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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1365
Location: Detroit, Michigan
On my older vehicles from the 90's, I disconnect the negative battery cable if it's going to sit more than a week. I then charge those batteries once a month with a regular battery charger. On newer vehicles, 2000's on up, I don't like disconnecting the batteries because it can cause blown fuses and other problems upon re-connection. If the newer vehicle is in the garage, I keep a Smart charger on it. If being stored outside, I don't want the unsightly and exposed power line running out there all the time, so I charge up the battery on the newer vehicle with a regular battery charger once a week.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 4:08 pm 
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Posts: 12104
It would be interesting to know the current draw, most of modern vehicles of 10+ years will pull approx 30-50ma. My '07 Grand Marquis draws 240ma for approx 15 min after shutdown, settling back to 40 ma. I believe some condition wakes up computer and it periodically goes through the 240/15 cycle. Twice has drained battery after four weeks of inactivity. Around two years ago it was down & at six years, figured batt was kaput. Swapped battery from truck(same size) & placed it on charge, seemed to come up OK. Stuck it into truck, still there, now eight years old. Interestingly the truck has a 4ma draw from moment it is shut off.

As far as one brand of battery being markedly better than others, bah... There are like three/four companies that make 'em all. At one time Die Hard were mfg'd by Johnson Controls, also marketed Interstate. I believe that has changed as I hear Exide has a finger in the pie. Speaking of Exide, last year I had one die that was purchased Sept '05.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Jul Thu 25, 2019 8:53 pm
Posts: 292
Location: Hitchin uk
I had a similar problem with my 1992 Saab 9000 many years ago, during the summer months I would ride my motorcycle to work,
after a few months the battery would go flat because the car was not used,
my answer was to fit a solar panel to the rear parcel shelf, I think that it was meant for charging boat batteries,
never had any trouble after that.


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 5:19 pm 
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Joined: May Wed 20, 2020 5:06 pm
Posts: 529
Years ago before battery maintainers and smart battery chargers, I used to use an old 10 amp charger plugged into a timer. I had it set to run about an hour every day. I had lots of things to keep charged, snowmobiles, antique tractors, wood chipper, garden tractor, snow blower, etc. I would leave my charger & timer hooked up to each battery for a week, then move it to the next battery. An old-timer put me onto this. I guess some service station chargers had built-in timers. Anyway, doing that put an end to my short-life battery problems.

I might do the same thing even now days. It would be expensive to buy a bunch of smart battery maintainers, good ones, that is.


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 1605
Location: Panama City, FL 32401
In that situation I would either remove remove one battery cable or put it on a regular battery charger once every two weeks at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 16, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 2034
Location: Palos Verdes, CA
fifties - Your "Charge It" battery maintainer has indicator lights which will tell you when the battery is fully charged, so you can hook it up after driving your Monte Carlo and see if the battery is still fully charged. I have a 1998 Z28 Camaro that I drive less than your Monte Carlo and will put my trickle charger on it once a week for a day and haven't had a problem. I will tell you that if I run the air conditioner, it will take longer for the indicator light on the trickle charger to show that the battery is fully charged after driving the Z28. I once replaced the battery in the Z28 and a few months later went and had it tested for emissions as it is required bi-annually in Los Angeles County and it failed as it needed to be driven at least 300 miles for codes to be recorded in the computer. It seems odd that you could have had so many bad batteries, but I'm sure NAPA checked them before they gave you a replacement. I recently had a battery fail in less than 2 years and it was tested before I was given a warranty replacement. - Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 6:08 pm 
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Posts: 12104
Depending on storage conditions there are multiple correct actions. In my oldies I remove negative batt cable(s), can set several months without issue. For just two/three months, I connect cable & go. Longer, I toss a 10 amp charger on batt for a couple hours.

Of course these cars dont have residual draw, I disconnect to remove chance 50+ year old wiring could ignite. Happened on one, destroyed dash harness when brake switch shorted to ground... Luckily fire did not spread, wire burned out and it self extinguished.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 39297
Location: SoCal, 91387
Getting some good advice here;

processhead wrote:
A battery maintainer is the right solution for a vehicle that gets driven infrequently.

Do yourself a favor and find a secure location under the hood to mount it, and hard wire it to the battery. Then run the AC cord so a couple inches hangs through the radiator grill where you can plug it in easily to an extension cord when not driving the vehicle.

I had thought about doing something like this, thx for outlining the method.

Mikeinkcmo wrote:
I've been using three of these HF solar chargers for the last ten years or so to "over winter" the batteries in my tractor and two mowers.

I've also considered this for my garden tractor. Can you post a link as to exactly what you bought?

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sat 11, 2021 10:42 pm 
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Joined: May Mon 25, 2020 7:37 pm
Posts: 868
Location: Greater Boston, MA
rocketeer wrote:
I always put one of these on my tractors. Twist the knob and it breaks the battery ground connection.

