Battery care when not using car as self isolated?

Discussion in 'Car and Van Talk' started by MGW, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    Two cars and spare batteries I am alternating which is charged using a smart charger, but the question is what about the Jaguar XE, this has stop start and engine management, will it mess it up if I use a charger? Is it better to simply run the engine from time to time, and if so for how long and how often?
  2. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    You can still go out for a drive even if you're self isolating. The only risk you'll encounter is if you need to fill up and you'll still need to do that if you run the car on the drive. You'll also keep all the moving parts working, saving brakes sticking on, discs corroding and so on. Just go for a short spin.
  3. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    Go for drive for 15mins every 2 weeks. Or run engine for 15mins. I'd go late evening when it's quiet on roads if you want. Save going stir crazy. Not seen anything saying you can't however, if your ill stuff the car. Stay in until your felling better before going out as 7-10 days parked up won't effect battery much. Problem is you need to stay in if others in house go ill even if your ok and over it, as could be on your hands or body but can't see any reason a spin around block will hurt. Stay away from from people though. Jmo. Not official
    kitfit1 and masterdiy like this.
  4. masterdiy

    masterdiy Screwfix Select

    When doing this, just make sure you get up to normal engine temp.
    This will stop the oil creaming up & drawing in the damp air.
    kitfit1 and WillyEckerslike like this.
  5. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    At the moment i've still got work until the end of May (or a full lockdown), so have no problem with a stop start Vivaro battery.
    What i do have lots of experience with is motorbikes though and the same good practice with motorbikes will apply with cars as well when they are laid for a period of time.
    My bike gets connected to an Optimate battery conditioner every 2 weeks for a day during the winter lay up. But the best way to deal with it is to actually ride/drive, as has been mentioned. Just leaving the engine running for 15mins actually can do more harm than good. The engine oil will never get up to full running temp, which in turn promotes unwanted extended wear on all the moving engine parts. A long lay up can also promote condensation in the fuel tank, if you are going to lay it up make shure the fuel tank is full. You don't want mould growing in the cooling system either, so always make shure it has plenty of antifreeze in it.
    WillyEckerslike and masterdiy like this.
  6. masterdiy

    masterdiy Screwfix Select

    So, what Bikes do you have?
    As I have left it to late to tax this month, (been to busy) I'll be out on it in April.
    Triumph Tiger Sport.
    Suzuki VStrom.
  7. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    Only one at the moment, a Ducati 1098s. Mine is SORN as well and to be honest it will be staying SORN until this crisis is over the peak.
  8. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    Not a chance, I live in mid Wales, more traffic around Snowdon than ever seen before, Gladstone rock snowdonia has again seen the multitude, thought it was crazy to follow Gladstone all that way, it is at least 5 miles from a road for cars, but whole area is heaving with visitors, and nothing is open so all on walks.

    Signs don't help [​IMG] seems all the caravan sites are full.
  9. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    I have given up with Jaguar XE my wife is using that car for shopping trips and we hope that is enough, as to other cars it is the smart battery doing the rounds car to car, battery to battery, what has been a surprise is how the batteries behave.

    Two batteries both old one no on any car, it was on the Jaguar but replaced as being faulty, however kept for use on the caravan, the other seems A1 never had a problem starting car, both around same size, 95 Ah the old Jaguar one is AGM (VRLA) the other one is flooded. So the AGM one was charged first, voltage rises to 13.5 volt and stays there, the charger has 5 stages, 3.8A to 12.8 volt, 3A to 14.1 volt, 0.8 amp to 14.4 volt, 0.1 amp to 14.4 volt, zero, at 12.8 volt it will return to 0.8 amp charge rate. So the 0.1 amp will hold the AGM battery at 13.5 volt completely steady.

    So the flooded battery as one would expect went through 4 stages until at 0.1 amp, and then the voltage decayed until it returned to 0.8 amp charge, it started off with around 1.5 hours at 0.8 amp and 2 hours at 0.1 amp, which again is what I expected, however over time the 0.8 amp charge time has reduced, again expected, but also the time before it drops to 12.8 volt has also reduced, yesterday I was seeing 7 spikes and hour as the battery returned to 0.8 amp charge rate, today seeing 9 spikes per hour.

    So this charge26-4-20_5.jpg to this charge24-4-20_3.jpg to this charge27-4-20_1.jpg as time has gone on, I will guess there was some slight sulphating of the plates, which is slowly reducing, as to if it will ever go to staying at 0.1 amp charge rate I don't know, but it does seem when I thought the battery was fully charged it was not. I have seen this before with a battery known to have been left standing for an extended time, I have seen what seems to be a dead battery sit for 10 days taking no charge, then as if a switch was flicked start taking charge and seem to fully recover. But under normal circumstances I would have no reason to put this battery on charge, my brother-in-law lives up a farm track and we would not dream of taking the Jag up it, and we use a caravan and the Kia Sorento is our tow car, and for last year has had regular tips of 106 mile there and back as we have been moving house, so this battery is on the Kia and has never failed to start car, so simply not looked at.

    Going back to the 1970's pre the alternator it was common practice to put the car battery on an equalising charge once every two months, over time some cells would charge more than others, and this would bring them all back into line, when the sealed for life battery came out, this practice stopped, at that time a trickle charger was typically around 4 amp, the transformer was poor quality, and at 11 volt you would get 4 amp, but as the volts rose, so the amps rapidly dropped, so at 14 volt around 1 amp, however far higher than the modern smart charger, and leaving the battery on charge for over 48 hours was not good for the battery and could cause it to dry out. Today the smart charger will actually switch off with a new battery, and they are designed to be left connected 24/7 for months on end to keep batteries in tip top condition.

    And of course in the 70's I could not sit at my laptop and look at the energy meter showing me what the charger had done in the last hour/day/month at a glance, without the energy meter I would not know how the charge pattern had changed over the last week, and I found getting information about lead acid batteries even in the collage library was hard.

    I remember being given a home work, "Explain why the battery voltage drops" seemed easy, as a motor mechanic the answer would simply be "because it is discharging" but I was an auto electrician so the answer needed a little more than that, so with the leclanche cell was well documented explaining how the internal resistance and other factors affected the under load and open circuit voltage, but for the lead acid cell there was very little. So I surmised that what happened to the leclanche cell also happened to the lead acid, and that is what I wrote in my home work answer. I got 9 out of 10, rest of class simple answered because it is discharged and got 0.5 marks each, end of year I got a distinction and lecturer said had it not been for me he would have got the sack, and only one other guy passed.

    Although I stopped being an auto electrician 30 years ago and have been an industrial electrician so not really involved with lead acid batteries, I have still taken an interest in them. So I will continue to monitor the Kia battery, and see what it does.

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