Trickle Charger Risks??

NewMB

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
750
Location
Colchester, UK + Köln, Germany
Car
2012 535D F11 Sport (Touring)
After having experienced some problems with the battery going flat while not using the car for a few days (more like 2 weeks), I decided I've had enough of calling out MB (twice so far).

Anyway, bought a "proper" MB branded trickle charger from local dealer who told me "just plug it in and you can leave it for long periods of time". Great.

Just reading the manual.... get a bit worried about the ventilation issues. Car won't fit in garage but have a long enough leads to leave the trickle charger in the boot while away.

Concern is of course, there will not be any ventilation to speak about in a closed boot.... lead in not quite long enough to leave charger in garage.

Any risks with this or am I just simply paranoid?

Thanks.
 

lofty

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
123
Location
Worthing in West Sussex England.
Car
MercedesA160/2002
I wouldn't have thought a trickle charger would be any problem, the heat generated is very small indeed, stand the charger on a piece of metal plate so they you are assured the unit is ventilated, I use one and have no problems at all, I also use it in the 'smart'. Fully charged battery makes a world of difference with the A class,and the smart with ACS
 

CE230

Active Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Messages
572
Location
Wylde Green
Car
230CE
I use one during the winter on my bike but I thought a car battery would retain enough charge even after standing for a month.
 

grober

MB Master
Joined
Jun 22, 2003
Messages
28,462
Location
Perth, Scotland
Car
W204 C200CDI Estate
All boot mounted batteries should have a vent pipe to take care of any outgassing but it would a good idea to check this.
 

BTB 500

MB Club Veteran
SUPPORTER
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
19,245
Location
Berkshire
Car
R129 SL500, W639 Vito 120, S203 C230
No issue with the battery ... the charger is only doing what the alternator does when the engine is running. As far as the charger itself is concerned, the heat output will be pretty modest.

I've used a maintenance charger on the SL for the last 2 years - it's connected whenever it is in the garage.

 

flango

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
10,983
Location
Gods own country
Car
Mercedes SLK R171
I have exactly the same set up as BTB 500 above, Accumate charger left on the CLK all the time in the garage, battery vented by a pipe out of the car as standard so not a problem, even made my house insurers aware of it and also again no problem or increase in premium
 

NW_Merc

Banned
Joined
Sep 3, 2005
Messages
5,918
Location
Over here, sometimes over there
Car
1994 Mercedes C180 classic
No issue with the battery ... the charger is only doing what the alternator does when the engine is running. As far as the charger itself is concerned, the heat output will be pretty modest.

I've used a maintenance charger on the SL for the last 2 years - it's connected whenever it is in the garage.

Where can you get one of these then?
 

flango

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
10,983
Location
Gods own country
Car
Mercedes SLK R171
Bought mine off e bay just search for Accumate or c tek smart charger both as good as each other but Accumate comes with wall mount bracket and extension lead also has a fitting to permanently attach to the battery so you can just plug it in and avoid messing with crocodile clips. They are round about £32
 

Corrado

Active Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
221
Location
Sussex Coast
Car
Civit 1.8VTEC
Are you treating the symptom rather than finding the cause? I'd try to find out why the battery drains so quickly.

battery age
continuous load - you may have all the toys but they should be off when you leave it!
car isn't charging it

Though a rather different car, I've twice left mine standing for more than two months and it has started unaided. (The factory fitted alarm system was left active as normal).
 

BTB 500

MB Club Veteran
SUPPORTER
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
19,245
Location
Berkshire
Car
R129 SL500, W639 Vito 120, S203 C230
Are you treating the symptom rather than finding the cause? I'd try to find out why the battery drains so quickly.
In my case the SL quite often stands for 4-6 weeks. I bought the charger after one instance where it *did* start ... but the voltage drop flagged all sorts of errors with the rollbar, windows, and roof that needed an appointment with a STAR machine to clear.

