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Battery upkeep?

1360 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Flyin' Hawaiian
My gte keeps killing batteries. I suspect I don't drive it enough to keep the battery up and after draining to completely dead two or three times, they don't seem to want to take a charge anymore at all. How many miles at what speed would it take say for instance to fully charge a battery that was at 50%? I was also thinking about getting a trickle charger just so the car will always be ready to go whenever I get the urge to boost, even if its been awhile. Anyone ever used one of these? Weather was absolutely beautiful here today and so I started to drive the gte to work but grrrrrrr, the battery was dead and I didn't have time to mess with it till I got home tonight.

Phil D.
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Well I've been thinking of this for a while too (along with a alt. upgrade).

have you thought about something like this?

I was thinking of adding this to my car along with some custome fiberglassing ( the rear spoiler maybe?)

How long can you let your car sit before the battery goes dead? Does your car have an aftermarket alarm system? A bone stock MKII should be able to sit for at least a couple of weeks before the battery drops to 50% charge in mild weather conditions. Lower temps. will cause the battery to lose it's state of charge faster. If you take a drive with all accessories Off (headlights, wipers, etc.) a battery at 50% charge should reach 100% in about 15-20 minutes in non stop and go traffic. Trickle chargers are nice to have if you plan to leave your car parked for any long period of time. Solar trickle chargers work well if the car is parked in sunlight during the day. Also, conventional lead acid batteries will begin to sulfate if left discharged for a period of time, thus greatly shortening the life of the battery. HTH!!
gte car stored in a dark garage. I need plug-in to 110v outlet.

Phil D.
Period to dead gets shorter and shorter. New battery will still crank after a month but a year old battery will go down in two weeks. Nothing wrong with the car. My suspicion is that its the process of sitting for two or three weeks at a time and dropping 50% and then never getting back to 100%. After cycling several times like this it may only be able to hold 70%. I think thats why marine batteries are special, designed to be almost fully discharged before recharging back at the dock while car batteries are designed to be discharged mabe 5-10% on startup and recharged while driving. Autozone is getting tired of me warranteeing their batteries - three in three years. Its a PITA for me too.

Phil D.

Rule of thumb that I've heard, is that if you have to jump start a dead battery, then run it on the freeway for 45 minutes. That should fully recharge the battery.

And yes, the trickle charge method via the battery charger does work. That's the method that our PacNW resident "lazy butt" Chris Jensen does w/ his 89T Garage Queen. He only drive's the car 10% of the time, the other 90% he's driving his GF's Honduh Accord. So yes, it's safe to use.
i had this problem in my car. have you checked your charging system? i know it doesn't sound like it could be it but it might. put a voltmeter on the battery. my batt with a new alt reads 14.7 volts at the battery car running at idle. then turn on your lights blower a/c ect. then check the voltage it it's below 14 your alternator can't keep up with city driving. then revv the engine and see if the lights get brighter or blower starts blowing harder. check voltage too. a good charging system will keep 14.7V no matter what.
First get an Optima then get a good solar charger check eBay search under solar panels. Find a 12v one maybe 12" square car charger install in closest window that has sunlight and run wires to car.

My old '72 Cheby PU would at times sit (outside) for 2-3 weeks + and the JC Whitney dash charger would keep it charged out perfectly.

Our old 5th wheel had one 55w solar panel that would charge 2 Grp 24 batteries @ up to 3 amps per hour enough to let us dry camp for up to 5 days. The batteries lasted 8 yrs with adding distilled water every 3 months.
solar panel won't work with our supras if you're plugging it into the cig lighter socket to charge.
You would have to keep the key in the accesory position the whole time you're charging.
Best to get yourself a small battery trickle charger and plug into 110...

I suspect the Optima will go dead too, it would just take a bit longer. I run Optimas in all my vehicles and have had a few dead batteries with them too, but it takes a bit more to kill 'em (like my electric cooler running overnight in the Durango while on vacation in Vancouver!!!).
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