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  • FIRST POST
    • ian103
    • By ian103 11th Oct 16, 6:44 PM
    • 810Posts
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    ian103
    car battery charger
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 16, 6:44 PM
    car battery charger 11th Oct 16 at 6:44 PM
    I need to boost the charge on the battery of my mini, the car is little used.

    The car has stop start so its an agm batter - I have a Hilka 12v car battery charger 6A but its not automatic.

    Can I use this or do I need a modern charger like a CTEK?
Page 1
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 11th Oct 16, 8:00 PM
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    Richard53
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 16, 8:00 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 16, 8:00 PM
    You'd be OK to use the normal charger for a quick boost to get you started. But if you are looking for a longer-term solution, then it would be best to get an intelligent charger (CTEK, Optimate are two I have used). These can be left permanently connected and provide a float charge all winter long if necessary.


    A modern car's battery is never really 'asleep', as things like alarms and body electrical systems are on all the time, so if a car is little used, some kind of maintenance charge for when it's not being used would be a good idea.
    If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. (Attrib. to Socrates)
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 11th Oct 16, 8:21 PM
    • 23,297 Posts
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    forgotmyname
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 16, 8:21 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 16, 8:21 PM
    I would use it to get some charge back into the battery, a few hours depending on the chargers max rating. Upto 4 hours for a 12amp and 6 hours for an 8 amp and 8 hours for a 4 amp.

    If you want to charge it properly get a decent charger where you can leave it plugged in 24/7.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • Iceweasel
    • By Iceweasel 11th Oct 16, 8:58 PM
    • 4,096 Posts
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    Iceweasel
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 16, 8:58 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 16, 8:58 PM
    Don't forget this is MSE.

    As usual at this time of year both Lidl and Aldi are selling smart chargers right now for £13.95 (or thereabouts)

    Almost as good as the CTEK at a quarter of the price.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 11th Oct 16, 9:11 PM
    • 10,442 Posts
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    Strider590
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:11 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:11 PM
    Don't forget this is MSE.

    As usual at this time of year both Lidl and Aldi are selling smart chargers right now for £13.95 (or thereabouts)

    Almost as good as the CTEK at a quarter of the price.
    Originally posted by Iceweasel
    Whilst both good chargers, they don't specify they are safe for on vehicle charging. I have a CTEK and an Aldi charger, CTEK stays on my other car, the Aldi one is used for charging my various SLA batteries.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • ian103
    • By ian103 11th Oct 16, 9:18 PM
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    ian103
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:18 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:18 PM
    Iceweasel, is it aldi or lidl who have them on offer, Im tempted by striders option, if the lidl / aldi one solves the problem then the ctek maybe the proper solution but uts about a weeks delivwry from halfords
    • Iceweasel
    • By Iceweasel 11th Oct 16, 9:24 PM
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    Iceweasel
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:24 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:24 PM
    Iceweasel, is it aldi or lidl who have them on offer, Im tempted by striders option, if the lidl / aldi one solves the problem then the ctek maybe the proper solution but uts about a weeks delivwry from halfords
    Originally posted by ian103
    I saw them myself in Lidl 2 days ago.

    I leave mine on for months on end on my camper van over the winter.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 11th Oct 16, 9:25 PM
    • 10,442 Posts
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    Strider590
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:25 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:25 PM
    Iceweasel, is it aldi or lidl who have them on offer, Im tempted by striders option, if the lidl / aldi one solves the problem then the ctek maybe the proper solution but uts about a weeks delivwry from halfords
    Originally posted by ian103

    Halfrauds is also double the price compared to the likes of Amazon.

    I'm sure my MXS 5.0 was around £60 delivered, Halfrauds were charging £99.99 for it.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • ian103
    • By ian103 11th Oct 16, 9:35 PM
    • 810 Posts
    • 367 Thanks
    ian103
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:35 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:35 PM
    Ive found a local supplier for the ctek, Ill nip in when Im off work and see what they suggest. Ill call in at lidl tomorrow as Im passing one tonorrow afternoon
    • EdGasket
    • By EdGasket 11th Oct 16, 9:58 PM
    • 3,028 Posts
    • 1,233 Thanks
    EdGasket
    I need to boost the charge on the battery of my mini, the car is little used.

    The car has stop start so its an agm batter - I have a Hilka 12v car battery charger 6A but its not automatic.

    Can I use this or do I need a modern charger like a CTEK?
    Originally posted by ian103
    That would be fine so long as you disconnect the battery from the car first so you don't 'spike' the ecu or other electronics. If you intend to charge with the battery still connected up to the car then make sure it is a good quality charger with a smoothed voltage output i.e. no electrical spikes coming through.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 11th Oct 16, 10:41 PM
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    Strider590
    That would be fine so long as you disconnect the battery from the car first so you don't 'spike' the ecu or other electronics. If you intend to charge with the battery still connected up to the car then make sure it is a good quality charger with a smoothed voltage output i.e. no electrical spikes coming through.
    Originally posted by EdGasket

    This basically means the charger need contain no electro-mechanical switching devices (relays), which would cause voltage spikes.
    Smart on vehicle chargers likely use MOSFET outputs, which can be controlled in a precise manner to prevent voltage spikes.

    I know for a fact, the Aldi charger uses a relay, you can hear it clicking on/off, it is therefore not something you'd use without disconnecting the battery from the car.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • Hintza
    • By Hintza 12th Oct 16, 9:01 AM
    • 18,846 Posts
    • 13,531 Thanks
    Hintza
    I saw them myself in Lidl 2 days ago.

