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Battery management – The trickle charger
How many times have you gone to take your car out for a drive and the battery has been flat? Even if it has only happened once that is probably too often. Most of us use our classic cars less frequently than they were originally designed to be, they may even get stored for months at a time. The cold weather and long periods of minor battery drain will kill a lead acid battery in just a few months. Every time they completely discharge their capacity is reduced, meaning less starting performance and ultimately failure.
There are a myriad of different trickle chargers or ‘conditioners’ available on the market. They simply attach to your battery with crocodile clips and plug into a three pin socket. The conditioner is a slow charge, which keeps the battery ‘topped up’ switching on and off as required. Frankly this is about as complicated as most of us need, but there are cars where the battery is pretty difficult to get to.
A typical example is an MGB, with its pair of batteries hung in cradles over the rear axle. You might have a modern classic with the battery buried under the boot floor (many BMW’s and Mercedes). If you are really lucky it may be stuck inside a box which requires disassembling each time you want to charge the battery! In these cases we can ‘wire in’ the charger leaving a small water proof socket in an accessible area making it much easier to connect.
Which one to use?
There are simply thousands of different makes and models available. As a general rule we like to fit conditioners made by CTEK. They are a company that have been at the forefront of battery solutions for years and we have fitted hundreds of them. We like their 5 year warranty (although have never had one fail) and there built in safety systems.
When you are leaving a battery plugged in and unattended it is comforting to know that it will not be over charged, become too hot or burst into flames! For 99% of all 12 Volt vehicles the ideal model to choose is their MXS 3.8, but we will be happy to talk through what your car requires and advise you accordingly.