Author Topic: Battery Maintainer  (Read 901 times)

Offline BruceK

Battery Maintainer
« on: January 08, 2020, 05:46:01 PM »
Some people donít think theyíre needed, but I am a proponent of keeping the batteries fully charged when vehicles donít get regular use (e.g. my motorcycle and my Mini). I use a battery maintainer to do that. These maintainers ensure full cranking power when awakening the sleepy car or motorcycle and they seem to extend the working lives of the batteries themselves.

Over the past couple of years iíve had three Battery Tender Junior units just fail.   Battery Tender is the company that started this industry niche of specialized battery chargers, but their products seem to be crap now.  I found a much better alternative - about half the price Ė in the form of a Black & Decker branded battery maintainer. 

BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051D3MP6?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 05:50:58 PM by BruceK »
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville
1992 Toyota LiteAce

Offline MiniDave

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2020, 06:44:31 PM »
I just drive mine more often.....   ;D ;D ;D
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MPlayle

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2020, 08:29:49 PM »
I have a similar habit to Bruce - keeping the "toys" on a battery tender.

The main one I have had for a really long time is a Yuasa brand one.  I got it for use with a motorcycle 20 years ago.

I just picked up another Duralast branded one (from AutoZone) for where I now have two "toys" - the Marcos and the new-to-me 1991 Mini.


Offline MiniDave

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 09:31:32 PM »
I have three (count em, 3) solar battery maintainers that I've had since I don't know when. I used a couple to keep my boat's batteries up to snuff when I lived in sunny Sandy Eggo - these are designed to simply plug into the cig lighter - which doesn't work so good on those cars where the key has to be on for the lighter to be live. I had them wired directly into the batteries and attached to my boat cover - worked a treat. I was cleaning out the basement and found them where they've been in a box for a very long time. Happy to give them away just for postage......Amazon has them for $22-36 ea.

These three are brandy new, never been used BTW.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 10:40:16 AM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline jedduh01

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2020, 10:30:11 AM »
Completely agree., Maintainers do work.    Back years ago ,. hey lets go for a drive and end up very letdown when the battery just isnt up.   also age.,  maintainers will keep a battery lasting longer in years ==- ive been seeing 5 regular years vs a battery that gets stressed low to high = bonking out in 3ihsh years.

 I also have the same Black and D maintainer = very good unit.  Moke

 I recently started using a basic harbor freight maintainer.. cheap enough to justify having it around = its currently keeping a 'spare' house battery up and maintained.  the delux one!  its working so far this season.

https://www.harborfreight.com/12v-deluxe-battery-maintainer-and-float-charger-62813.html

 I also have a 6 x 10 solar panel on the outside of my garage with a long cord = plugged into my pickup. as it sits = it for sure keeps it to snuff.

Same with my mother in law = had a sailboat it had a Marine grade optima.. it held a charge for a long time, but as age got it it +6 years=  we put a solar maintainer on it and lasted another 3 .   for sure 9 years was worth it on that battery.
 
too many cars, not enough drives for me to maintain all the batteries!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 11:06:13 AM by MPlayle »

Offline ADRay

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2020, 07:54:14 PM »
well, it got above 60 today in Maine and I hadnít turned the Mini over in about 2 months. doa battery.

Now Iím in the market for a charger / tender myself...
1982 Mini 1000 HL

Offline richard1

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2020, 09:35:44 AM »
I only have one of them, and since my cars are at different houses, they don't get used regularly. I've been disconnecting the Mini battery, and using my trickle charger on the 88 BMW. While away for a few months, I let a friend use it a few months ago, and when he took it back, he did not put the charger back on. I got there and the battery was super dead. I looked at the date stamped into the battery, and it was 1994.

So, yes, highly recommended.

Offline Rosebud

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2020, 11:34:15 AM »
The fire department I worked for kept a large cache of group 8D batteries in storage. These were giant, 160 lbs. 12 volt batteries for the fire trucks. The batteries were kept on "smart" chargers, never used and recycled every 10 to 15 years. Under those conditions, the master mechanic claimed that a lead/acid battery would (theoretically) last indefinitely.


I've driven my Mini 1 to 2 hours every couple of days for the last 10 years and always put it on a smart charger overnight. I've had the same Optima Red Top battery for that entire time and it's shown only the slightest degradation. I put the Red Top in my Audi a couple of weeks ago and installed an Odyssey lightweight racing battery in the Mini. The Red Top is 34 lbs., the lightweight is 12 lbs. I expect to get another couple of years out of the Red Top in the Audi, although it doesn't get put on the charger every night. I don't know what to expect from the lightweight. Because it has much less capacity then the Red Top and therefore under greater stress, I'd be happy with 5 to 7 years.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 06:32:10 PM by Rosebud »
Rosebud
...the sled, not the flower
https://www.facebook.com/PoserMotorSports

Offline Willie_B

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Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2020, 12:26:51 PM »
My last Odyssey battery like the one you just put in lasted me 8 years before I cooked it using a regular lead acid charger. Was running fine till then. Now I have a proper AGM charger for the new Odyssey battery.

