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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-24-2008 05:07 PM
PerryA OK, lesson leaned. . .short replies or you get bumped off the site.

Be careful with jump starts. I talked to a tow truck driver who told me they use a very heavy surge when they jump and, if I recall the online manual correctly, the Smart battery is in the cabin. Not a good place for a battery explosion.

I use a 1 amp motorcycle charger. Rule of thumb I learned was to match the amp/hour rating of the battery. 15 amp/hour rating using a 1 amp charger takes 15 hours zero to full. Larger chargers (more amps) divide the battery rating. So 5-amp charger would be three hours.

Cold reduces battery capacity. There are probably charts that indicate the drop off based on temperature. But you'll have less cranking power at 30 degrees and even less at 20 degrees ambient temperature.

Most cars' charging circuits are not capable of bringing a battery back to full charge from a deep discharge, so you'll probably want to charge the battery when you get a chance. Repeated deep discharges will kill a battery.
04-24-2008 04:34 PM
oldbike
Quote:
Originally Posted by patbianchi View Post
Batteries rarely freeze even dead! Acid PH level even with a dead battery has a much lower freezing point than water. Just jump start the thing and drive it for an hour problem solved.


FYI:Britannica online encyclopedia article on sulfuric acid: dense, ... (HNO3), colourless, fuming, and highly corrosive liquid (freezing point -42 C [-44 F], ...
I hve to disagree. Dead batteries do freeze. Keep in mind that the battery does not contain pure acid, but a acid/water mix. Living in North Dakota, I have seen un-countable frozen batteries. I have also witnessed two exploded batteries as a result of attemting to charge the battery when frozen. The expansion, as a result of freezing, can cause a short within the battery.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL IF YOU SUSPECT A BATTERY HAS BEEN FROZEN, EVEN IF THAWED OUT BEFORE CHARGING
04-24-2008 03:10 PM
patbianchi
Left the lights on!!!

Batteries rarely freeze even dead! Acid PH level even with a dead battery has a much lower freezing point than water. Just jump start the thing and drive it for an hour problem solved.


FYI:Britannica online encyclopedia article on sulfuric acid: dense, ... (HNO3), colourless, fuming, and highly corrosive liquid (freezing point -42 C [-44 F], ...
04-24-2008 03:01 PM
Smartfor2guy I see no reason why the battery should be dead after sitting for only two weeks. I would have the battery load tested for a weak cell and if it is weak get it replaced under warranty. Unless you left something on like a radar detector or interior light, i see no reason for it to be dead
04-24-2008 02:41 PM
Fredvon4 I must clarify, else some one gets the idea I am against float or trickle chargers... not true.... they do have their place and uses...

I am simply suggesting that a 4 week inactive period noted above is probably some problem or fault and a trickle charger is not the recommended fix....

Long term storage ...especially in a cold climate requires the battery to be full of fluid, Clean, fully charged, and if the duration of inactivity is going to exceed 90 days then a good trickle charger that will not over charge the battery is a good investment....
04-24-2008 02:13 PM
BeSmart
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwight View Post
Float chargers are absolutely great; have them on both the winter garage queens and they sat for six months this winter with no problems. Fired right up the first time. Well worth the money at that price.
What about just disconnecting the battery terminals for storage over the winter? in the garage of course? My '81 Honda gets disconnected and fuel stablized for its hubernation. Thanks for the input.
04-24-2008 12:39 PM
Fredvon4 harumph..... not meaning to go about smart bashing...BUT

I travel a LOT and all my current cars have batteries of various ages.. In fact; most are still the factory battery...

ALL of them do just fine being left un used for extended periods of 3 to 9~10 weeks including my small garden tractor ones that will sit 2 or 3 months

For those of you who are not into modern computer controlled cars the Milli Amp drain of these cars is fairly large 24/7 keeping the KAM (keep alive memory) stereo code, and SAM, remote systems, alarm system energised. I have measured from 0.25amp to 0.95 amp draws on most every modern car while trying to chase an electrical probmlem.

BUT even so...depleating a car battery in 4 weeks or less indicates a charging system problem, bad battery, or loose wireing.... a trickle charger is a Band Aid...IMPO
04-24-2008 10:43 AM
jwight Float chargers are absolutely great; have them on both the winter garage queens and they sat for six months this winter with no problems. Fired right up the first time. Well worth the money at that price.
04-24-2008 10:26 AM
2442
Quote:
Originally Posted by notsobadyathink View Post
Just got back for an enexpecedly long trip (4 weeks) away from my little smart. Upon return, dead battery. so dead that the key wouldn't work, could not get the back hatch open (which is where the manual is). Located this thread, so knew to look under passenger side for battery. I called roadside assistance and the dork they sent me had never worked on a smart, but was sure it was just like any other hybrid. (Like I said, dork). I sai no, not a hybrid, at whcih he was sure it was all elesctic. No, I said, not that either. So, he had no clue about the car, but was sure it was just like something he'd worked on before.

I was livid and uncomfortable about him touching my little darling. But he did jump it after I showed him where the battery was, but not before he insisted it was under the front hatch. He kept telling me he knew everything about these cars, they sell them all over town and the get 80 miles to the gallon and that the ARE a hybrid. When I tried to educate him on the facts he said "Why didn't you just buy a Toyota?" I wondered why I was being asked to justify my car purchase to this idiot.

Anyway, smartie is running and all is right with the world.

My Advice is if you have to leave yours undattended for a period of weeks, get a friend to start it or put it on the trickle charger when you get back. You would avoid a run in with a dork.

Suze

BTW - If anyone knows how to open the back hatch when the battery is dead, please share!
Harbor Freight has a "Float Charger" $9.99, on sale now (until May 12) for $5.99 ( lot # 42292). It is small enough to live in the battery box with the battery. Can be permanently connected and just the 110v cord left outside the styrofoam. (Proof that it's an electric car, if you are so inclined.

Donald LaFavor

Will maintain, but not overcharge the battery.
04-24-2008 09:52 AM
Suze Just got back for an enexpecedly long trip (4 weeks) away from my little smart. Upon return, dead battery. so dead that the key wouldn't work, could not get the back hatch open (which is where the manual is). Located this thread, so knew to look under passenger side for battery. I called roadside assistance and the dork they sent me had never worked on a smart, but was sure it was just like any other hybrid. (Like I said, dork). I sai no, not a hybrid, at whcih he was sure it was all elesctic. No, I said, not that either. So, he had no clue about the car, but was sure it was just like something he'd worked on before.

I was livid and uncomfortable about him touching my little darling. But he did jump it after I showed him where the battery was, but not before he insisted it was under the front hatch. He kept telling me he knew everything about these cars, they sell them all over town and the get 80 miles to the gallon and that the ARE a hybrid. When I tried to educate him on the facts he said "Why didn't you just buy a Toyota?" I wondered why I was being asked to justify my car purchase to this idiot.

Anyway, smartie is running and all is right with the world.

My Advice is if you have to leave yours undattended for a period of weeks, get a friend to start it or put it on the trickle charger when you get back. You would avoid a run in with a dork.

Suze

BTW - If anyone knows how to open the back hatch when the battery is dead, please share!
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