Battery Tender?

Discussion in 'MINI' started by Steve, Oct 12, 2009.

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  1. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    #1 Steve, Oct 12, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009
    I tend to drive my MINI almost exclusively in the summer and my Element almost exclusively in the winter. The Element's battery doesn't like the lack of use in the summer and the MINI's battery suffers during the winter.

    While giving the Element another jump start today I remembered reading about something called a Battery Tender.

    I'm thinking about buying one but thought I'd ask for advice first. Have you used one or heard anything that might help me make up my mind? Know of any other (better?) brand, product or solution?
     
  2. Dr Obnxs

    Dr Obnxs New Member

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    Good ones are good,

    and crappy ones are crappy. The cheap ones tend to just trickle a little current into the battery hoping that this is the right about. Better ones look at the battery voltage to keep from over or undercharging. With modern cars, the computers never sleep and I don't know what the drain is. Systems "go to sleep" over time and that drops the standby current. Do your homework and get one that is smart.

    Matt
     
  3. YeloMini

    YeloMini Member

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    Battery Tender's are great. I use them on my motorcycles. Both have 9 year old batteries. They still work perfectly and start right up no matter how long between rides.

    The nice thing about the Battery Tender brand is the fact they hold it fully charged without overcharging. Many of the lower priced models over charge. Like Matt mentioned, they are one of the "smart" ones.
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    Thanks, that's the plan. :Thumbsup: Problem is, I (and I think most of us) can't tell one that's actually smart from one that isn't (without relying on manufacturer propaganda), so I'm looking for any help I can get. I've read a few posts here and there claiming this brand is a good one. Time to do a little digging and see if I can find any others that look good.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    They make quite a few versions, which do you use?
     
  6. YeloMini

    YeloMini Member

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    I use their Jr model since it takes up little space. It's only a 0.75A charger, more than enough to maintain the small battery in my cycles. For a car, I'd get the Plus model with slightly higher amperage, 1.25A.
     
  7. zied

    zied Club Coordinator

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    #7 zied, Oct 14, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
    Hi Steve,
    You don't need to pay a lot of money. You don't want a trickle charger (and they cost way more anyway). All you need to do is get an Automatic Battery Float Charger. On sale you can pick one up for $5.99, normally around $10. Try Harbor Freight for one with alligator clips or here is a link for a larger one you can mount under your hood for around $20.

    At $6-$10 you can afford to occassionally drive off with this one connected lol (I did that just 2 weeks ago). My last one I used for over 5 years (same brand and model and same price $5.99), without any problems and without replacing the battery. This is one instance that I do not believe more money makes for a better product. I'm sending my wife to pick up 2 more of these today.
     
  8. lotsie

    lotsie Club Coordinator

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    I've had a battery tender in my MINI since it's first winter, 6 years ago. Back then I was living in a much colder climate than I do now, -30F was normal for a lot of the winter, with some lows going down to the -40's. I used the tender almost all winter so Poco had lots of juice to start-up in the mornings. I got mine from the dealer, BMW branded smart charger. It lives under the bonnet, under the passenger side cowling.

    Still running the OEM battery, but it may be time to get a new one, been 6+ years now.

    Mark
     
  9. MD-IN-UK

    MD-IN-UK New Member

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    Since I haven't actually seen a post stating where to get one, let me recommend Griots Garage. I bought one two years ago for my Classic Mini that only gets use on the weekends, and have found it to be exceptional value for the money.

    You can use it several ways as well. Temporary hook up with aligator clips (like a battery booster), permanent, mount it to a fender well or as in my case, inside the boot, etc.

    Check it out before you commit to anything, theres lots of choices out there, unfortunately, theres lots of crap as well.
     
  10. sketch

    sketch New Member

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    My dad uses one to charge his Lamborghini. Works great, and garauntees it will start after sitting for a long period of time. I beleive he bought it at Harbor Freight.
     
  11. Deviant

    Deviant Banned

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    I find something rather comical about this, maybe it's the image of a guy pulling up outside a Harbor Freight store in a Lamborghini.
    "After this we'll hit the McD drive-thru and then off to Dollar General."
     

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