months, and keep it as a spare or gift it to somebody, it probably will recover OK (and be back to its "barely adequate" factory spec).
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 03:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

It's back.... intermittently now.

Sometimes the battery reads 13.9-14.35 while running (charging) and then it will read 11.56 or so (not charging). Of course the Code 16 Idiot light comes on when that occurs.

Haven't received the new batt yet. It will arrive tomorrow.

In the mean time, I am starting to think that the Volt Reg may be going bad. The stator would not be intermittent if it is was gone or going.

Could this also indicate a short somewhere in wiring from the Stator to VR to Batt?

How do you check to see if the VR is functioning properly?

Feedback?

(Message edited by RickPXB12SCGR on February 04, 2015)
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Buellistic
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 04:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Remember what "i" said about getting the LAST ELECTRON out of the BATTERY !!!
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 04:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

So Buellistic, you are still of the opinion that it is my battery that is failing due to being faulty?
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Buell_bert
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 05:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

A couple years ago I thought the battery was good. But had slow starting/and,or turn over /fouling the rear plug or it would run on one cylinder till it warmed a bit. And belching and farting till it warmed up. Well I finally bought a better battery with more cranking amps and it works just great now. I'm sure a battery with internal connection problems (warm/cold/hot cycles) will interfere with the electrical systems proper operation and may/could cause other parts to fail. I personally can not fix a bad battery. You could always use another battery like a car model with way more amps and capacity to test your charging and starting system if you do not have a donor battery to use.
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Reepicheep
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 05:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I think its more than the battery, for what that's worth.

It is a shunt regulator, not a series regulator. So basically when the stator is putting out enough current that the voltage feeding the bike and the battery goes above the top safe voltage, the VR shunts the stator output straight to ground. Since it is alternating current from the stator, this "resets" many times a second, and the choppy waveform is smoothed out by the presence of the battery.

It could be either stator or voltage regulator. I still suspect stator.

You can isolate the stator by disconnecting it at the 77 connector, starting and running the bike just off of the battery, and looking at the stator output which is now completely disconnected from the bike and voltage regulator.

Having a load on it would help, which is hard, and having an oscilloscope to look at it would really help, which not many people have, and watching it trend over a while to spot intermittent failures would be useful, which is also hard.

So it's hard.

And when I say VR or Stator above, it could be a wire or connection to the VR or stator (or battery) as well.

(Message edited by reepicheep on February 04, 2015)
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 06:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thanks all.

Just to add to the mix, I have been starting and shutting it off for the past two hours. Before I commenced doing so, I let it get up to op temps.

I also rerouted the wires from the VR and Stator.

The problem as not presented itself. The battery is charging at 13.90-14.15 or so while running. Also, the battery has not gone below 10.5 volts on all seven crank ups?

Thoughts.
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Reepicheep
Posted on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 07:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

So long as you are seeing 13 to 15 volts when the bike is running, your charging system seems to be working well. 10.5 volts on crank up is unusually good actually, but you are probably not actually seeing the true lowest voltage because your meter is averaging.

I have a device on my bike that measures voltage about 1000 times a second on start up, and reports the lowest it saw, so I can see the true lowest voltage. It's often below 6 volts.
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

So here is the latest twist which I neglected to post on the original op and subsequent postings.

On "COLD" start up just now, the battery seems to be charging just fine until the fan comes on around 120 degs. That is part of the EBR RACE ECM programming. That is when things go south and the battery ceases to receive the charge. I also noticed that when this occurs, the headlight dims and all voltage begins to drop quickly.

Does this imply that the VR is indeed faulting???
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Reepicheep
Posted on Thursday, February 05, 2015 - 01:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I wonder if one of stator phases is dead, meaning you only have 2/3rds of a stator (or half a stator, I forget which years got which number of phases).

That would make it look OK until the load goes up. Since it is a shunt regulator, running the fan actually makes the VR's job easier.

If you could get an oscilloscope trace from each pin of the disconnected 77 connector, that might tell you something (unless it is an intermittent failure).
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 04:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

New Batt charged and in.

Cold start up.. wham! As soon as the fan comes on, the headlight goes bright, volt reading off the batt sky rockets to 18 or so volts than, BAM... it loses the power charge from the stator and then the idiot light comes on.

Shut it down. Unplugged the stator input line to the VR, started it back up and checked for AC power registering. ALL was as prescribed, powered it up to 2K RPMs and the out AC read 40 volts. Ran it up to 3K RPMs and it read 55 volts. All per the parameters in the Manual.

After doing that and running the bike for a while, all was good.

Starting to think it is a faulty VR!

Thoughts?
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2015 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

UPDATE!!!

Took her out for 65 miler yesterday. All was good except Idiot light came on for about 30 seconds when the fan came on during the ride. It then went away.

This morning on cold initial start up, charging was normal then suddenly voltage screamed up to 17.50 volts, 15 seconds into it, the fan came on as it should and volts dropped to 11.6 etc, fan barely ran, headlight dimmed and the Idiot light came on. Restarted and now there's no charging. Stator checked out within limits so it is putting out the normal juice.

It has to be the VR?

Yes/No.
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Reepicheep
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2015 - 12:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

For the stock shunt regulator setup, that seems like it MUST be the VR or the connector to the VR.
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2015 - 10:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Ordered one today. Will post up after I get it and run it up.

BTW, did a resistance check on it last night and was getting a .1 and a .2. According to the manual, should be reading 0.0.
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 07:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Issue SOLVED!!

Faulty Voltage Regulator. R&R'd the old one and all works perfect.

Thanks for all your help.


Pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew... Glad it wasn't the stator.
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Buellistic
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 10:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

OLD SCHOOL:

That last battery electron costs money !!!
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Reepicheep
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 12:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Great news!
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 05:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Buellistic...

The battery that I replaced was not the OEM and was only a year old. Took it down to NAPA and had it load tested etc and checked out 100% good. So the battery was never the issue.

I will say that the new battery with 70 more CCA's than the OEM req one, starts the bike right up and there is absolutely ZERO lag or lull on crank up any longer. Hit the start button and BAM, it cranks right up. So with that said, I am glad that I put the higher CCA rated battery in.

Also, the bike seems to have a quicker low end response and more power on the top end. Seems that the VR was slowly been shitting itself and in turn affecting the ignition/firing of the plugs. I also noticed that there are three visible cracks on the back rubber seal and one obvious appears to have penetrated the innards. She also idles much smoother.

Thanks again for all the help, gents.
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Rickpxb12scgr
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2015 - 09:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Took her out for a 260 miler yesterday into Death Valley and back. She ran like a champ and the best she has in over two years.

Would not be surprised if the VR was slowly deteriorating itself and in the process affecting ignition firing and all the other goodies that go with regular operations of the system.

Again, thanks for all the help gents...
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