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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Trickle Charging



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      08-23-2009, 10:37 PM   #1
MerlinMc
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Trickle Charging

My vehicle often sits for long periods unused. What's the best procedure for trickle charging? If the trunk is left open, the trunk lights use some of the charge. If the trunk is closed, is there risk of battery gases igniting?

Thanks.
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      08-24-2009, 05:22 AM   #2
ENINTY
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Since this is the first time this question has ever been asked, I'll take a shot at it.

Use a Deltran Battery Tender. It hooks permanently to the battery via a cable. Plug it into the wall, let it do its thing. It is not a trickle charger; it is a "float" charger. The battery will not outgas because it is sealed. The battery gets charged as you drive too, and no gas gets built up in the trunk. Plus you have to have a spark to ignite the gas. You are over concerned about the hydrogen gas build up.
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      08-24-2009, 11:53 AM   #3
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Get the BMW trickle charger and hook it up to the jumpstart terminals under the hood.
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      08-24-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlinMc View Post
My vehicle often sits for long periods unused. What's the best procedure for trickle charging? If the trunk is left open, the trunk lights use some of the charge. If the trunk is closed, is there risk of battery gases igniting?

Thanks.
Get the advanced battery charger from BMW and you will fine. I got one not too long ago.
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      08-24-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
ENINTY
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The BMW one is a badged Deltran. The Deltran is $34 at Amazon. Hook up the pigtail to the battery in the trunk. Then it's just one connection and plug the charger in tha wall.
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      12-13-2010, 04:09 PM   #6
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Over the past several months, my car has been driven only about 500 miles a month and mostly only 2 - 3 days a week. The rest of the days it is just sitting in the parking lot and I've been using my wife's car for my daily commute and running errands around town. I've noticed that it takes a tad bit longer to start than it did when it was driven on a daily basis. I have a 2 week long overseas trip coming up and on my previous trips I just let my car sit in the parking lot but this time, I am a bit concerned about the battery. I live in an apartment and I cannot run an extended line from my apartment to my car for a conventional battery tender. So, I bought a Sunforce 1.8-Watt Solar Battery Maintainer that I have connected to the jumper terminals inside the hood and I am wondering if anyone has any experience with this or similar battery tenders?
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      02-22-2011, 04:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
Since this is the first time this question has ever been asked, I'll take a shot at it.

Use a Deltran Battery Tender. It hooks permanently to the battery via a cable. Plug it into the wall, let it do its thing. It is not a trickle charger; it is a "float" charger. The battery will not outgas because it is sealed. The battery gets charged as you drive too, and no gas gets built up in the trunk. Plus you have to have a spark to ignite the gas. You are over concerned about the hydrogen gas build up.
I know this is an old thread, but here I am bringing it back from the dead...

So, I bought myself a Deltran. I went to hook it up today, and ran into a problem. I looked in the trunk and I can see the negative terminal, but I don't see an easy way to hook up the positive terminal. There is a large red plastic connector that is covering the whole positive side.

Where do I attached the positive lead of the charger? Should I use the pigtails or the clips?

Thanks!
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      02-22-2011, 06:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CdnE90 View Post
I know this is an old thread, but here I am bringing it back from the dead...

So, I bought myself a Deltran. I went to hook it up today, and ran into a problem. I looked in the trunk and I can see the negative terminal, but I don't see an easy way to hook up the positive terminal. There is a large red plastic connector that is covering the whole positive side.

Where do I attached the positive lead of the charger? Should I use the pigtails or the clips?

Thanks!
I would not plug anything in the trunk. I would plug it under the hood.
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      02-22-2011, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriztofor View Post
I would not plug anything in the trunk. I would plug it under the hood.
+1
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      02-22-2011, 07:28 PM   #10
ENINTY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CdnE90 View Post
I know this is an old thread, but here I am bringing it back from the dead...

So, I bought myself a Deltran. I went to hook it up today, and ran into a problem. I looked in the trunk and I can see the negative terminal, but I don't see an easy way to hook up the positive terminal. There is a large red plastic connector that is covering the whole positive side.