In fact battery plate damage (sulphation) starts at 12.4 V (approx. 75% charge). So it's far better to keep it topped up, regardless of whether there's enough power to start the engine.
 

kwakdonut

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2006
Messages
2,744
Location
Highworth, Wiltshire
Car
Frod Mundano TDCi, Kawasaki z650
No issue with the battery ... the charger is only doing what the alternator does when the engine is running. As far as the charger itself is concerned, the heat output will be pretty modest.

I've used a maintenance charger on the SL for the last 2 years - it's connected whenever it is in the garage.

I didn't think that Accumate/Optimates etc had enough in them to keep a car battery charged?? I have two Optimate which are more-or-less permanently connected to my two bikes but I thought that they were designed for smaller batteries such as motorbikes, jet-ski's, ATV's etc but not car as they are much larger?

If you've been using one for a couple of years with no problems then it must work!

How do you connect it - croc-clips?
 

Dieselman

Banned
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
34,206
Car
Peugeot 403 Convertible
Just a question.
Why do you need a special trickle charger for cars, why not just use a standard current regulated 12v power supply from a small domestic appliance.?
Are specific ones really that intelligent, and do they need to be given they are trickle charging.
Even if they need extra current limiting (unlikely) just add a resistor into the output wire.
 

BTB 500

MB Club Veteran
SUPPORTER
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
19,245
Location
Berkshire
Car
R129 SL500, W639 Vito 120, S203 C230
I didn't think that Accumate/Optimates etc had enough in them to keep a car battery charged?? I have two Optimate which are more-or-less permanently connected to my two bikes but I thought that they were designed for smaller batteries such as motorbikes, jet-ski's, ATV's etc but not car as they are much larger?

If you've been using one for a couple of years with no problems then it must work!

How do you connect it - croc-clips?
Officially the AccuMate is for batteries up to 75 Ah, but it works fine on the 100 Ah in the SL ... in terms of keeping a healthy battery topped up.

It comes with a a flylead that attaches to the battery terminal bolts. This has a socket on it, with a rubber cover. I have this peeking out from a corner of the boot trim ... so the charge lead just plugs in. It also comes with a lead ending in croc. clips.

The thickness of the cable is enough to stop the boot from latching fully closed, so on the SL you need to remember to turn the boot light off (this resets each time you close it). Otherwise the charger is just replacing what the boot light is taking out :D
 

BTB 500

MB Club Veteran
SUPPORTER
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
19,245
Location
Berkshire
Car
R129 SL500, W639 Vito 120, S203 C230
Just a question.
Why do you need a special trickle charger for cars, why not just use a standard current regulated 12v power supply from a small domestic appliance.?
Are specific ones really that intelligent, and do they need to be given they are trickle charging.
Even if they need extra current limiting (unlikely) just add a resistor into the output wire.
Have a look at the charge profile the AccuMate uses:

http://www.accumate.co.uk/accumate.htm

It's cheap and handy (with the wall mount), works well. And you can see what it's doing - if I open the car door you see the charger change mode straight away due to the draw from the interior lights.
 
OP
OP
NewMB

NewMB

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
750
Location
Colchester, UK + Köln, Germany
Car
2012 535D F11 Sport (Touring)
Thank You everybody. As the car is either to big or the garage to small to fit the car in, I will leave the charger in the garage on some protective bricks. Leads are long enough if I reverse the car up to the door of the garage.

Will check about vent pipe.....
 

flango

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
10,983
Location
Gods own country
Car
Mercedes SLK R171
I agree with BTB 500 Accumate everytime works perfect and for £30 if your car is only a weekender like mine then a no brainer
 

jaymanek

Authorised Forum Sponsor
SUPPORTER
Joined
Nov 29, 2002
Messages
16,415
Location
Nuneaton Warwickshire
Car
Lots of Mercedes!
Just a question.
Why do you need a special trickle charger for cars, why not just use a standard current regulated 12v power supply from a small domestic appliance.?
Are specific ones really that intelligent, and do they need to be given they are trickle charging.
Even if they need extra current limiting (unlikely) just add a resistor into the output wire.

Because only you would think of doing something like that!

I like to use tried and tested stuff... I have four of them running in my garage... never had a flat battery...

just dont drive out with it still attached..
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom