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#2845269 - 12/23/12 01:32 PM Need a battery tender, short battery life
otis24 Offline


Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1569
Loc: South Dakota
I've consistently replaced the battery in my 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan every two years. I drive short distances, mostly, in town. After sitting for about ten minutes with a door open or the radio running, it would need to be jumped. I was leaving for Colorado so I replaced it (Napa Legend 75). The factory battery failed at about two years. It was replaced with a Napa battery, followed by another, and now the 4th battery. I have tried to charge the battery periodically. The Ford dealership where I work did not have a Motorcraft in stock and I had about $40 pro-ration left on the current battery so I went with a Napa. I attribute the short battery life to the short distance driving, and the fact that my daughter ran the battery down a couple of times listening to the radio. My plan is to put a battery tender on it and keep it charged at least once a week. Any suggestions as to brands? I'm hoping to find one that I can leave the wires attached to the battery and just plug it into the tender periodically. Thanks in advance.
_________________________
1991 Chevrolet K1500 (4.3, 4x4, 86k miles)

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
(3.6 V6) 46500 miles

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#2845278 - 12/23/12 01:39 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
Danno Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 1672
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
I recommend this one. We use it on our fleet trucks - E350 gas. If you plug your truck in, plug this and the block heater into one extension cord and that way you have a block heater and battery charged at the same time. You should be well under the capacity of a 15 AMP house circuit with this setup.

http://batterytender.com/products/automotive/power-tender-plus-12v-at-5a.html


Edited by Danno (12/23/12 01:43 PM)

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#2845295 - 12/23/12 01:51 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 15666
Loc: apple valley, ca
A battery tender is not a battery charger. I don't think you want a tender.I recommend a 2-4amp charger put on the battery a overnight a couple times a month
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#2845298 - 12/23/12 01:53 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 19528
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
I have a full size battery charger and use it once a week for 20-30 minutes each for all cars.

This is what I have for 7-8 years, it still working great.
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accesso...fier=58755_0_0_
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#2845301 - 12/23/12 01:56 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 19324
Loc: Upstate NY
Look at the battery minder, it also has a desulfation circuit.

Have you checked your changing system for problems? Also could something be using power when the car is off?
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#2845303 - 12/23/12 01:58 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
Warstud Offline


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 4713
Loc: MIchigan
Originally Posted By: otis24
ran the battery down a couple of times listening to the radio.


I think that's the problem.

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#2845307 - 12/23/12 01:59 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 19324
Loc: Upstate NY
OP - how often are you planning on hooking this up? If every night, then a "battery minder" if once a week, then a normal small 6 AMP charger.
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2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


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#2845362 - 12/23/12 02:49 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
GROUCHO MARX Offline


Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 11410
Loc: The Sandhills of NewYorkistan
In my experience, once you've run a battery down until you need a jump start, a few times , it's a short matter of time until you'll need a new one.

I'd bring a transistor radio to listen to and I'd also double check that the doors are completely closed when I leave the car as the inside lights staying on overnight a number of times will damage the battery.
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#2845368 - 12/23/12 03:03 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
[email protected] Offline


Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 934
Loc: Michigan
Maybe you should consider an AGM battery next time(Optima comes to mind). Sams Club has Duracell or Energizer (forget which) AGM automotive batteries too, with a full 3 year warranty! And they are much cheaper than an Optima but still AGM and a better warranty.

As far as a tender goes, I bought a Schumacher 2 amp tender for my Prius 12v auxiliary battery. I semi-permanently wired it in with the supplied harness and leave the pigtail sticking out of the compartment (In the prius, the 12v auxiliary battery is in the trunk). Then about once a week I plug it in overnight for a maintenance charge. The Schumacher does the 3-4 or 5(forget which) step smart charge. I bought the tender at Advance Auto Parts for around $25 on sale w/discount code and it had a rebate too, bringing the price to around $13.


Edited by [email protected] (12/23/12 03:03 PM)
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#2845403 - 12/23/12 03:38 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
Russ300H Offline


Registered: 04/09/05
Posts: 491
Loc: Massachusetts
A friend of mine had a similar problems with his Dodge Cummins Diesel. He had burned through two sets of Die-Hards with no luck. I switched to Sears Platinum on mine (CTD)and he followed suit. I put mine up all winter and it started in the spring like I drove it the day before. No more problems and a 4 year replacement, 10 year pro-rated warranty. For regular batteries, I would get the AA with discount codes/coupon. When the going gets tough, the Sears are the best in my opinion.
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#2845486 - 12/23/12 04:48 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 22387
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Check here for my suggestion.
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2008 Infiniti G37 coupe - Mobil Delvac 1 ESP 5w-40, Wix 57356
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#2845541 - 12/23/12 05:36 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
otis24 Offline


Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1569
Loc: South Dakota
I do have a battery charger. Will have to look at charging more often. Perhaps once or twice per month at 2 amps?
_________________________
1991 Chevrolet K1500 (4.3, 4x4, 86k miles)

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
(3.6 V6) 46500 miles

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#2845550 - 12/23/12 05:45 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: HTSS_TR]
GMBoy Offline


Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 7490
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR
I have a full size battery charger and use it once a week for 20-30 minutes each for all cars.

This is what I have for 7-8 years, it still working great.
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accesso...fier=58755_0_0_


Got the same one, a very good unit.

I also agree the poster should fully charge his battery on occasion (1x week or 2x a month whatever) rather than a battery tender.

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#2845551 - 12/23/12 05:46 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: otis24]
GMBoy Offline


Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 7490
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: otis24
I do have a battery charger. Will have to look at charging more often. Perhaps once or twice per month at 2 amps?


Use the max amperage. It helps break down any sulphated plates.


Edited by GMBoy (12/23/12 05:46 PM)

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#2845560 - 12/23/12 05:54 PM Re: Need a battery tender, short battery life [Re: Donald]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 14483
Loc: OH
I think you make a good point.
I think the OP has problems not related to the battery.
Something else is going on here.
It might be a good start to check electrical draw when the van is just sitting.
I'd could be higher than spec.
I'd also check alternator output.
It might be low.
You should be able to listen to the radio for hours without the battery being too weak to start the engine, assuming no other excessive draws and sufficient alternator output to keep the battery charged while the engine is running.
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