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is a larger alternator a no brainer? #5440224 05/27/20 03:02 PM
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apollo18 Offline OP
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hey guys! here in alberta we get really cold winters and most of my trips are very short trips. i have a 03 hummer h2 with a 6.0l v8. for example i drive 2-3 mins to work. shut off vehicle and then in evening drive 2-3 mins home and shut off vehicle. last winter i was lucky because my battery was relatively new but i noticed that my battery sulfated a bit and it must have been because of it not charging properly. i also do drive on weekends so it obviously charges up on the weekned but sometimes i drive a diff vehicle. i suppose the better way is to just trickle charge the battery whenever i can but i am for sure veyr lazy and i would always forget and just feel like it is a hassle

my alternator is also due for replacement very soon, do you think a larger alternator would be better or does it not make a difference?
my theory is a larger alternator would keep my battery charged quicker and at a higher level which would mitigate any problems from low charge levels?
or would the larger alternator not really make a diff? thx

Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440225 05/27/20 03:07 PM
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supton Offline
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I don't think it'd make a difference. I would add a trickle charger, and also think about how to run it longer, for longer drives, to get the fluids warm and to prevent other issues.

2 to 3 minutes of driving? Is that like 5 minutes of walking? Seems like a very short distance to bother with driving.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 206k
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 160k
2003 CRV, 2.4L/4AT, 161k
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k
Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440229 05/27/20 03:19 PM
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Ded Mazai Offline
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The battery gets charged at a certain level of voltage no matter how powerful your alternator is. As an alternative you can get an AGM battery. AGM batteries can be charged at a lower voltage and at a lower ambient temperature. My lead-acid battery is charged only to 65% level if I don't charge it manually and I drive more then you. Low level of charge kills lead-acid batteries quickly.


BRZ | M1 HM 5W-20, FU | PZ Synchromesh.
Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440232 05/27/20 03:22 PM
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Jett Rink Offline
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I don't think the larger alternator would make a significant difference in charging your battery for such short trips. Not enough driving time for that larger alternator to do its thing.

I have a CTEK battery charger. Had it for a year and am very satisfied with it. You can leave it plugged in. It will act as a trickle charge once the battery is fully charged.

CTEK


1987 Mercedes 300E 96,000 miles 15w-40 (Valvoline Premium Blue)
2012 Honda Odyssey 150,000 miles 0w-20 (Mobil 1)
Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: supton] #5440243 05/27/20 03:38 PM
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Imp4 Offline
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Originally Posted by supton
2 to 3 minutes of driving? Is that like 5 minutes of walking? Seems like a very short distance to bother with driving.

OP is from Alberta, Canada but doesn't state where.
Wintertime temps regularly get into the below 0°F range in that locale.
I'd prefer to drive just to stay out of the wind in those conditions...

Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440244 05/27/20 03:40 PM
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Astro14 Offline
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My S600 gets cranky if it sits for more than a week or two. Nature of the beast. It’s got an enormous AGM battery and a liquid cooled 200amp alternator, but even that can get low if it sits.

So, though yours isn’t sitting, your short tripping is likely as bad as sitting, perhaps worse.

I got a battery tender. https://www.batterytender.com/Battery-TenderR-Plus - (cheaper on Amazon by the way).

Then, installed the terminal rings for a quick disconnect. I plug it in if it’s going to sit.

In your case, plug it in overnight once in a while and keep the battery healthy.

If the car sits outside, get the extension cord so that the charger sits inside.

https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender-081-0148-25-Disconnect-Extension/dp/B000FW2MWW

Last edited by Astro14; 05/27/20 03:43 PM.

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Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: Imp4] #5440249 05/27/20 03:42 PM
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Lolvoguy Offline
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Originally Posted by Imp4
[quote=supton]I'd prefer to drive just to stay out of the wind in those conditions...

+1
Driving everywhere is just a part of life in that part of Canada.
As a result, obesity also seems to be prevalent.

correlation?
maybe


06 Lexus IS350- Wife
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Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440251 05/27/20 03:48 PM
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gathermewool Offline
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What makes you think your alternator needs to be replaced???


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Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440262 05/27/20 04:00 PM
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Reddy45 Offline
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Why not just take the long way to work/home each day? Short trips aren't good for the engine.. condensation build up in the crank, etc.

Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440270 05/27/20 04:11 PM
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eljefino Offline
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Originally Posted by apollo18
i suppose the better way is to just trickle charge the battery whenever i can but i am for sure veyr lazy and i would always forget and just feel like it is a hassle


Do you have outlets where you park? Get one of those quick connects that hangs out the grille and it won't take any time at all. You can wire in a block heater as well, which is a topic also worth considering.

Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440290 05/27/20 04:44 PM
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JimPghPA Offline
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In southern areas I would be thinking about adding a solar charger to a vehicle that was constantly under-used. But up North any solar charger would have to be seriously upgraded to take into account the reduced amount of sunlight and the poor angle that that sunlight arrives at.

OP, I do not know, are you far enough north that you get days with no daylight in the winter? If so even a seriously upgraded solar array would not work.

One thing, a Hummer would have enough hood space to put a solar array on, and it would be at a height that would make it easier to clean the snow off of. Though all that cleaning might be a PIA, and even if you clean it, it could snow again before the solar array did its job. But a solar array would not have to work every day in order to still be effective.


Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


JimPghPa

Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440305 05/27/20 05:04 PM
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Cujet Offline
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The above is correct, the battery will only accept so many amps. Your alternator is not too small either, as it's likely a fairly righteous 145 Amp unit.

Batteries will take a lot of amps for a few seconds after start, after that the "rate" of charge tapers down. A healthy battery might look like this:

Right after start 90A
20 seconds after start 30A and dropping fast
60 seconds after start 10A or less
3 minutes after start 5A or less

As you can see, a 200A alternator won't affect that.


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: Imp4] #5440331 05/27/20 06:01 PM
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supton Offline
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Originally Posted by Imp4
Originally Posted by supton
2 to 3 minutes of driving? Is that like 5 minutes of walking? Seems like a very short distance to bother with driving.

OP is from Alberta, Canada but doesn't state where.
Wintertime temps regularly get into the below 0°F range in that locale.
I'd prefer to drive just to stay out of the wind in those conditions...

Fair enough--but that's not every day conditions. Surely there are many days where walking is an option. Rainy days, not so much, but shave a few days of the week off and it's all the easier on the vehicle in question.

Not my decision to make, just tossing out the concept. Sometimes possible solutions get overlooked.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 206k
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 160k
2003 CRV, 2.4L/4AT, 161k
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k
Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440347 05/27/20 06:18 PM
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meadows Offline
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When you have to replace it, get the larger alternator, if it does not cost that much more. All of the above are good ideas.

Re: is a larger alternator a no brainer? [Re: apollo18] #5440348 05/27/20 06:19 PM
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JimPghPA Offline
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He could run the engine for 20 to 30 minutes before he gets in the vehicle to both pre-heat the inside of the cab and charge the battery.


Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


JimPghPa

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