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Battery charging

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Old Dec 3rd, 2019, 15:06   #1
0006Andy
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Last Online: Dec 10th, 2019 19:37
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Default Battery charging

My dash board has shown "Low battery” a couple of times and I am considering buying a battery charger to regularly connect over the winter. The car requires a large draw on the battery on start up so I would like to mitigate this if I can by charging it occasionally.

I am looking for some advice at this point.

1) Can I connect safely with the battery in situ and without disconnecting?
2) Should I consider a particular type of safe charger?
3) I’ve seen comments online about not connecting the negative terminal and instead attaching the negative lead to the bodywork. Is this what you would recommend?
4) I do not wish to fry anything or create error codes by charging the battery, therefore can you confirm this is safe to do without consequences?
5) any tips or recommendations on charging for this model will be welcome. VOLVO c70 >2006 SE T5

i may still require a new battery, and thus if I continue to get “low battery” after charging, I will change it.

For your info, the car has low annual mileage and i think was changed last winter or the one before, via Volvo assist.

All comments and recommendations welcome.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2019, 20:36   #2
capt jack
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Modern car batteries shouldn’t need regular top up charges. I’d suggest taking the car to a reputable garage and ask them to check the state of the current battery and the efficiency of the car’s charging system.

If the battery is fading then the only sensible option is a good quality replacement. If the car’s charging system is below par then a new alternator is the most likely cure.

Using a charger risks simply masking either a dying battery or a charging system fault. But given how efficient modern alternators are my money is on the battery being tired. Like tyres, brake discs and exhausts batteries have to be viewed as service components that need to be replaced every few years.

Jack
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Old Dec 3rd, 2019, 21:15   #3
0006Andy
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I was previously advised by VOLVO assist that it’s because I don’t do many miles per annum approx 4500. So the battery not likely to last as long. Given the cold starts puts more pressure on the power needed I thought it might be prudent to give it a bit of a charge occasionally. I know that I will still need to replace it more regularly than most but thought a charge might help it last longer.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2019, 21:41   #4
ITSv40
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If the car is getting little use you need a smart charger. I have a Ctek charger that is permanently connected to the C70, it monitors the battery and keeps it in optimum condition and the car is always 'on the button'.

My son has a XR3i Convertible that was restored to concours about 10 years ago. He bought a new Motorcraft battery from Ford to complete the restoration.

The battery has always been connected to a Ctek charger and always starts first time. In fact about 3 years ago he decided to modify and upgrade the brakes; he took the engine/gearbox out to improve access to the braking system and as part of that exercise removed the battery and popped it on the shelf with the Ctek connected. Life got in the way and the engine did not go back in for 18 months - the battery had stood on the shelf all this time. Battery went back in the car, turned the key and the engine whipped over as normal and soon started. The battery is now 10 years old with infrequent use, but always connected to the Ctek. It performs as well as when new.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2019, 22:10   #5
Zebster
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Between long journeys, my car gets left for lengthy periods and I get regular 'low battery charge' messages. Occasionally using a cheap charger suitable for EFB/AGM batteries (my battery is an EFB type) keeps everything happy!

The positive lead goes to battery +, but the negative lead goes to the engine block (or body) so that the charge flows via the monitoring block on the vehicle negative battery connection to keep the charge state monitoring system properly updated.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2019, 22:37   #6
GrahamHR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt jack View Post
Modern car batteries shouldn’t need regular top up charges. I’d suggest taking the car to a reputable garage and ask them to check the state of the current battery and the efficiency of the car’s charging system.

Using a charger risks simply masking either a dying battery or a charging system fault. But given how efficient modern alternators are my money is on the battery being tired. Like tyres, brake discs and exhausts batteries have to be viewed as service components that need to be replaced every few years.

Jack
If I were to believe what my Volvo dealer tells me re my 2015/ 14,000 mile V60 Polestar car, I'd say you were wrong !...but I think, well I know you are right !

They tell me the charging programme is so smart that "it does not ever charge the battery fully, 12.1V is OK; don't trust plug in voltmeters as they are not connected directly to the battery"

Shame the"very smart" charging system didn't inform the rest of the car that a low voltage is OK and that it shouldn't indicate a low battery warning and shut off the stereo after about 3 minutes.

I put the battery on charge now every 3-4 days (CTEK 7.0), it reaches an at rest 12.85 V. An optional extra quick connection kit fitted to the battery. The plug in voltmeter always shows 14V + when the engine is running, I suspect a big current drain when the engine is off, the Volvo computer says no ! Echoes of "Little Britain"!

I keep my Saab 9-3 Aero convertible on charge using a Maypole 4A charger; does as good a job as the CTEK and includes the quick connection hardware at one quarter of the cost of the CTEK.
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Old Dec 4th, 2019, 09:45   #7
huron
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I've used one of these for about 3yrs now and it's been great. Can't fault it, even my neighbour borrows it.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UK-12V-10...YAAOSwKeBddz7~
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Old Dec 4th, 2019, 10:56   #8
Beardieman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0006Andy View Post
I was previously advised by VOLVO assist that it’s because I don’t do many miles per annum approx 4500. So the battery not likely to last as long. Given the cold starts puts more pressure on the power needed I thought it might be prudent to give it a bit of a charge occasionally. I know that I will still need to replace it more regularly than most but thought a charge might help it last longer.
Just like to add to this, I had a Shogun 2500 diesel for 12 years, it was a year old when purchased, had 54000 when I got rid. Never, ever had a battery in all that time! So, surely makes a Volvo comment like this a little odd??
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Old Dec 4th, 2019, 11:26   #9
capt jack
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In 42 years of car ownership - at that includes more than a dozen Volvos - I've never had to give a car battery regular top up charges. Of course I've bought new batteries - I had to get one last week for my 97 S90 as it happens - but I've always regarded the battery as "service consumable" - a bit like tyres, brakes and exhausts. Something that will last a good while, but not for the life of the car.

I do wonder about cars with automatic stop-start systems though. I happened to have use of a newish Fiesta a few weeks back, and it would stop the engine at traffic lights etc, and then restart when you pushed the clutch down. However, all the lights, heaters, audio continued to work even with engine off. I guess that engineers cleverer than me have thought it all through, but I could quite believe that a car with this technology used predominantly in slow traffic would tend to go through batteries rather more quickly than cars without.

Jack
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Old Dec 4th, 2019, 13:53   #10
Ian21401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamHR View Post
They tell me the charging programme is so smart that "it does not ever charge the battery fully, 12.1V is OK; don't trust plug in voltmeters as they are not connected directly to the battery"

Shame the"very smart" charging system didn't inform the rest of the car that a low voltage is OK and that it shouldn't indicate a low battery warning and shut off the stereo after about 3 minutes.

.
Likewise. We could live with the unnecessary warning but the shut off is totally unacceptable.
However, what can be done about it?
Is it possible to update/amend the software?
Dealer is saying not possible.
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Last edited by Ian21401; Dec 4th, 2019 at 13:53. Reason: Amend typo.
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