1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

O/T, Any car electrician, expert out there?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Steve W, Jan 5, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Steve W

    Steve W Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,094
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I know this is a long shot, but I think someone might be able to give advise on car battery & sensors.

    I always leave sunroof, some windows, or back lift gate (on SUV) open when vehicles are in the garage. Sometimes for days or weeks without driving them. I switch off all cabin lights.

    I know doors, windows, sunroof al have sensors to tell you if they are fully closed, my questions are:

    1) Does those sensors constantly draw currents from the battery if doors, windows, sunroofs are left open?

    I put 1 amp trickle charger on timer to charge batteries if I left them for more than a week,

    2) 1 amp trickle charge 8 hour per day is enough or too much?

    The subject vehicles are mostly among one or two of the three: Mercedes S-500, ML-500, & C-240 wagon.

    Thank you for any advises.
     
  2. Rastoff

    Rastoff Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,319
    1) No. Those sensors are only active while the ignition is in the On or Run position.

    2) That charger is fine as long as it has regulator so it doesn't overcharge. I've haven't seen a charger for years that didn't have one so, yours probably does.


    My cousin had a 1980 Trans Am that had an interesting "feature". If you let the car sit and the battery discharged to about 9VDC, the windows would open.
     
  3. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,523
    Location:
    Blackshear, Georgia
    Also dependent of the year of vehicles it will turn off some sensors such as door left open. Interior light will turn off after several minutes. Radio will also turn off after several minutes. Jackie B.
     
  4. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,003
    Most newer vehicles are designed to limit parasitic draw while not in use. Basically, the battery should hold a charge for a month or two. Aftermarket accessories like alarms, remote keyless entry, etc, may discharge a battery. I use a solar panel, 1.5 Watts to keep my battery up to snuff. If the vehicle is inside, you can put the solar panel in an exterior window. One larger 5 Watt panel can be configured to keep up several vehicles. Most trickle chargers they sell are configured not to over charge a battery.
     
  5. Steve W

    Steve W Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,094
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thank you for all your responses, obvious I'm out of day with the trickle charger, my 1 amp charger is over 10 years old, not a smart one. Time for a new one.

    I do agree these newer ('05) vehicles are smart enough to shut down electrical devises after certain period of time, I know the sound system, cabin lights will be off 10~20 minutes after engine stopped, but I'm not sure the door sensor will.

    Last week I had a battery failed to pass the factory test, it cost $298.50 to replace one, I thought my trickle charging practice should keep them longer (my company Expedition's factory battery last 9.5 years).
     
  6. Remstar311

    Remstar311 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    942
    I hope that battery had gold terminals for 300 bucks.
     
  7. locdoc

    locdoc Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Antrim, NH
    Or some KY lube

    Doug
     
  8. oz

    oz Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,817
    MB batteries are the absolute best. how many years old was the one you replaced? $298 seems high. if you don't drive for a month, I would not bother. the car should start right up. drive it to charge. MB batteries usually last 5-7 years. MB tech.
     
  9. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,003
    Lead Acid batteries are generally replaceable at around 5 years. Some last three or less and some might last 11 years like the one in my Pontiac POS. Price is not always the indicator of how long one would last. Deep Cycling standard batteries can cause premature failures, just like discharging and freezing can. Extremely high temperatures can also do one in quickly. Vibration can also do one in quickly. Personally, I buy a decent quality battery with more capacity than standard. Sometimes that requires a larger size battery. Most vehicles can accomodate a few different sizes, since the tray will accept them and the hold downs may be adjustable to fit.
     
  10. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,638
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    Your 1 amp battery is fine. A lead acid battery has more resistance when charged, so it draws less current.

    The ad writers take advantage of this natural phenomenon and try and tell you they are doing it on purpose. Free ride, and only small misrepresentation.

    Check fluid levels on batteries on trickle chargers every couple weeks.

    HM
     
  11. BL350

    BL350 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    244
    Dear Steve W,
    All the vehicles on the road today have onboard computer modules (since 1980's). A new corvette has 35+ modules. If left alone for 30 days....dead battery... or it just may go to a security mode when the battery voltage drops below 10 volts (requires trip to dealer to unlock!). A BMW will last about three weeks...then dead....requires tow to dealer and expensive reprogramming!!! Certain year VW's required this any time the battery was disconnected!!! Got to love this stuff! That Northstar System everyone love's..... will take a battery down also. I start a friends BMW's weekly to prevent such headaches. He changed residences and the "Car Sitter" ignored the two BMW's for 4 weeks.....VERY Expensive at local Florida BMW dealer to bring them back to life! I would skip cheap trickle chargers and buy a good one and put it on a weekly timer for a few minutes for best results. ....Respectfully submitted,.....Jet Boat Bill
     
  12. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    10,521
    Location:
    Idaho
    What about a battery tender? I have used one for my Harley for years. It will keep your batter at the right charge.
     
  13. Steve W

    Steve W Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,094
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thank you gentlemen for all your help and PMs, appreciated.

    The longest time I had left my vehicles in the garage without trickle charging was 3 weeks. After I got back from London that time, they all started up just fine, but I don't want to run the risk of a dead battery, so I made a habit to put a charger on them.

    The battery that failed to pass the factory test was 4 years old (a factory replacement under warranty), in a '04 ML-500 with 38,000 miles. It's my raining day car (full time AWD) so it got driven a lot lately, the service advisor told me it probably had a bad cell.

    Sorry, I should have made it more clear, the factory battery was $180.50, labor involved in the process was $112.00 so it comes up to $292.50 They gave me a loaner car which was surprisingly nice, a new E550 coupe with 36 miles on it when I got it. I almost don't want to go back to pick up my ML. :)

    Anyway, I'll get a new generation charger/battery tender later today, I knew I need to keep up with the modern world.
     
  14. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,049
    Location:
    Near but not in chicago
    Even with a 1 amp charger at a slow rate if there are removeable caps on the cells they should be loosened. You can get an excessive build up of hyrogen gas during the charging process. Most garages if they are detached hve plenty of air flow through tem attached garages are a differnet story. There are plenty of parasitic drains on the battery. so charging the battery once a week during long period of not starting and driving the car is great. Keep it on trickle charge and it will be fine check the fluid level in the cells if it is a "serviceable battery. Wear safety glasses and gloves! Becareful on the time I would try 3 hrs 8 may be excessive.
     
  15. andybull

    andybull Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    884
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I like this one. You can get them online for a lot less than retail and it's waterproof.


    waterproof_power_tender_plus.jpg
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.