'Smart' battery charging ??
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Thread: 'Smart' battery charging ??

  1. #1
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    Default 'Smart' battery charging ??

    Hi
    My Captur battery died a bit. 'dropped a cell' as they say. I looked for it but not there Its resting voltage was about 10V. Still started OK but a bit sluggish compared to instant. The cold snap I guess, and being almost 4 years old or more I guess that is all I get.
    I decided to look at the charging voltage via a plug in the cig socket with a cheap meter to see if the charging was 'special'. The battery is a 'special' for stop start use. Actually my model does not 'support' that but I guess there is only one listed for all models.

    Interesting to see what happened. With the old battery the voltage stopped mostly at 14.4V or so most of the time. Sometimes it dropped to 12.3 for a short while, then back up again. A bit higher with the lights on high. Seemed allmost normal. So I decided to put a normal DIN 66 in it. Mostly because it was off the shelf and same cranking capacity as the original. An overkill by normal standards but physically fitted correctly.

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    With the new battery in the true charging regime became apparent. Not so simple at all. By the time it had idled long enough to pay the bill the voltage was down to 12.4V and it stayed there till home. Later driving the voltage stays low at 12.4 or so mostly until you brake or use the lights or untill it seems to regularly give it a burst at 14.++ then soon drops again. Hmm under control of some electron demon who does not wish to waste any.
    I will leave the meter in place to see if I can see the pattern a bit more clearly.

    By the way I had noticed the marginally slower crank the day before but the kicker was the pollution light and message came on while my wife was doing a school run after a hot start ! The battery seems to have stopped it coming back again now.
    Jaahn

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    A friend of mine not only designed the (very quiet) charging systems for the Collins Class battery banks but manufactures battery chargers for home and commercial use. They all feature one thing, in charging they all take into account the ambient temperature and modify the charging rate accordingly. Apparently it makes a difference to longevity as well as performance.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    The better CTEK chargers have temp compensation.


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    .....while my wife was doing a school run after a hot start !
    Usually my wife just makes sandwiches .

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    Hi
    A quick update on the voltage monitoring. Note the meter in the cig lighter socket is a cheapie and not too accurate and slow.
    It certainly does not normally spend much time above 12.4 V and after some driving drops a bit lower. . Engine starts instantly with a small dip then it seemed to go to ~14 just for a moment then drop back.
    When braking the voltage goes up to high 14s and I even saw 15 once ? So that is a battery boost from the wasted braking time I guess. If I turn on the lights it goes up to 14.4 and stays there.
    As I am supervising a learner I have some time to observe the meter
    Jaahn

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    Thanks for the thread Jaahn

    Ever since Skipton Bob mentioned that he had purchased a cigarette lighter voltage monitor I wondered how good these would be and if worthwhile as an addition to monitoring the condition of the charging system on a modern car. Batteries are pretty crucial as to how they maintain the delicate?? computer systems in some pretty variable heat conditions.


    It seems to me that for the new types of batteries they need careful charging so might be good to remove the battery from time to time and use an external charger to condition the battery. In that regard I am using a Projecta 7 stage automatic 12 volt 8000mA battery charger. It has a feature for restoring batteries that have been drained of charge and sulphated, and so far that feature has rejuvenated several modern batteries using the battery recondition feature.


    Only one that has failed to respond was a battery that was left connected to the charger, sitting on concrete, but with the charger turned off, for a month before the error was discovered and it is irrecoverable (comes out of my sons old Porsche !) so Dad will be responsible for its replacement of course!! Some say batteries should never be left sitting on concrete - maybe an old mechanics "wives tale" but this battery is Dead. [email protected]@ger..


    Hope your observation and the meter helps with your battery knowledge - regards.


    Ken

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    Default Voltages !

    Hi
    Just an update on the voltages. Perhaps the ecu has learnt about the new battery and noticed it does not have a dud cell.
    Now the voltages after starting stay at about 12.4 for a while, no immediate jump to charging. The largest boost is when you decelerate, for traffic or a hill, when it goes up to 15V if long enough. This is not actually linked to the brakes but happens when you lift off the accelerator. These boosts seem to lift the voltage generally to around 12.6 or so which seems to rise over time to 12.8-13 V as a background reading. However at other times it drops lower to 12.4.

    Hard to follow the complete logic as the voltage jumps up and down quite randomly sometimes it seems, Not like normal regulators which go up to 14.4 and just sit there. The only time this car does that is if the main lights are turned on. The running lights are always on.
    Jaahn

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    Try an alternator belt change/adjustment and see if that has an effect?

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi
    Just an update on the voltages. Perhaps the ecu has learnt about the new battery and noticed it does not have a dud cell.
    Now the voltages after starting stay at about 12.4 for a while, no immediate jump to charging. The largest boost is when you decelerate, for traffic or a hill, when it goes up to 15V if long enough. This is not actually linked to the brakes but happens when you lift off the accelerator. These boosts seem to lift the voltage generally to around 12.6 or so which seems to rise over time to 12.8-13 V as a background reading. However at other times it drops lower to 12.4.

    Hard to follow the complete logic as the voltage jumps up and down quite randomly sometimes it seems, Not like normal regulators which go up to 14.4 and just sit there. The only time this car does that is if the main lights are turned on. The running lights are always on.
    Jaahn
    As the problem appears to be electric/electronic it might be worth a proper diagnostic by your local friendly dealer. No codes, no probs.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Hi
    I think you two, Ken and Kim misunderstand my reason for reporting this behaviour. This is the new normal ! Most, perhaps all new vehicles do this. This is just the first time I have owned one ! I am just learning what they do. The voltage regulator is controlled by the ECU.
    For grey nomads and 4WDs these smart alternators have meant that a new piece of equipment is required to keep a second battery charged up. A DC to DC charger which can accept low voltages and boost them enough to charge a second , or caravan, battery.

    Jaahn
    Kenfuego likes this.

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