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Discussion Starter #1
Hi team,
Due to the Covid problem, my Ody has seen very little use in the past few weeks. Some may remember that I had a battery charging issue a month or so ago. It started after a similar period of low driving activity. When I first noticed the problem was on starting the car. The seatbelt warning bell chimed several times, very quickly on startup. I usually start the car and then do up my belt. I've done it that way for years. It was after hearing the seatbelt chime in rapid succession that I had to take my car to the dealer to have the battery checked. They ended up just putting it on their charger. Since the same seatbelt chiming sequence has returned, I suspect the battery is a little low again. With very little driving activity, I assume the security system and other computerized things slowly drains the battery?

I own a charger that has a slow and fast charge setting. Is there anything special I need to do before connecting the battery to my charger? With all these computerized do-dads, I just want to make sure I'm good to just start charging. Many thanks.
 

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Definitely, use you current charger to get the battery voltage up if needed, but don't leave it connected long term.

Moving forward, I would strongly recommend buying a battery maintainer instead of using a standard trickle/charger.
A standard charger continuously charges, regardless of battery level, which can "cook" the battery.

I would suggest a charger which is intended for maintaining a battery in long term storage and are usually used for motorcycles, classic cars, etc.

I have the same problem as you, one of our vehicles currently isn't being used much.
I have this charger:
battery tender
I think it comes with one set of ring terminals, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to purchase one for each vehicle, then simply plug the charger in instead of messing with alligator clamps.
additional ring terminals

Shumacher seems to make a good one as well:
schumacher
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great info, Bandit!! I wasn't aware of the differences. I remember years ago that if I was wanting to charge up my lead/acid battery, they recommended opening the cell caps. I see the difference now. My Ody battery is a gel type. The Canadian site shows the Battery Tender at $76.00 - not bad. Thanks again :)!
 

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The CTEK chargers are great at analyzing flooded, and AGM batteries. You can leave them connected 2-4-7 3-6-5. They restore the cells and metal mesh inside.
 

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I'd recommend any of the chargers listed above. This isn't an item where I'd buy a cheap no name charger to save ten dollars.
 

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Exactly.

Given the cost of new quality batteries.....a charger that cost around 1/3 of the cost of one of the three or four lead based batteries you have in the household, if rotation utilized, pays for the cost of the charger 10 times over a 7 year period.
 

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And yet another benefit of a trickle charger, over not using one, is that the battery isn't exposed to a surge of alternator charge current after startup with a depressed battery. That's as bad for the battery as connecting a high-powered charger. (It's hard on the alternator too).

My original battery was replaced at exactly 10 years, at which time it still showed no obvious sign of quitting. I believe that longevity was due at least in part to my battery maintainer. I always connected it when the van was parked for more than a couple of days. (Once connected, it can be left so indefinitely without harming the battery.)

As Triaque stated, a battery maintainer can pay for itself by reducing battery replacement cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, Stan. I checked the Canadian site and it can be had for $47.00.
 

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We keep a solar charger on ours when it is going to be sitting. You can use this even with the Ody in a garage if you set it outside.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZC3TFC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Avoid the cheap solar chargers. Most do not have the maintainer circuitry inside. I have not seen what’s inside the Schumacher but normally these only employ a simple diode. No charge controller. Worst case they can cook a battery. Not going to be an issue on the little ones but the larger panels can actually provide enough power to cook a battery unless it uses a charge controller.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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jnissen, that is a good point.

A small basic solar panel like the 2.4 Watt one I recommended, with just a diode to prevent draining your battery at night, won't overcharge your battery as it has too small a charge current. I have used these 2.4 Watt panels or older versions of them for many years, on a variety of vehicles that only saw intermittent use and none had over-charge issues.

A larger panel, like the 4.8 Watt one on the same Amazon page is recommended to be ordered with a charge controller.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B005MVB524/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

SPC-7A Charge Controller is recommended (sold separately) for extra overcharge protection
 

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If the voltage being supplied to an AGM battery is not kept at 14.7-14.8 volts, the battery will not fully saturate. The internal resistance of the scrolls of plate material require a higher voltage to charge properly.

Solargize your AGM batteries all you like. If you want to ensure a conditioned peak capacity AGM battery......control the voltage in specification.
 

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It can get really complicated if you are shooting for a 100% solution, if you are happy just having enough power from a solar panel to offset the Ody's parasitic (all the stuff you can't turn off) battery drain it isn't rocket science.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, Stan. I decided to phone the dealer to get an opinion as well (not that I have no regard for the responses in this thread - quite the opposite). Of course, there's nobody home because of this stupid virus!

And you're right. I think it's the slow drain from all the goodies on these cars that predilect the notion that these cars are simply no good when they sit for prolonged times. Never had that issue on the older cars, damn it!!!
 

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I think it's the slow drain from all the goodies on these cars that predilect the notion that these cars are simply no good when they sit for prolonged times. Never had that issue on the older cars, damn it!!!
The real issue is that battery capacity hasn't kept pace with the number of always-on "goodies". (larger battery = more weight = less fuel economy)

Unless driven daily, new cars need to be treated like hydrid electrics - arrive home, plug in.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You're right Dave! Maybe the Covid virus will teach man that the world needs to slow down and re-assess where we're going. We don't need all these toys. All we need is something to get us from A to B!!!
 

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Hodna

Keep in mind that this talk of solar solutions are not any more cost effective than purchasing a wall outlet connected CTEK branded battery analyzer, conditioner, charger. These things literally repay you in saved battery life over a few years of ownership with a 5 year manufacturer warranty. No rocket scientist services needed to make a good business decision.
 

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I agree, you get a lot more functionality from a quality plug-in maintainer and usually for less money.

Where the solar makes sense is when you can't easily plug in or just want the convenience of not plugging in. I've been in both situations as well as ones where a wall-charger made more sense.
 
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