I remember a conversation with a Syncronaught on the subject of : "Long Life Car Batteries".
Since Ken Arkus, my auto electrician, retired,
I've been on the short cycle roundabout for car batteries,
like, guaranteed for two years, expect three and you'll be lucky if you get four.
I bought my air cooled T3 (now Porsche) in 1982.
It's battery, made in Rumania under Nicolae Ceausescu, lasted till 1992.
So, does anyone know a brand with six or more years longevity ?
I too remember getting good life out of batteries in the past.
Can't help on a good brand, but as an option I have taken to getting good used batteries from the wreckers. It can be a little hit and miss, but for the price I have not bee disappointed.
Also use a trickle charger ( or solar charger) if you don't use it regular
Do some reading on the internet about what 100% charged really means and no your alternator can not do this
I would really like someone to explain this to me. Is there a difference between 14v from an alternator and 14v from a battery charger? There are a lot of myths on the internet and batteries seems to have many of them.
That has not answered my question.
An alternator will charge a battery to 100%.
Greg, I think that you are reading too much in to this.
13.8v will charge a battery fully. As long as the charging voltage is higher than the battery voltage, it will continue charging.
Where people misunderstand it is that you must have the alternator running to charge the battery for a similar time (and current) as you charge the battery from a battery charger. When you charge a battery from a mains powered charger, you normally leave it on for 10, 12, 24, 48 hours etc. So if you drive for the equivalent time you will charge the battery 100%.
The problem arises because you do not usually drive long enough to charge the battery to 100%.
A two stage charger starts off at a high voltage to charge the battery as fast as it can to it's current design limit and when it reaches a preset high percentage of charge, it reduces to a lower voltage float level so that it will not overcharge and damage the battery.
(Part of my apprentiship had me design and build a 6/12v lead acid battery charger from scratch. Including making a transformer from a piece of sheet metal and a roll of conductor)
Greg and Les. I don't think that you have read my statement correctly. An alternator can charge a battery to 100%. The opposite is just one of those internet myths.
I also have a CTEK charger, to replace the Phill Lander charge-o-matic from 1971, as the cars do not usually get driven enough to charge the batteries by the alternator.
Greg, you have been blinded by advertising.
A constant voltage will always charge a battery 100% as long as it is higher than the fully charged battery. You haven't yet explained why not.
It's Ohm's law.
I have worked with hundreds of lead acid batteries that are charged with a constant voltage. Battery chargers a few years ago were all constant voltage.
Many solar panel regulators will charge on a cycle like shown in the earlier post. I have a few for various uses, quite cheap depending on the current they handle. In the graph, the regulator can control the voltage applied, but the current absorbed is determined by the load (battery), current will naturally decay as the battery gets closer to full charge regardless of weather you pulse or not.
You also need to factor in some real world scenarios, if your charging off solar out camping, you often will not get full sun all day, either due to clouds, trees, etc, so the charging cycle can affect getting maximum charge into your battery when you can ( eg the cycle restarts every time a cloud passes)
Like mentioned earlier, solar and charging off the alternator won't always have the time and consistent output required to keep a battery fully charged
To get the best out of any battery, the main killers will be heat, vibration, discharging too far, and not fully charging.
As a few have mentioned, and I have also gotten many years (7-8) out of batteries years ago, the alternators (and generators) of the time without pulsing were doing an adequate job, so poor life out of batteries now is more likely to be due to poor quality batters, or excessive load discharging them more between charges.
Do the reputable companies actually say that you can never charge a battery to 100% with an alternator?
Well what happens when your battery is at 12.7v and your alternator is at 13.8?
What stops it from charging?
Your BMW experience has nothing to do with what I am saying.
Thanks for introducing me to On-line Batteries and the Varta E38 Silver Battery.
I've ordered one and I'm very satisfied with the price.
I also want to thank every one who has so far taken part in this discussion,
and was particularly interested in Greg's BMW observations.
I have an E31 in my garage, the two door GT version of the 7 series.
It has two very expensive batteries and electrical complications to rival a small jet.
It can flatten it's batteries in four weeks while just sitting still.
Not a fault, it is just that it's electronics do not shut down.
So, a C-Teck is attached every two weeks when it has not been driven.
Driving was so uncomplicated when I got my licence driving a 1939 Singer Bantam 9 tourer.
--Original Message Text---
From: email@example.com [Syncro_T3_Australia]
Date: 12 Oct 2014 16:11:54 -0700
Genuine VW batteries last around 7 years, but the price fluctuates and sometimes it may or may not be cost effective. Other than genuine VW, I have had a long life (6/7 years from Federal and Varta. The silver calcium are better than calcium.
Here are some details that I researched a while back
Online batteries are generally cheaper than anywhere else and they deliver.
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Give Matt a call as his web site does not list everything that he can access.