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Old 04-22-2011, 03:09 PM   #1
TheShadowWRX
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Default Correct Battery Charger Settings

Hey Guys,

So I have a question that I should probably already know the answer to, but I have never been able to get a definitive answer from my buddies...

I moved to CO for the ski season at the beginning of November and haven't driven my Subaru since September. Unfortunately I didn't remember to put a trickle charger on it so when I got home today the battery was super low, although not completely dead. The car wouldn't start but the odometer and gauges were all still on/accurate. Anyway, I'm driving a fairly long distance on Sunday for Easter and I want to make sure I get the car completely caught up on maintenance before leaving.

I charged the battery for about an hour on 12V, with the type selection on 'Maintenance-Free, Deep Cycle'. Now this is the part I'm confused about, which 'Maintenance Type' should I be using? I have a Diehard Gold battery. The options are 'Conventional - Low Maintenance' and 'Maintenance-Free, Deep Cycle'. Now I know my old Optima Yellow-Top was a Deep Cycle battery but I don't think the Diehard battery is. My friend told me to put it on Maintenance-Free - is this correct?

Final question - to make sure the battery is full topped off and ready for the trip, should I leave it on 12V for a few more hours? The charge indicator is pinned all the way to the right when on 12V, on the 0% mark and the yellow 'Power On' light is on. When I switch it to 2V it jumps to where it is in the picture attached, around 25%. Why is this? Is the battery sufficiently charged? I could potentially leave it on 2V all night to make sure but I need to drive a few places this afternoon first...

** And should I be using the conventional or maintenance-free battery selection??



Thanks,

Mike
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:16 PM   #2
razrielle
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I don't know about your battery charger so here's a few things.

Maintenance free batteries dont have vent caps to where you can add water to your battery.

check the battery with a multimeter to see if your getting 12 v
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:20 PM   #3
yarrgh
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Is the die hard battery a maintenance free battery, or do you need to add water on occaison? I read it as an "or" not an "and". So the setting is :maint free OR deep cycle.

Leave it on 12A for a while longer. If you need to, the charger will help you start the car, and then when you're driving, the car will charge the battery. As to whether it can hold a charge....don't know.



edit: D'oh! Damn electrical terminology

Last edited by yarrgh; 04-22-2011 at 08:12 PM. Reason: I can't read good.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:53 PM   #4
I8AV8
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Ok, first, you're confusing voltage with amperage. The little switch on the right is your amperage setting. It doesn't look like you have a voltage selector. No biggie. You car isn't 6 or 24 volt anyways.

You did good by using the 2 amp setting to bring the battery back to life. You want to wake it back up slowly. Going with a higher amperage setting for an extended period of time is a good way to cook your battery. More often or not, fast charging a dead battery will render it chemically dead.

I would keep it charging on 2 amp as long as possible. Get the battery as close to 12.6v as you can with 2 amp. You alternator will thank you. The problem with leaving the alternator to charge a dead battery is that often times you will overstress the alt. doing this and cook it in the process. It doesn't always go that way, but better safe than sorry. My .02
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:55 PM   #5
Uncle Scotty
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I would charge it with the lowest setting for as long as it takes to charge....might take a couple days

it was discharged slowly....recharge it slowly
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:12 PM   #6
TheShadowWRX
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It is a maintence-free battery now that you desribed the different types. Thanks for the help.

I just checked the battery charge meter thingy and it is now at 75%, it wasn't as dead as I thought - just not enough juice to start.

I do recall having multiple problems last summer with the alternator belt, I think I went through three of them. This happened out of nowhere orginally, the belt was slipping and squeaking and then it slipped too much, wouldn't charge and died on the side of the road. I had the car towed to Subaru and they replaced the belt with a new one, which proceeded to snap off in less than a week. I took it to NTB because it was right across the street from where it snapped off and they put a new one on. This was too snapped. Then I replaced it myself in July and so far so good - actually a little slippage, but what the heck is going on? This shouldn't be this hard for someone, much less a paid professional to fix correctly should it!?!

Ideas?


Thx,

Mike
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:50 PM   #7
sniper1rfa
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Take the battery out and measure it with a multimeter - chances are it's sulfated from sitting around dead and will need to be reconditioned or replaced. This is likely if the voltage is much below 12.0V


No idea about your alternator though.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:39 PM   #8
2Fast4U1DAY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper1rfa
Take the battery out and measure it with a multimeter - chances are it's sulfated from sitting around dead and will need to be reconditioned or replaced. This is likely if the voltage is much below 12.0V

No idea about your alternator though.
Checking the voltage with a DMM will not tell you of its sulfated or not (not by itself anyway). The right way to do it is to do a 3 minute charge test. Put it on charge for 3 minutes at 40 amp charge, THEN test it with a DMM. If the voltage is higher than 15.5V its sulfated. If it is 15.5V or less its not sulfated and you MIGHT be able to save it by doing a very low amperage charge for a long time.
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