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battery charging



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cloudedmind

Club Member

Sun 13 May 18 12:54

battery charging


hi all, has anyone tried / used one of the solar charger type things that sit on the dashboard, plug into your 12v power outlet and trickle charges the battery ?
as my c5 will mainly be a weekend toy i don't want my battery going flat while its not in use.
any insight or recommendation on which type to buy would be appreciated,
also are they ok with gel / agm type batteries ?

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Rich

Club Member

Sun 13 May 18 18:21

Re: battery charging


I have used a CTEK XS 3600 for many years on C5s, C6s and now my Camaro. I connect it if I'm not using the car for a week or so and just leave it to tend the battery.

Highly recommended as C5s can have a battery drain problem if left. I have always bought a new Red or Yellow top battery as soon as I acquire a used Vette and have never had a battery problem.

I can't speak for the solar system you mention - do they work if the car is in a garage?



Last edited by Rich on Sun 13 May 18 18:23; edited 2 times in total. [13 %]
--------------------
Rich Rogers
CCCUK Lifetime Member
2017 Yellow SS Camaro

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Firepit

Club Member

Sun 13 May 18 18:53

Re: battery charging


Agree with Rich on using a battery tender rather than a straight solar charger.

Keeping a car battery in tip top condition needs something with a level of intelligence built in. If you can find a solar one that does that then that would be good. Something akin to a caravan solar panel with a separate solar controller which then maintains the battery correctly.

Personally, I would not use an simple dash mounted charger. Buy a decent CTEK and if needed you can get extension cables for it and a permanent in car connector to quickly connect it to the car. I believe I've got the CTEK MX5. It's been tending my same yellow top battery for four years now and the battery is still good.


--------------------
C5 in custom made Firepit Orange color with Billy Boat Bullet exhaust, MGW short shift, Wilwood Superlite front brakes, Venair Orange Silicon hoses and Evans waterless coolant. Custom mural under hood with wheels and other accessories in Thunder Grey. Illuminated Sills and Firepit Orange interior.

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weslp00

Club Member

Sun 13 May 18 19:22

Re: battery charging


Yes ..speaking from experience on different cars and a C5 too, optima yellow or red top will last forever... "fit and forget" comes to mind. Bit pricey but worth it. Ebay is worth a visit Clap

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Redlevel

Club Member

Mon 14 May 18 09:36

Re: battery charging


Best way to maintain a battery is to just use it in the car.. Yes

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kentvette

Club Member

Mon 14 May 18 12:18

Re: battery charging


I looked at a CTEK charger 14 years ago - then I looked at offings from Aldi and Carrefour! Both were quarter of the price of a CTEK, but offered the same spec.

In the end I went with the Carrefour item! It's been on the Corvette for the 14+ years that we have lived here. Back in the UK the car was in a "lock-up", with no power, so I just disconnected it. I still disconnect (I bought a switch for that 28 years ago!), but now put the "trickle" charger on as well. It seems to have extended the battery life a little compared to when in the UK.

I actually bought an Aldi version (8 euros on special offer!!) which I used for many years on the old Vauxhall Astra, again, worked a treat. Astra has now gone, and the new car doesn't seem to need anything yet Cool

I have to say, I can't see how the solar models would work, unless the car was outside, with no cover Surprised


--------------------
Stephen J Irons
CCCUK Lifetime Member
Corvette Club France
Corvettes of Southern California
NCM Family Member
Stephen & June's Web Site
Red Corvettes Have More Fun!

Apple IS Genisys!
The "Born-Again Greenies" are killing the planet! It's time to wake up and smell the rain-forest burning!

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cloudedmind

Club Member

Wed 06 Jun 18 22:24

Re: battery charging


well ive decide to try the c5 as a daily driver so the battery going flat is probably no longer a problem. thanks for the replies anyhow,
I will try to keep you all posted on my findings / adventures and hopefully not my problems

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5 USA

Club Member

Wed 06 Jun 18 22:51

Re: battery charging


One point about C5 battery is that a failing battery may still start the car but cause all sorts of problems with the electronics. Starting requires "current" whereas the electronics require "voltage" to operate correctly. When you start the car, high current drawn by the starter causes voltage to drop. If the battery is weak the voltage will drop too far.

Typical sign of a weak battery is the DIC defaulting to metric (kilometers) even though you've been driving around for months/years with it set to US units (miles). Once that starts happening it's time to shop for a new battery.

Also C5 needs a battery of sufficient capacity. Some batteries available in UK are a physical fit for the unusual side terminal set-up but simply don't have enough grunt to avoid the voltage drop issues mentioned above.

I always found the standard Delco battery was fine. I had to buy 2 new ones during the 13 years I owned the car. Using the car once or twice a week was sufficient without the need for a battery tender.


--------------------
The Stingray has landed!

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Firepit

Club Member

Thu 07 Jun 18 00:03

Re: battery charging


Iagree

A weak battery still starts the car but I can certainly attest to the electrical problems that showed up. Spurious messages from the computer drove me nuts until I got a new decent battery.


--------------------
C5 in custom made Firepit Orange color with Billy Boat Bullet exhaust, MGW short shift, Wilwood Superlite front brakes, Venair Orange Silicon hoses and Evans waterless coolant. Custom mural under hood with wheels and other accessories in Thunder Grey. Illuminated Sills and Firepit Orange interior.

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Sid.123

Club Member

Fri 08 Jun 18 19:14

Re: battery charging


Ive used various solar chargers and they all do there job.
I just wanted to add that a solar charger will maintain a battery thats in good condition.if the current draw on the battery is very low for example just powering the clock/alarm only . most solar chargers will charge at not much more than 0.5amp. They can not be used to charge a flat battery as ive seen some try and they will not maintain a failing battery .
And to answer a previous question. They only work when in daylight, preferbly sunlight. If your car is in the garage you will need to run the wire outside as i have and put the solar panal on the garage roof or mount it on a sun facing wall.
Sorry for the ramble but some people expect them to do more than they are designed for.


--------------------
59/69 silver beige/medium brown. 1 of 1,014 in 1986. C4 glasstop

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