    I leave mine on for months on end on my camper van over the winter.
    Originally posted by Iceweasel
    I bought one about 10 days ago. I think you are lucky there were any left. Ours we all gone in about 4 days.

    The Lidl one gets very good reviews.

    Having said thatthey don't like batteries below 4.8v (?) and you have to get creative to get it to start charging. I connected car battery to flat (leisure) battery and charged the car battery for a couple of hours until the flat battery was recognised.
    Dis tyd om op te staan!
    • EdGasket
    • By EdGasket 12th Oct 16, 9:17 AM
    • 3,028 Posts
    • 1,233 Thanks
    EdGasket
    This basically means the charger need contain no electro-mechanical switching devices (relays), which would cause voltage spikes.
    Smart on vehicle chargers likely use MOSFET outputs, which can be controlled in a precise manner to prevent voltage spikes.

    I know for a fact, the Aldi charger uses a relay, you can hear it clicking on/off, it is therefore not something you'd use without disconnecting the battery from the car.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    It's not just relays though; unsmoothed rectified AC will take out electronics as will switch-mode supplies if not properly smoothed. All in all its safest to disconnect the battery but I accept that can be inconvenient and cause issues with programmed accessories.
    • stator
    • By stator 12th Oct 16, 9:25 AM
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    stator
    If the car has a good sun outlook buy a solar charger.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • missile
    • By missile 12th Oct 16, 11:23 AM
    • 8,319 Posts
    • 3,947 Thanks
    missile
    It may be easier to use the car ?
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 12th Oct 16, 1:21 PM
    • 10,442 Posts
    • 5,763 Thanks
    Strider590
    It's not just relays though; unsmoothed rectified AC will take out electronics as will switch-mode supplies if not properly smoothed. All in all its safest to disconnect the battery but I accept that can be inconvenient and cause issues with programmed accessories.
    Originally posted by EdGasket
    A car is one of the most hostile environments for electrical and electronic devices, there is constant electrical noise and transient voltage spikes from the ignition system and the charging system.

    The biggest issue with charging on vehicle, is that if the charger voltage exceeds the alternator output voltage (usually 14.4v), the alternator tries to regulate that voltage down and in doing so may fry itself. Also and i'm speculating, the alternator isn't moving, therefore it's cooling fan is not doing anything.


    A smart charger regulates the voltage and current, a switching charger (like relay controlled one from Aldi), outputs a constant high voltage, doesn't regulate, it just cuts off the output when the battery voltage reaches a certain level, this perfectly fine until it switches back on, at which point there will be a spike of it's maximum voltage (which could be anything up to 18 volts).

    Best way to describe it, is like a tap, if you fully open that tap instantly, you get a burst of water and then it quickly slows to it's normal flow rate.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • ian103
    • By ian103 12th Oct 16, 3:00 PM
    • 810 Posts
    • 367 Thanks
    ian103
    It may be easier to use the car ?
    Originally posted by missile
    Thats what I thought, it gets used 2-3 times a week for 10-20 miles etc time, I just dont think that gives it a sufficient boost given the amount of things that draw current.
    • Iceweasel
    • By Iceweasel 12th Oct 16, 5:28 PM
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    Iceweasel
    Thats what I thought, it gets used 2-3 times a week for 10-20 miles etc time, I just dont think that gives it a sufficient boost given the amount of things that draw current.
    Originally posted by ian103
    That's exactly the situation I had a few years ago with a daily commute of only 10 miles with more significant mileage only at the weekends.

    In the Winter what with wipers, radio, heater fan, heated screens front and rear, heated seats plus heated steering wheel on, the battery was struggling to start the engine come Thursday morning.

    That's why I bought the Lidl charger to leave on the car overnight on the Wednesday thereby having a full battery for Thursday morning run.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 12th Oct 16, 6:31 PM
    • 10,442 Posts
    • 5,763 Thanks
    Strider590
    That's exactly the situation I had a few years ago with a daily commute of only 10 miles with more significant mileage only at the weekends.

    In the Winter what with wipers, radio, heater fan, heated screens front and rear, heated seats plus heated steering wheel on, the battery was struggling to start the engine come Thursday morning.

    That's why I bought the Lidl charger to leave on the car overnight on the Wednesday thereby having a full battery for Thursday morning run.
    Originally posted by Iceweasel
    The additional electrical load doesn't help, but the real winter battery killer is simply the cold. The alternator can easily handle all the electrical systems and still put the usual charging current into the battery.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 12th Oct 16, 7:01 PM
    • 2,217 Posts
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    Richard53
    The additional electrical load doesn't help, but the real winter battery killer is simply the cold. The alternator can easily handle all the electrical systems and still put the usual charging current into the battery.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    Very true. We've had a few noticeably colder days here, and my MX-5 (tiny battery) is really feeling it. When I leave for work (6 pm, approx. 10 degrees) it turns the engine over fine, but when I come home (6.30 am, approx. 3 degrees) it struggles a bit. And that's with a battery less than 2 years old.


    There is also the point that with a low usage pattern the driving may not be putting back the current used by the starter, so even without lots of electrical loads the battery charge may be on a downward trend. I used to know a guy who kept his old car in the garage over winter and started it up once a week 'to make sure everything was OK'. He ran it no more than 30 seconds each time (bad idea for all sorts of other reasons) and was surprised that come Spring his battery was dead. "But I started it every week!" Yes, that's why.
    If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. (Attrib. to Socrates)
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