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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just found out I'll be leaving town for a week which has caught me a bit off guard with my new car. I've only had it for a couple weeks so I haven't had a chance to buy battery tender or anything of that nature.

What options do I have that will allow me to start the car when I get back? The car came with a Braille B14115 battery and it looks like the previous owner had a battery tender of some sort as it has the plug-in cable attached to the battery. The car has enough problems starting after sitting in the parking lot at work for 9 hours so I'm not too hopeful about the prospect of just leaving it and coming back a week later.

I have a junk charger I bought from Harbor Freight back when I had my FD, is this something I could use or will it likely ruin the battery? Here's a picture of the hardware in question:



What about simply disconnecting the battery before I leave? Am I going to run into issues with the alarm when I plug it back in?

Just to stay on top of my laziness, I'm planning on ordering whatever I need to prevent this from happening in the future. I've heard the Battery Tender Jr (Batterytender.com - Home of All Your Charging Needs Battery Tender Jr.) mentioned before, would this fit the bill for a small Braille battery?

Thanks in advance for the advice.
 

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Buy a battery tender jr or plus... 12v. The battery that you have probably wont start after a week. Its a good battery but it needs to be running more than the stock battery to stay alive.
 

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9 hours? Seems the battery is either freezing cold, or starting to go. I'd suggest getting a new one. My odyssey 680 lasted 2 years before it only held a charge for 3-4 days (with alarm not set). After it didnt start (after sitting for 3-4 days), I ordered a new one immediately and now it holds a charge for 2 weeks in the garage

That "tender" looks cheap, but I think a "float charger" is the same thing as a "tender", which is what you want.




Regardless, I vote for ordering a new battery and take your trip... when you get back, a new one will be there. 9 hours is not a good sign. Unless you're starting your car often and only driving a short amount of time (<15 minutes)
 

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Ruining the battery? Sounds like it already is!!! Go with your charger and replace the battery on your return.
 

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A "float charger" is another name for a "maintainer", so you are safe to use it. The other alternative is to disconnect the battery. Incidentally,your fully charged Braille should last for approx. 1.5 weeks with the alarm set before it gets down to 10.5V.
Michael
 

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replace the battery when you come back from your trip...its already ruined.
 

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...who works for only nine hours at a time?..sounds nice!..
 

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a couple things

...who works for only nine hours at a time?..sounds nice!..
This is a MAJOR problem in the U.S.. Too many people just accept that they must work 60-80hrs a week (that's 20-40hrs a week people should be spending time with their family so they don't repeat their parents mistakes). Then companies state that their "productivity" is going up every year. Well, duh, many of their employees have added hrs to their workday every year. Big corporations are so poorly MANAGED these days, nobody knows how to: hire, train, and assess employees. Employees simply advance by attrition, not on actual ability to do the job. Ok, soo much more to all this, but, I'm done. Thanks for listening... :)

2. I've not left a car sitting around for any more than a workday, yes 8-9 hrs, with the alarm armed. I don't remember the last time a car, I owned, didn't start after sitting for months at a time. There are a few people saying that this battery, even if in good condition, won't last more than a couple weeks. Why? Is it just that brand of battery? I usually use Interstate, preferably a Mega-Tron. Is it the car? Or, does an armed alarm draw that much power?
 

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I have the same charger from HF that I use for my outdoor equipment batteries (mower, tractor, etc). I've never had a problem with it. It works quite well. I also have several BatteryMinders that I have been very pleased with and a Sears maintainer that works fine. The only difference that exists between them is the desulfation mode on the BatteryMinder Plus. Other than that all three brands seem to work equally as well.

If I was you, I would just slap that HF float charger on the battery and go away. It should be fine.

Edit: I do remember something about the HF charger manual saying not to use it on AGM batteries but I may be remembering that wrong. IIRC and it is true, I don't know why.
 

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I have left my car sitting for more than a week without a battery tender, and it had zero problems starting after that. Sounds like you are really in need of a new battery as others have said.

@rocketep3: I believe the short 'sitting' battery life has to do with Lotus trying to keep the weight down in the car and installing a very lightweight (and therefore, not powerful) battery. There are some aftermarket batteries that will last more along the lines of three+ weeks, but I've never tried it and cannot confirm.
 

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I use a Schumacher model SEM-1562A Fully Automatic Battery Charger/Maintainer with float mode monitoring.

I bought it at Wal-Mart. It works very well.

If I'm not going to drive for a week or more, I hook it up. It came with a short pig-tail with ring connectors to permanently attach one end to the battery and has a quick disconnect go to the charger cord.

The security system in the car is a small current drain on the battery, but it will run a good battery down in just a few weeks.
 

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I have a junk charger I bought from Harbor Freight back when I had my FD, is this something I could use or will it likely ruin the battery?
That "junk charger" from Harbor Freight Tools is a very good float charger that keeps the battery optimized at the proper full-charge voltage with no danger of overcharging.

I have used one of these for all of my recent Lotuses and have my Elise 'floating' on one right now. I've left her on her dedicated device for as long as six weeks while on an extended business trip and have never had a problem.

I also have one attached to my lift for whichever other car I need to keep up while not being driven, and I have had such good experience with these "junk chargers" from Harbor Freight Tools that I have a spare in a drawer at home and one at my wilderness cabin for my Jeep.

These things are inexpensive, but they work and are consistently long-lived (never had one fail in well over five years).
 

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I've left my car for 2 weeks, on 2 occassions, alone in the garage and it started up fine when I got back.
I have the stock battery, though. The car was not alarmed both times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the advice.

Huh, I didn't know the charger I had was decent. I haven't heard a lot of overwhelmingly positive things about some of their stuff so I just assumed the worst I guess.

I'm going to see how I fare with this HF charger. If the original owner bought this Braille battery back in 2005 and this being Phoenix and all, it wouldn't really surprise me that it's on its way out. If it lasts me until Spring or so I'll be happy.

And yeah, I'm not a stranger to the 60-70 hour work week. I just started with this company a couple months ago so I'm not important enough to have to put in crazy hours but it's just a matter of time. I'm enjoying my 40 hour work weeks while I can.
 

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My favorite quote:
Americans live to work
Europeans work to live

;)


and yeah, I'm not a stranger to the 60-70 hour work week. I just started with this company a couple months ago so I'm not important enough to have to put in crazy hours but it's just a matter of time. I'm enjoying my 40 hour work weeks while I can.
 
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