Attachment:
1958 Farmall Loboy-147a.jpg

Larry
Those disconnect knobs are a great idea too.


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 3:59 am 
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Joined: Aug Tue 24, 2021 9:18 pm
Posts: 233
People are free to buy what they want, but we sold and installed Napa batteries where I used to work. I saw several that were either junk straight off the shelf, or started the vehicle a few times and were junk after that. My battery gave up the ghost one day at work, and my boss gave me a "special deal" on one. It was weak from the get go. No more for me.

I have been buying my batteries at Rural King, which is a local farm supply store chain. Their prices are unbeatable on batteries. They are made by Exide, and seem to be good quality. Lots of local people buy them.

To save some money, I also don't only go by what the computer or application chart says fits the vehicle. It it physically fits in the tray, has the terminals on the correct sides, and has as good or better than OEM CCA, I buy it. The absolute cheapest OEM style battery I could find anywhere for our Hyundai was $140. :shock: One from Rural King that had higher than OEM CCA was $65. Besides not having a little protrusion on the top that didn't serve any purpose, it fit perfectly.


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 4:49 am 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 3:28 am
Posts: 21
I can tell most of you don't live in a really cold Climate. My current vehicle is a RH drive Mitsubishi Delica, 1999. It's parked outside always and the temp can fall tp -40c semi regularly though the winter , thanks to climate change, fewer and fewer of those days happen. Van is equipped with a battery blanket, oil pan heater and a battery maintainer. She is plugged in anytime the temp drops below -20C, till then she starts fine and with a short warmup I will drive her. Forgot one day last year and she started at -35, she wasn't happy and made lots of funny noises but she ran. Also have a timer so the electricals don't start till 4AM. Works for me!


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 4:55 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4960
Location: Texas
I use one of those $5 Harbor Freight trickle chargers for a DIY electric bicycle than I never ride. The problem with the charger's design is that if ithe power is cut off will actually drain the battery, so I put a battery voltage alarm on the battery so if it gets below 12.1 volts it will sound the alarm. Here is an alarm that is actually better than mine for only $8.90.

If you didn't want to keep a charger on your battery all the time you could use one of these as long as you are around every once in awhile to hear the alarm sounding. Then just charge it when you need it. But then again if it needs it every couple of weeks you might as well keep it maintainer on it.

https://www.futurlec.com/CarBatteryMonitor.shtml


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 10842
Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
fifties wrote:
I've also considered this for my garden tractor. Can you post a link as to exactly what you bought?

This is basically what I bought for my sawmill .... same battery and motor as in a big riding mower, Kohler 25hp V-twin and a U1-350 battery.

Attachment:
autosolarbattery.PNG
autosolarbattery.PNG [ 466.94 KiB | Viewed 350 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Nov Tue 18, 2008 8:34 am
Posts: 1586
Location: Hutchinson,Kansas
I have used the Black and Decker 6/12 volt maintainers for years. Have one on my 71 Charger 74 Dodge truck and my 47 Dodge truck. It will charge and then go into stand by mode.
The BD unit comes with various cords to help you with connecting to the battery, I have mine hard wired into the batter terminals. It does come with clamps if you want to raise the hood and clip on like an old style battery charger or take the battery out. I have all mine hard wired and have the cord out of the vehicle in some fashion to plug in. I have noticed while in the garage working on old radios these BD units can make some noise on the radios.

Modern vehicles draw off the battery just sitting.



Todd


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Aug Thu 26, 2021 8:07 am
Posts: 82
Location: Ukraine
Blustar1 wrote:
In the OP's case, I really do suggest that he checks the current draw on the battery while the car is standing idle.


My experience may be interesting. Globally - when I changed my place of residence and both cars became idle most of the time - I just sold one of them. Particularly - the original battery usually lasted 7-8 years. After that, the new ones worked for 2-3 years. In one of the cars, the battery was also completely discharged on a regular basis. The problem was in the car. Some faulty sensor kept waking up the car's computer, which, because of this, consumed too much current, which led to the discharge of the battery. As in medicine, you need to look for and treat the cause, not the consequences.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 3:14 pm 
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Posts: 346
35Z5 wrote:
It would be interesting to know the current draw, most of modern vehicles of 10+ years will pull approx 30-50ma. My '07 Grand Marquis draws 240ma for approx 15 min after shutdown, settling back to 40 ma. I believe some condition wakes up computer and it periodically goes through the 240/15 cycle. Twice has drained battery after four weeks of inactivity. Around two years ago it was down & at six years, figured batt was kaput. Swapped battery from truck(same size) & placed it on charge, seemed to come up OK. Stuck it into truck, still there, now eight years old. Interestingly the truck has a 4ma draw from moment it is shut off.

As far as one brand of battery being markedly better than others, bah... There are like three/four companies that make 'em all. At one time Die Hard were mfg'd by Johnson Controls, also marketed Interstate. I believe that has changed as I hear Exide has a finger in the pie. Speaking of Exide, last year I had one die that was purchased Sept '05.