Where do I attached the positive lead of the charger? Should I use the pigtails or the clips?

Thanks!
I recommend using terminals on the battery if you are going to leave the car in a place where someone else my not see the leads going into the hood and accidentally knock them off. In the trunk, the charger is safe and the pressure from the wire closed in the trunk seal will prevent it disconnecting from the battery; if it unplugs from the wall that is okay, but if it unplugs from the battery, the charger may burn up (the old Deltrans did anyway).

Anyway, look closely at the red battery terminal cover. You will see several little plastic "doors" that can be opened up. The doors have little terminal pictures embossed on them. Underneath each door is a positive battery terminal with a 10MM nut. You only need to use one terminal. Unscrew the nut, put the positive lead on from the pig tail, resecure the nut, close the door (if possible) and connect the charger to the pigtail, then plug the charger into the 120V electrical socket on the wall.
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      12-03-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
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First time using a float charger. I went with Entity's recommendation and got a Granite Digitial tender with digital read out. My car will be sitting for the winter. The easiest connection point is under the hood - no one will knock the cables off. Is this an acceptable method?

If not, if I connect in the trunk - which of the three positive posts should I pigtail into? Can the trunk be slammed shut with the cord hanging out?

Finally, can I start the car with the tender hooked up or do I have to disconnect it first?

Thanks for your input, especially to Entity for all the guidance so far.
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      12-03-2011, 11:32 PM   #12
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I use a Battery Tender and searched this forum and several others regarding where to attach the charger/maintainer. Supposedly BMW specifies using the terminals under the hood, rather than directly to the battery. I can't recall the exact detail of why, but remember that it has something to do with the car electronics being potentially harmed by attaching directly to the battery terminals. There is a circuit that protects the car electronics when you attach to the terminals under the hood - you bypass that when you attach to the battery. Yes, I suppose this is more relevant to jump starting current, rather than super low battery maintainer current.
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      12-04-2011, 03:21 AM   #13
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I hook mine up under the hood, even though the battery vents to the outside I would be wary of sparks around the battery.
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      12-04-2011, 07:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA66400 View Post
I use a Battery Tender and searched this forum and several others regarding where to attach the charger/maintainer. Supposedly BMW specifies using the terminals under the hood, rather than directly to the battery. I can't recall the exact detail of why, but remember that it has something to do with the car electronics being potentially harmed by attaching directly to the battery terminals. There is a circuit that protects the car electronics when you attach to the terminals under the hood - you bypass that when you attach to the battery. Yes, I suppose this is more relevant to jump starting current, rather than super low battery maintainer current.
I don't keep my E90 on a float charger, because I drive it 800 miles a week, it never needs a secondary charging source for the battery.

I'll look in the Bentley manual today and see if they say anything about harming the IBS (-) or the Safety Terminal (+). I don't recall seeing anything in the owner's manual about it either. The owners manual of modern BMWs don't tell you anything about maintenance other than to go to the dealer for it, so I doubt BMW addresses something like float-charging the battery in the owners manual.

I think if properly connected to the battery posts, meaning, of course, the correct polarity is followed and the pig-tail is connected directly to the battery posts using the 10MM nut on the positive and negative post clamps is the safer connection method. Using the aligator clips on the jumpstart connections under the hood seems ripe for trouble. Now, mounting the pig-tail to the jumpstart terminals would be just as safe electrically, assuming the pig-tail eyelets fit the bolt stems of the underhood terminals and it can reach both terminals; I've not tried it.

So EYE4SPEED brought up the fact that I recommended to him a float charger made by Granite Digital. This is an old post from 2009, and back in 2009 I only used Detran Battery Tenders and recommended them. However, since 2009, the several new units I bought from Amazon, all broke within the last two years, which lead me on a search for a new vendor for float chargers. I found Granite Digital several years ago when I was looking for a solar-powered battery maintainer. Granite Digital make solar powered units and I bought one for my lawn mower I keep in my non-electrified shed. It worked great, so when I was looking to replace the Deltrans, I bought Granite Digital's 120V-powered units. What is nice about them is they have units with digital readouts, so you can see the voltage the battery is at. The unit can also load test a battery, and bring dead batteries back to life in some instances. Also, the Granite units have better status indicators: unit power, connection status, and charging status. I like them much better than the Deltran units. You can find them at saveabattery.com.

