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  1. #1

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    trickle battery chargers all the same?

    Picked up another $4.99 Harbor Freight trickle battery charger today and noticed it is labeled, "use on fully charged 12 volt wet lead-acid batteries only".
    Have used these on all my AGM batteries past three years but did have a new-in-2012 battery fail on me this past spring.
    Is there an AGM-specific trickle charger that we should be using?


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    No, all battery chargers are NOT the same, trickle or otherwise. Not even close, sometimes.

    There have been some recent threads in the other forums discussing the benefits and specs of the better grade chargers. Search for Battery Tender as a starting point.

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    WFO

  4. #3
    Also check out CTEK chargers. They're OEM for Ferrari, Porshe, and many other brands. They're used to charge and as a battery tender for vehicles that are stored.

    They also have have specific settings for AGM batteries.

    Amazon is a good place to get them.

  5. #4
    Yamaha artisan Cutlass's Avatar
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    AGM batteries aren't as charger sensitive as the gel cell batteries, but you can still fry them with a crappy trickle charger. I'd suggest getting a "Smart" style charger that detects when a battery is fully charged and cuts back on the voltage and amperage to "float" the battery at fully charged. Some smart chargers shut off when the battery is fully charged.
    Or keep a close eye on your battery and charger if you use a cheap trickle charger. In that case, you have to turn off the charger before it fries the battery.

  6. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    ...
    Or keep a close eye on your battery and charger if you use a cheap trickle charger. In that case, you have to turn off the charger before it fries the battery.
    Many people may have no idea what that actually means.

    I don't use poor quality or inappropriate battery chargers (well, not very often).

    For those that don't use a good charger, it is more complicated and more laborious to 'keep an eye on the battery' than it is to simply buy and use a proper quality battery charger.

    Who wants to be checking in on the battery every hour or two, probing with a voltage meter and checking the battery temperature with your hand?

    It is too easy to forget about the charger until the battery is simmering nicely, already well beyond 'fully charged' and now bubbling away, battery lifespan already reduced and going downhill.

    For non-AGM batteries, remembering to reconnect that cheap charger every few weeks during the off season is just another hassle. If you forget, the lead-acid battery will self discharge within a couple of months or less and then internally degrade while it is sitting there, forgotten.

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  8. #6
    Just relax and enjoy the ride. XLT Chad's Avatar
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    You get what you pay for.

    I have been using the battery tender brand for a couple of years now with nothing but good results.

    batteries prices have sky rocketed the last couple of years, so why risk ruining them with a cheepo charger.

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  10. #7
    lets race.... mikeFZR's Avatar
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    I use some Sears brand charger in the winter. I put the batteries on the charger for 5-6 hours each every month or so. In my experience, the batteries last 4-5 years (well, I have just always replaced them at 4-5 years since I dont want to get stranded).

  11. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeFZR View Post
    ... I put the batteries on the charger for 5-6 hours each every month or so.

    In my experience, the batteries last 4-5 years (well, I have just always replaced them at 4-5 years since I don't want to get stranded).
    Charging each battery about once per month is just fine.

    If the batteries are AGM then an AGM compatible charger is recommended to avoid incorrectly charging the battery.

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