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Old 04-01-2021, 11:55 AM #1
NathanOfSeattle NathanOfSeattle is offline
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Battery maintainer extending battery life?

Since March of last year, I've been working from home and will be for the foreseeable future. Therefore my beloved 4runner mainly sits parked in my garage and only used on the weekends to play in the mountains. I haven't had any starting issues, but a friend of mine suggested putting a battery maintainer on it which he swears will extend the battery life well beyond the warranty. For ~$50 it seems like a cheap investment to extend the life of my $100+ cost of a new battery. Thoughts on this?
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Old 04-01-2021, 12:04 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanOfSeattle View Post
Since March of last year, I've been working from home and will be for the foreseeable future. Therefore my beloved 4runner mainly sits parked in my garage and only used on the weekends to play in the mountains. I haven't had any starting issues, but a friend of mine suggested putting a battery maintainer on it which he swears will extend the battery life well beyond the warranty. For ~$50 it seems like a cheap investment to extend the life of my $100+ cost of a new battery. Thoughts on this?
It's a good idea. Stops the battery from self discharging. Keeps the battery topped off adding life to it.
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Old 04-01-2021, 01:04 PM #3
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Yup, BUT....

There are some conditions. The 2 biggest are that you need to have a better quality "smart" charger. The old "Battery Tender" branded (and cheap knock-offs) are anything but smart. Noco and Ctek are 2 brands to watch for as being "better".

2nd big one is to NOT leave it connected full time. Generally speaking, you only need 24 hours straight for every 30 disconnected/unused. If you're driving your 4r every weekend (and going more than 30 miles), the charger isn't going to do a whole lot of good. The "smart" aspects (de-sulphuring as one) *will* help though.


And yes, they absolutely will keep the battery going for longer. I've personally gotten 10 years of use from 1 battery, though the last year it was very iffy/not the most reliable.

For your personal situation, if you plugged in the night before you planned to go somewhere, you'll be 100% covered and getting the absolute most from the battery.

At least that just my personal opinion (pro motorcycle wrench for a few decades, I'm well versed in "winterizing" and maintaining toys)
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Old 04-01-2021, 01:23 PM #4
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Quote:
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Yup, BUT....

There are some conditions. The 2 biggest are that you need to have a better quality "smart" charger. The old "Battery Tender" branded (and cheap knock-offs) are anything but smart. Noco and Ctek are 2 brands to watch for as being "better".

2nd big one is to NOT leave it connected full time. Generally speaking, you only need 24 hours straight for every 30 disconnected/unused. If you're driving your 4r every weekend (and going more than 30 miles), the charger isn't going to do a whole lot of good. The "smart" aspects (de-sulphuring as one) *will* help though.


And yes, they absolutely will keep the battery going for longer. I've personally gotten 10 years of use from 1 battery, though the last year it was very iffy/not the most reliable.

For your personal situation, if you plugged in the night before you planned to go somewhere, you'll be 100% covered and getting the absolute most from the battery.

At least that just my personal opinion (pro motorcycle wrench for a few decades, I'm well versed in "winterizing" and maintaining toys)
Thank you! Could you recommend a good battery maintainer? I picked this one up at my local NAPA for $50 as it was recommended by the guy working there. But I can return it if you have a better one?
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Old 04-01-2021, 03:54 PM #5
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If you get a "smart" charger you can leave them on.
That's the point of using a "smart" charger.
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:43 PM #6
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I am going to have to be up on my battery maintainer/charger for the next few months - Covid work from home + home construction means I start my 4Runner and pull it out of the driveway every day for the contractors, but otherwise very rarely drive it.

I have long had a battery maintainer for my Camry, which has a very small battery (Miata size) and lots of aftermarket electronics. That battery only lasts a week or less if I don't put the charger on it, even a fresh battery - so every time it is down for maintenance/work I have to put the charger on it.

-Charlie
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:23 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanOfSeattle View Post
Thank you! Could you recommend a good battery maintainer? I picked this one up at my local NAPA for $50 as it was recommended by the guy working there. But I can return it if you have a better one?
This is what I use for the past year and seems to work.
I have an AGM battery but this works for both agm and regular batteries.
CTEK (56-353) MULTI US 7002 12-Volt Battery Charger
Amazon.com: CTEK (56-353) MULTI US 7002 12-Volt Battery Charger,Black: Automotive
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:53 PM #8
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Walmart has Schumacher Battery Charger that has charging 10A and trickle charge 2A for $38. I am running one on my 4Runner everyday and it is Harbor freight CenTech battery charger listed at $40.
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:58 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanOfSeattle View Post
Thank you! Could you recommend a good battery maintainer? I picked this one up at my local NAPA for $50 as it was recommended by the guy working there. But I can return it if you have a better one?
As long as its description is "smart charger" where it goes thru several stages of charging, desulfation, trickle, ect. it will do fine. Not sure if they make batt last longer but it will work better while it does!

I use these on several autos and quads, occasionally they go on sale for under $20 (Noco Genius 1):

Amazon.com: NOCO GENIUS1, 1-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger, 6V and 12V Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, Trickle Charger, and Battery Desulfator with Temperature Compensation: Automotive
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:20 PM #10
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Are you currently experiencing any draining issues where this might fix it, or are unable to afford a $100 expense every 5-10 years? If you answered no to either of these, it's a $50 solution to a nonexistent problem. If you have problems in the future I'd consider it then.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:48 PM #11
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overcharging batteries are bad for them. Running them to zero is bad for them too. You want something inbetween. throw it on a charger/maintainer every couple of days and don't leave it on full time. when you charge the battery you eat up the overall battery capacity by oxidizing the positive electrode. Your alternator does this too but much slower.
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Old 04-02-2021, 04:04 AM #12
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Battery maintainer extending battery life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nissanh View Post
Walmart has Schumacher Battery Charger that has charging 10A and trickle charge 2A for $38. I am running one on my 4Runner everyday and it is Harbor freight CenTech battery charger listed at $40.

Iíve had one of those for over ten years. I also have their 12a/8a/2a speed charger I bought at Kmart some 20 years ago.

I have 2 deltran s also a 4 bank 1.25a and an 8a marine waterproof.

Edit: I also have two of these desulfation
modules.


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Last edited by 19963.4lsr5; 04-02-2021 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 04-02-2021, 02:36 PM #13
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Are you currently experiencing any draining issues where this might fix it, or are unable to afford a $100 expense every 5-10 years? If you answered no to either of these, it's a $50 solution to a nonexistent problem. If you have problems in the future I'd consider it then.
You bring up a very good point. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself by trying to "fix" a problem that isn't a problem
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:41 PM #14
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You bring up a very good point. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself by trying to "fix" a problem that isn't a problem
Its worth it to keep a ~$100 battery working for 3+ years instead of 1 or less - but that's not everyone's situation.

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Old 04-02-2021, 09:46 PM #15
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Its worth it to keep a ~$100 battery working for 3+ years instead of 1 or less - but that's not everyone's situation.

-Charlie

When I was in the navy as a GSE battery maintenance and upkeep were one of the most important jobs. It taught me a lot about it.


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