Offline BruceK

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2020, 12:35:51 PM »
The fire department I worked for kept a large cache of group 8D batteries in storage. These were giant, 160 lbs. 12 volt batteries for the fire trucks. The batteries were kept on "smart" chargers, never used and recycled every 10 to 15 years. Under those conditions, the master mechanic claimed that a lead/acid battery would (theoretically) last indefinitely.


I've driven my Mini 1 to 2 hours every couple of days for the last 10 years and always put it on a smart charger overnight. I've had the same Optima Red Top battery for that entire time and it's shown only the slightest degradation. I put the Red Top in my Audi a couple of weeks ago and installed an Optima lightweight racing battery in the Mini. The Red Top is 34 lbs., the lightweight is 12 lbs. I expect to get another couple of years out of the Red Top in the Audi, although it doesn't get put on the charger every night. I don't know what to expect from the lightweight. Because it has much less capacity then the Red Top and therefore under greater stress, I'd be happy with 5 to 7 years.

Both are Optima batteries?  Or is the new one an Odyssey?
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville
1992 Toyota LiteAce

Offline BruceK

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2020, 03:53:33 PM »


Both are Optima batteries?  Or is the new one an Odyssey?



My error. The new lightweight is an Odyssey PC680

Ah. I've heard good things about the Odyssey batteries.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville
1992 Toyota LiteAce

Offline John Gervais

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2020, 05:02:00 PM »
I use a CTEK MXS 3.6 (it may actually be a CTEK Multi XS 3600, I'd have to check to be absolutely sure) to charge and maintain mine.  Gosh, it must be around 12-13 years old by now.  Works great -

The mini has had an Optima Yellow YTR-2.7 (weighs 11 kg) since 2007 and doesn't get used much at all, especially during the winter months.  It's never failed.  I've fitted CTEK's lighter-style fused accessory socket to the battery which makes it really easy to connect the charger and leave it there for a few weeks; no need to empty the boot or excavate the battery terminals.  When not used, the accessory socket gets a rubber plug fitted which prevents ingress of boot-crap/dust.  The rubber plug was sourced from a local pharmacy for use on a walking cane.

I've a spare battery perched on a bit o'2x6 on the floor beside the mini, which makes it really handy to connect a 12V 'garage' accessory.  As this is an old maintenance-free Exide battery which hasn't been in the mini for over 10 years, I connect the charger now and then just to keep it alive.  I'm thinking that it's probably time to pop the covers off of it and add a bit o'distilled water.
- Pave the Bay -

Offline jetattblue

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2020, 08:14:04 AM »
How are the terminals wired on the Odyssey batter above? Is the battery maintainer hardwired onto the terminals? It looks really clean; I'm just  not familiar with how it is all wired in.

Offline Rosebud

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2020, 05:48:16 PM »
How are the terminals wired on the Odyssey batter above? Is the battery maintainer hardwired onto the terminals? It looks really clean; I'm just  not familiar with how it is all wired in.


The battery charger is hardwired into the battery (purple wires) using these gold plated multi-terminals, and the charger AC gets plugged in (black wire) under the car near the rear of the subframe a using marine type water-proof pass-through and a conventional 3-prong plug. Since I plug and unplug the charger every day, it had to be easy and quick or I might not bother.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 05:50:01 PM by Rosebud »
Rosebud
...the sled, not the flower
https://www.facebook.com/PoserMotorSports

Offline jetattblue

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 03:00:45 PM »
Thank you for sharing that! It is a very well thought out solution.

Offline Sybil

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2020, 03:20:13 AM »
I agree too, maintainers / trickle chargers can be a good job.  Weíve an MPI and the Rover stock immobiliser has an earned reputation as a battery drainer. The MPI likes a good strong turnover / spark.

Our boot area is lined with plenty of sound deadening under a boot trim kit.  So, Iíve a simple charge lead that I can just plug into when the car is parked up.   

Not all maintainers are equal though and some wonít resuscitate a totally dead battery and some will restore lost battery function.

Offline Red Riley

Re: Battery Maintainer
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2020, 10:24:42 AM »
I'm using a B2015 Braille AGM battery. It's the lightest one they make that's still considered a suitable battery for daily driving. I have the smart charger made for the Braille batteries, and I put a quick disconnect on it to make it easier to plug in, but I didn't consider mounting the charger in the car. Not a bad idea. I wouldn't need to find a place for it on the shelf when it's not plugged in.