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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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Battery Charging/Defect

When my Dad leaves his Smartcar unrun in the driveway for a month, the battery is dead, requiring him to get AAA to jump it via the floor carpet removal.

#1) How can I tell if his battery is one of the defective ones that should be replaced for free by the dealer? I think he had some software upgrade for the shifting done, but not sure if that included the battery.

#2) Barring that, is there some other way of hooking up a float charger to the battery from the outside, without having to peel up the carpet and leave the door ajar or a cord fed through the door bottom to maintain the charge? Like is there some other charging location to which a charger could be hooked other than directly through the carpet to the battery? Maybe there's some hole through which I could feed the charger cord and leave the contacts hooked to the battery between chargings.

???
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 08:19 AM
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Hi - good to see another Dayton owner! If the car's a 2008, need to check and see if it's had the 2.0 update (which usually involved a higher capacity battery.) If you can change from the "D" mode to manual shifting by pulling either of the paddles it has the update. If not, it needs the update.

Either way, these cars are always "on" - the computer needs power all the time. Most folks use a trickle charger (battery tender) if the car's not going to be driven for 3 to 4 weeks.

https://www.smartcarofamerica.com/for...nnectors+front

Check out the Dayton group on smartusainsider also: http://www.smartusainsider.com/group/daytonohiosmarts

Last edited by jwight; 10-04-2011 at 08:24 AM. Reason: added links
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 08:22 AM
 
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Also there was an update jumper installed on my 09 to shut off the auto wipers when the key is off. Did you have that recall mod done?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 08:23 AM
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If he had the 2.0(shifting) update, they would have replaced the battery then if it qualified. The battery going dead is a result of a computer controlled car. The ECM will always pull a small current, even if the car is off. I know a couple of people on here have installed remote terminals to allow them to maintain the battery without removing the carpet, but that is a personal choice. One person put charging lugs under the front service flap, others have installed Battery Tenders next to the battery and left the cord hang out by the edge of the carpet.

My recommendation: Tell your Dad to start driving the car more, it's really fun!!!

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 09:06 AM
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If it is not going to get used for a month or more, a Battery Tender is probably a good idea. You can hook it to the battery and leave it in place, only needing to plug in an extension cord to take care of things while it is waiting to be driven. Maybe put it on the shelf at the front of the passenger floor??
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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so if i got one of those float chargers and had it ALWAYS wired to the battery, even if it wasn't plugged into the wall all the time, it wouldn't drain the battery, between times when I DID have it plugged in and charging?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 09:30 AM
 
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Get a small solar trickle charger and mount it on the dash with the wiring always connected to the battery. It will not help in a garage of course.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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where can i get one of these? i asssume that the smart part of it means it doesnt overcharge the battery, like a trickle charger would, right? Does this mean its a float charger with solar cells?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 09:45 AM
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A battery tender will not discharge the battery when it is plugged in, and will monitor the battery, only charging when it is needed. They are used on motorcycles and other uses where the battery is unused for months at a time. They also help the battery stay in condition as a battery sitting unused will tend to sulfate and will no longer work. I used one on my Gld Wing for the winter months and a battery would last me 5 years. (normally last 3 if you are lucky)

They are available at most auto parts stores, and I believe Walmart carries them too.
(Battery Tender is a brand name)
http://batterytender.com/

Last edited by jimvw57; 10-04-2011 at 09:47 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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Yes, it is just a solar cell bank that can be bought by the output size that you need. If it is usually sunny there, you could get by with a smaller cell pack. They have a diode to prevent backflow of voltage and otherwise provide a low level charge to the battery anytime the sun is up. Like a trickle charger they should not harm a battery.
Radio shack, Wal-Mart, and many others should have them, maybe in the marine / boating area. My son bought a diesel Jetta that had one with it from the factory that measured approx. 5 x 12 inches and it is enough to keep that larger battery charged if he parks it for a long time ( almost never ).
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