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BigRedSwitch

Jump Starter Recommendations Sought

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For any charger to carry out a reconditioning setting the Battery will have to achieve top of charge first. This would be approximately 14.80 volts. The charger then terminates charge but checks the voltage every few minutes and if the voltage drops below a certain level then it will switch on and deliver a small top up charge.

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My neighbour has a CTEK Battery charger (an MXS 5.0, actually).  When a 3 year old Yuasa AGM motorcycle Battery I had, died, I put his charger on it to see what it could do, I knew it would be an amazing feat if it put some life into it, the Battery was shot, and was sitting at about 7 volts.  This was a few months back, I think I selected 'recondition' , but I can't be sure.  After a good long time (definitely more than 2 hours, but I don't exactly know how long), the charger just put on a red error light.  I think this was the charger giving up on the Battery and indicating the Battery needed replacing, but it did come to an end point of sorts, rather than leaving you guessing.

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21 hours ago, BigRedSwitch said:

I've asked CTEK for their opinion.

Well, that was a disappointing response from CTEK.  I was hoping they would explain what was happening during the "analyse" stage but instead they suggested I try the charger on another 12v AGM Battery that is known to be good.

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Is your son's jump starter small enough to keep inside the car?

If the 12V Battery gets too low, the car won't unlock, and you can't get into the boot using the electric opener button.  If you've deadlocked the car, you can only open the driver's door using the emergency key.  So if your jumpstarter's in the boot, can be tricky to get at it.

I have one of the tiny ones and keep it (in it's case) in the seat-back pocket so I can get to it from the driver's door.  See here if interested:  

 

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My son's idea of a workable jump starter and mine differed somewhat (!) and I ended up buying one off Amazon - an Arteck JS08. Just in case...

I need to sort this out soonish because I'm over 70 and the only driver of the car.  If enforced isolation due to coronavirus kicks in then I will be stuck with this Battery for months and it's condition is going to get even worse.

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44 minutes ago, BigRedSwitch said:

... I'm over 70 and the only driver of the car.  If enforced isolation due to coronavirus kicks in then I will be stuck with this battery for months and it's condition is going to get even worse.

I'm under 70 but with a couple of heart conditions will probably qualify as "at risk", so I may be in the same boat.  

I had a bit of a foretaste just over a year ago when a mini stroke meant I couldn't drive for a month (I had a Prius then), so I sat in the car in ready mode on my drive for half an hour every 10 days to keep the 12V Battery topped up - the HV system charges it even when the engine's not running.  At least if I'm quarantined I won't be spending a fortune on taxis as I did that month!

As explained in my previous link, all Toyota Hybrids have a 'sensitive' 12V Battery because it doesn't have to run a starter motor.  A Volvo estate in had in the 1990s had a 12V Battery that wouldn't have been out of place in a very large truck!

In my case I also have a friend that I trust who's a named driver on my insurance, and we take turns driving when we go out for a meal each week - that will obviously stop if I'm quarantined, but I might ask him to take the car for a drive periodically if it comes to it.

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Here's what CTEK have told me: 

"In a deeply discharged Battery or a Battery that has not been used in weeks, starting electrolyte separate and the acid begins to fall and stored on the ground because the acid is heavier than water. Because the acid is no longer evenly mixed in the electrolyte to the active Battery plates, weakened Battery capacity. Battery plates upper part, where the electrolyte is too thin, malfunctioning, and at the bottom, where it is too thick. This leads to various problems including increased corrosion, erosion and sulfation and low Battery."

This seems to fit the bill, except substitute "days" for "weeks" in my case.

   
   
 
 
 
 
 

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I'm making progress.  Initially, I connected my charger to the Battery terminals but nothing seemed to be happening, then I tried with the charger's negative clamp to the top of the suspension unit but that was no good - i guess they are somehow insulated from the body somehow.  Then I found the answer - use the luggage tie-downs in the boot.  The full recharge cycle completed!  Still, only showing 12.1v resting charge so I'm giving it another cycle to see if there is a cumulative effect.

So why didn't using the charger clamps on the Battery terminals work??

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