Some of the best lead-acid batteries I had seen were made to spec for Mercury Marine by a company called Globe Union. They also at one time made Die Hards to (I suppose Sears) specs but those were nowhere near the quality of the batteries OEM'd for Mercury Marine. MM batteries were the perfect example of "You get what you pay for." Which was quite a lot.

The word "Boat" is derived from the terms Bu$t Out Another Thou$and

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 04, 2010 2:52 am
Posts: 4844
35Z5 wrote: As far as one brand of battery being markedly better than others, bah... There are like three/four companies that make 'em all. At one time Die Hard were mfg'd by Johnson Controls, also marketed Interstate. I believe that has changed as I hear Exide has a finger in the pie. Speaking of Exide, last year I had one die that was purchased Sept '05.[/quote]


Yes, that would be true as far as it goes, but I suspect that the Sears Auto Centers had a peculiar habit of placing returned batteries back on the shelves. You know, the same auto centers which charged for parts and services not rendered.


Last edited by Blustar1 on Sep Sun 12, 2021 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 04, 2010 2:52 am
Posts: 4844
US7IGN wrote:
Blustar1 wrote:
In the OP's case, I really do suggest that he checks the current draw on the battery while the car is standing idle.


My experience may be interesting. Globally - when I changed my place of residence and both cars became idle most of the time - I just sold one of them. Particularly - the original battery usually lasted 7-8 years. After that, the new ones worked for 2-3 years. In one of the cars, the battery was also completely discharged on a regular basis. The problem was in the car. Some faulty sensor kept waking up the car's computer, which, because of this, consumed too much current, which led to the discharge of the battery. As in medicine, you need to look for and treat the cause, not the consequences.



In the case of my father's car (1995 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale), the battery drew somewhere around 2-3 amps at idle, and I traced it down to the car's computer (which by itself was drawing an abnormally amount of current). In addition, the car computer was not activating the car's alternator either.


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1154
Location: dayton oh usa
ford f superduty diesels have power management too.
its built into the cluster.
so when the cluster fails it intermittently shuts off accessories.
like power windows,ect.
so until you get it fixed its a roll of the dice whether you can roll up windows in a sudden storm.
i repair a lot of these.
with just a tiny bit of common sense one can see a charging failure light and know to shut stuff off to get farther.
dont need a failure prone electronic nanny to "help"
rocketeer wrote:
Here's a tid-bit almost no one knows about. Ford added something called a Battery Monitor System (BMS). Too much to explain here so Google it. Basically as your battery ages it is supposed to control how much your accessories use, among other things such as reducing the charge to prevent cooking, in order to prolong the life of the battery. Fair enough. The problem is if you replace the battery there is a specific reset sequence you must employ or it will continue to think you still have the old battery in and it will start going dead within just a few days. People think it's a parasitic draw and it isn't.

Here is the reset sequence for a Ford Focus and I'm not kidding.

Turn the key on with the engine off
Flash the hi-beams 5 times
Press the brake pedal 3 times
Watch for the battery light on the dash to blink 3 times
Do it all within 30 seconds

There is also software called Forscan that can reset it and some newer ODB scanners can do it. However it gets done it is required or you will continually have a dead battery every few days. It took me a while to fix the g-daughter's Focus after she had it towed 4 times and 3 new batteries (She lives 65 miles away). BMS is a perfect example of a solution in search of a problem and creating one instead. Some of these "engineers" have too much time on their hands. :roll:

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping a car battery charged
PostPosted: Sep Sun 12, 2021 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1154
Location: dayton oh usa
napa is no different than any other retailer.
they are made by whoever of the big 3 gave the lowest bid.
so johnson controls(clarios),east penn deka,or exide.
they will all be junk if stock is not rotated or charged periodically.
and i have always bought the largest battery size that i can fit in the tray.
then i go by rc and weight.
longer rc and heavier the better.
this is best for both mobile radio usage and an emergency like losing the alternator out in bfe.
made the difference between being forced to fix it somewhere unfamiliar and continuing home to fix it on your terms.
master_of_none wrote:
People are free to buy what they want, but we sold and installed Napa batteries where I used to work. I saw several that were either junk straight off the shelf, or started the vehicle a few times and were junk after that. My battery gave up the ghost one day at work, and my boss gave me a "special deal" on one. It was weak from the get go. No more for me.

I have been buying my batteries at Rural King, which is a local farm supply store chain. Their prices are unbeatable on batteries. They are made by Exide, and seem to be good quality. Lots of local people buy them.

To save some money, I also don't only go by what the computer or application chart says fits the vehicle. It it physically fits in the tray, has the terminals on the correct sides, and has as good or better than OEM CCA, I buy it. The absolute cheapest OEM style battery I could find anywhere for our Hyundai was $140. :shock: One from Rural King that had higher than OEM CCA was $65. Besides not having a little protrusion on the top that didn't serve any purpose, it fit perfectly.


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