Last edited by ENINTY; 12-04-2011 at 08:09 AM.
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      12-05-2011, 06:54 PM   #15
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[quote=ENINTY;10915419
I'll look in the Bentley manual today and see if they say anything about harming the IBS (-) or the Safety Terminal (+). I don't recall seeing anything in the owner's manual about it either. The owners manual of modern BMWs don't tell you anything about maintenance other than to go to the dealer for it, so I doubt BMW addresses something like float-charging the battery in the owners manual. [/quote]

The owner's manual does cover this indirectly under "Giving and Receiving Assistance/Connecting Jumper Cables":

Connecting jumper cables
Connect the jumper cables in the correct
order, so that no sparks which could
cause injury occur.
<

Your BMW has a jump-starting connection in
the engine compartment which acts as the battery's
positive terminal, refer also to the Engine
compartment overview on page
215. The cap is

marked with +.

My ancient Battery Tender works just fine when connected to the underhood terminals of both my 128i and 328i.

Tom
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      12-09-2011, 04:27 AM   #16
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Walmart sells a 1.5 amp unit that I use perfectly fine under the hood. You have to plug it in, (it is not solar powered.) My little boy did disconnect the clamps one time and I got freaked out...

I also had a BMW branded Deltran unit but it didn't work under the hood, although it says that is the recommended place for it.

Last edited by jzchen; 12-09-2011 at 04:29 AM. Reason: Also had the BMW one but it didn't work when I tried it.
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      12-13-2011, 01:31 AM   #17
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Does anyone use a CTEK charger? They are OEM for Rolls Royce and Porsche. Canadian tire has them on for $50 from time to time, I might pick one up.

http://smartercharger.com/battery-ch... Multi US 3300

http://www.amazon.com/CTEK-Multi-12-.../dp/B000FQBWCY

Last edited by Glim; 12-18-2011 at 06:35 AM.
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      12-16-2011, 12:19 AM   #18
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CTEK 3300 is on sale now at Canadian Tire for $49 until Thursday the 22nd:

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows...p#BVRRWidgetID
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      01-03-2012, 01:25 PM   #19
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CTEK charger not reading battery full when hooked to jump start points:

Plugged the CTEK 3300 charger into under hood jump start points set to AGM for four days, did not get a green 'finished' light.

Pulled the battery out, hooked it up to the charger on my bench and within two minutes it gave a green light and switched to maintainance mode.
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      01-11-2012, 11:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glim View Post
CTEK charger not reading battery full when hooked to jump start points:

Plugged the CTEK 3300 charger into under hood jump start points set to AGM for four days, did not get a green 'finished' light.

Pulled the battery out, hooked it up to the charger on my bench and within two minutes it gave a green light and switched to maintainance mode.
Can you provide pic how you used Ctek 3300?
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      01-12-2012, 12:06 AM   #21
Glim
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Same as ENINTY, I hooked it up to the positive and negative terminals by removing the 10mm nut, tried both the black plastic cap and the red plastic cap (that covers the positive terminal.)

Could not get the CTEK3300 to register a full battery and switch to trickle charge.
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      01-14-2012, 10:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
Since this is the first time this question has ever been asked, I'll take a shot at it.

Use a Deltran Battery Tender. It hooks permanently to the battery via a cable. Plug it into the wall, let it do its thing. It is not a trickle charger; it is a "float" charger. The battery will not outgas because it is sealed. The battery gets charged as you drive too, and no gas gets built up in the trunk. Plus you have to have a spark to ignite the gas. You are over concerned about the hydrogen gas build up.
Well afterall; Hydrogen Made the Blimp/derigible Hindenberg explode...
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