If you have ever owned a truck or know someone who has, dead batteries have been a part of your life. Without a battery, your truck is not moving and can leave you stuck in places you would rather not be. Batteries have a tendency to die on you when you least expect it and a majority of times without warning.
There are several causes of dead car batteries. The most common is the buildup of sulfate on the plates. This prevents the proper charging and discharging of the battery. A battery's condition deteriorates worse in the following conditions: temperatures over 70 degrees, storing without a battery tender, and discharging the battery below 10.5 volts. One of the most common issues is under charging the battery. This will significantly add to its untimely demise.
Since the mid '80s, automotive manufacturers developed internally regulated alternators designed around the normal intended use of the vehicle. Little or no allowance was made for aftermarket products like audio equipment, or air compressors. To add to this, several manufactures began using a parameter called RVC, or Reduced Voltage Control. This parameter reduces the charging voltage when the battery reaches 80 percent charge, resulting in a battery that may never become fully charged. Even upgrading the battery or going to a higher output alternator wouldn't have an effect on how the computer turns on and turns off the charging system. What if there was something that could be done to change this? Fortunately for us, Missing Link Audio has already come up with a solution.
The MLA voltage control module works in conjunction with your existing voltage regulator. By reshaping the charging curve, it can improve battery life and condition. A fully charged battery lasts much longer. The depth of discharge directly affects battery life. By keeping a battery fully charged, you can play the stereo system and run your compressors longer. Another key feature of the module is temperature compensation. Newer internally regulated alternators judge battery temperature based on alternator temperature. Batteries located outside of the engine compartment can be as much as 100 degrees cooler than the alternator and cold batteries require a higher charging voltage. The temperature sensor inside the MLA module is closer to the battery's internal temperature resulting in a more effective charge for the battery and improving the performance of high current accessories. High current items like, audio amplifiers, or compressors will overheat and fail if the battery voltage drops too low during operation. By maintaining a higher charge voltage, these expensive accessories are better protected. The operation of the module works in conjunction with and does not bypass any of the OEM fail-safe operations. The PCM or internal regulator can still shut down the alternator if it is overheating and all of the OEM warning lights continue to operate as originally intended.
Missing Link Audio provides voltage control modules for GM, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, and other popular models. For more information check out the Tech Lowdown.
1.Before we start the install,...
1.Before we start the install, we checked the voltage. As you can see the charging system is right about 12.6 volts. This is definitely on the lower side of operating voltage.
2.In order to get a higher...
2.In order to get a higher voltage out of our charging system, we are going to install Missing Link Audio's (MLA) GM PCM Pro Series Module. Our Pro Series Module is designed to charge at 15.3 volts. We are running this particular module because our truck has high demand for power, running four batteries in our charging system. MLA offers different modules for many different load conditions.
3.Prior to installing the...
3.Prior to installing the unit, we needed to find the Powertrain Control Module or PCM. For the '07 Chevy Colorado, it Is located behind the battery. We decided to mount the module on the inner fender next to the battery. This will allow the internal Temperature sensor of the MLA module to stay within a few degrees of the battery.
4.This model comes with an...
4.This model comes with an external ground. We mounted our module to sheetmetal so we fastened the ground to the mounting screw. If we mounted the unit to plastic, we would have to find a good ground elsewhere.
5.The wires going to our PCM...
5.The wires going to our PCM had two orange wires. Per the wiring diagram, we needed to splice into both orange wires. The nice part about this module is it cannot be wired wrong. The unit is bi-directional as long as the B-positive wire runs through the unit.
6.Most units are plug and...
6.Most units are plug and play. But Because our truck has a PCM, the unit is hard wired into the system. Everything that is needed to connect the module is included in the kit.
8.We reconnected the battery...
8.We reconnected the battery and started the truck. Within a couple minutes of the truck running, the voltage jumped up to 14.81. After ten minutes of the engine running, it was up to the inteded 15.3 volts.
The Tech Lowdown
Parts used: GM PCM Pro Series Module
Company: Missing Link Audio
Contact info: (618) 920-2629, missinglinkaudio.com
Approximate Installation Time: 30 minutes
Skills required: Basic electrical wiring
Difficulty level: 1 of 5
Tools used: Wire cutters and strippers, screw gun
Part's cost: Starting at $159.00