Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Dayton, Ohio
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Battery Dies in Winter, which Solar Charger?
Whenever my Dad leaves the car parked for a while in the winter (like even a bit less than a month), the battery is dead. Was going to get a float charger, but realize the battery is under the carpet. He doesn't want wires hanging out. Was thinking of one of those battery tender things that has a solar panel. That way, the panel could be in the car, and I could leave the wiring around and under the carpet up to the panel for him to hook up in the winter, charging the battery in the winter months. BUT, he parks the car facing South, toward the house wall, at the top of the driveway. This means it will likely get not that much light (direct or otherwise).
I'm hoping some of you guys have some idea how much parasitic current the computer draws when the car is turned off. I'm almost certain he does NOT have the Comfort Package with the automatic wipers or lights or even heated mirrors.
The solar-panel-charger options generate 270mA, 540mA, or 830mA. Knowing his parking conditions, do you guys think any one of those three solar-panel options would provide enough current to offset the parasitic computer current when the car is left off? Or would it just be a waste of money?
He got the SmartCar 2.0 update with the shifter lube and the paddle-initiated manual shifting. During that, the dealer said his battery was the upgraded, better one (not that I particularly believe it). The next time I'm over there, I'm going to look at his battery to see its specs to figure out if it's one of the lemons.
Hoping you guys can provide some guidance about which of these solar panels might help, if any.