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Old 12.05.2018, 08:41
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Keeping a car battery charged

We are a two car family but these days we rarely take out the 18 year old Toyota Yaris. But we do want to keep it active.

I have to run the engine every three or four weeks to charge the battery. Sometimes itís too dead to start, so I put it on an (even older) Battery charger for 10 hours or so.

First some advice please. Iím assuming itís a bad idea to keep the charger permanently attached and charging. What if I put the charger on a timer giving a daily charge. How long should I set it for?

Iíve seen trickle chargers although they arenít cheap. Would this be a better solution. And can these be used using the cigarette lighter socket?

Many thanks. Hereís a virtual 🍺 for your assistance.
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Old 12.05.2018, 09:02
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

Just replace the battery.
A good one will last years and hold the charge.
https://www.jumbo.ch/de/auto-velo-fr...054%5B%5D=Auto
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Old 12.05.2018, 09:06
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

If you charge it fully once a month that should be good enough for a proper battery, if this battery fails while doing so it is time to replace it.
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Old 12.05.2018, 09:17
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

A battery has a life of approx 5 years. By running the engine, you mean starting it up and letting it tickpver for a few minutes this will be next to useless and could even make the situation worse. A drive of at leat half an hour would be better...
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Old 12.05.2018, 09:23
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

How old is the battery?

Unless there is a fault (interior light which stays on etc.) with the car which is running the battery flat, it sounds like the battery is probably dead.

Probably cheaper to replace the battery than to buy a trickle charger.

When you're installing the battery detach the NEGATIVE (-) side FIRST when removing, and reconnect LAST when installing.


A healthy battery will go a few months between starting the car, if you're down to weeks then either the car has too much drain when parked, or your battery is dead.
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Old 12.05.2018, 09:27
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

May want to consider leasing it out.
That will keep it charged.

https://app.sharoo.com/de?datetime_f...ehicles&page=1
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Old 12.05.2018, 11:13
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

Yes to those who suggest that the battery is getting towards the end of its life if it can't hold sufficient charge, and also that your current regime is going to make it worse.

But there are chargers intended just for this situation, that are left connected and monitor the charge level, giving it a boost only when it needs it. OptiMate is the one I've heard most of, and are very popular with summer-only motorcyclists. There are other brands, I'm sure (edit: here's a couple at Jumbo, for example), but I've never used one myself, so have no idea about pros and cons of specific models.

Whether it will be sufficient to restore your existing battery is another question, though.

Last edited by Guest; 12.05.2018 at 11:28.
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Old 12.05.2018, 11:49
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

Can give one of these a try.

https://www.conrad.ch/de/kfz-lkw-bat...sort=Price-asc

The jumbo examples seem a bit expensive in comparison to what it would cost for a new car battery which in the end you will probably need to replace anyway.
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Old 12.05.2018, 18:13
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

Quote:
Yes to those who suggest that the battery is getting towards the end of its life if it can't hold sufficient charge, and also that your current regime is going to make it worse.

But there are chargers intended just for this situation, that are left connected and monitor the charge level, giving it a boost only when it needs it. OptiMate is the one I've heard most of, and are very popular with summer-only motorcyclists. There are other brands, I'm sure (edit: here's a couple at Jumbo, for example), but I've never used one myself, so have no idea about pros and cons of specific models.

Whether it will be sufficient to restore your existing battery is another question, though.
I've had pretty good experience with the CTEK ones. They're a bit more expensive, but they last well. The "Recovery" cycle success is dependent on how sulphated the cells are, but I've managed to bring a few batteries which have been dead for 5 years back to usefulness.

The trickle charge is what most oldtimer owners buy them for. The smartest thing to do is to fit a quick disconnect plug permanently (available as an accessory), then you don't need to mess about with clips.
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Old 12.05.2018, 18:52
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. The battery is only about 18m old. I spend some time today looking for an interior light etc, but couldnít find anything ??

I suspect if I asked the Garage to find it, that would cost more than a new battery.

So Iíve added a reminder to self to check it every two weeks and put it on the charger for a few hours to top up if needed.

🍺 🍻 🍺
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Old 12.05.2018, 18:59
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

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So Iíve added a reminder to self to check it every two weeks and put it on the charger for a few hours to top up if needed.
In which case I strongly suggest you get a proper battery tester, or one of the aforementioned smart chargers - just checking if there's enough charge to start it won't tell you if it's getting low, and overcharging when not necessary is really not a good thing.
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Old 12.05.2018, 19:34
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

If there is a handy window nearby then think about installing a solar panel with a battery controller, less than chf20 if you buy in China and you can leave it permanently connected!
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Old 13.05.2018, 14:06
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

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I have to run the engine every three or four weeks to charge the battery. Sometimes itís too dead to start, so I put it on an (even older) Battery charger for 10 hours or so.

First some advice please. Iím assuming itís a bad idea to keep the charger permanently attached and charging. What if I put the charger on a timer giving a daily charge. How long should I set it for?
Amazon.de has a Black and Decker trickle charger available for 20.95, which will be more than enough for your car battery (assuming that the battery is in good condition). It can be shipped to Switzerland (I checked a minute ago).

You can't keep a car battery hooked up to traditional battery charger (e.g., 2 amps) without eventually damaging your battery.

That said, if your battery is losing its charge after a couple of weeks, it may be time to replace it all together.
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Old 13.05.2018, 14:49
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

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Thanks for the comments and suggestions. The battery is only about 18m old. I spend some time today looking for an interior light etc, but couldnít find anything ??

I suspect if I asked the Garage to find it, that would cost more than a new battery.

So Iíve added a reminder to self to check it every two weeks and put it on the charger for a few hours to top up if needed.

🍺 🍻 🍺
Might have a short. Perhaps due to corrosion.
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Old 13.05.2018, 16:05
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

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Amazon.de has a Black and Decker trickle charger available for 20.95, which will be more than enough for your car battery (assuming that the battery is in good condition). It can be shipped to Switzerland (I checked a minute ago).

You can't keep a car battery hooked up to traditional battery charger (e.g., 2 amps) without eventually damaging your battery.

That said, if your battery is losing its charge after a couple of weeks, it may be time to replace it all together.
Just ordered one, thanks
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Old 13.05.2018, 16:41
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

I give it three months before the battery conks out.
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Old 13.05.2018, 17:58
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

CTEK is what people recommend in other forums.

Modern cars have so many consumers that suck on the battery constantly (especially when the car is off) that it's almost a must-have apparently.
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Old 13.05.2018, 18:26
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

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Modern cars have so many consumers that suck on the battery constantly (especially when the car is off) that it's almost a must-have apparently.
And motorcycles.

My 32+ year old Guzzis, leave them over winter, start up fine, as do the two Ducatis from 2003, and the VX250 from '92.

The '81 RS125 has a kickstart, so battery is not an issue.

Ducati from 1998, Panda from 1998, Boxster from 1999, a couple weeks tops.

Tom
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Old 19.05.2018, 23:22
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

Cars will take small amounts of current to power the alarm, immobilizer etc. even if not used.

Best to disconnect the battery if you know it wont be used for a longer time and that should solve it.
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Old 27.05.2018, 23:36
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Re: Keeping a car battery charged

I have two week-end cars and both use a CTEK battery tender. Works like a charm.
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