Need a new charger for AGM & wet car batteries

ultrarunner2015

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Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Messages
57
I have an aging Black & Decker Smart Battery Charger. I don't know the exact model #, but the front panel looks like this:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rXjgIQqwtuBiFAlZAir6nLjUJ9M14TcD/view?usp=sharing

Today when I needed to use the charger, it required repair. The AC power cord shorted on the PCB, causing the GFCI breaker to which it was connected to trip. Surprisingly, despite the fact that the ground (shield wire) of the power cable momentarily contacted the internal fuse - on the fused side - its fuse did not blow.

After the repair, I was able to charge my car's AGM battery.

The battery is Bosch Platinum series AGM size 35.
It has the following specs:

CCA @ 0F: 650
CA @ 32F: 780
RC Mins @ 2.5A: 110
Ah (C20): 53

Considering the Ah of 53, I charged at the 10A rate, not the max of 25 available on this charger.

I don't really trust this charger anymore, considering one major flaw: The power cord has no strain relief. It goes in through a hole in the rear and can be pushed in (but not pulled out due to a ferrite on the cord). But the cord is stored in a rear compartment. After about 10 years of use, the cord was moved enough to cause the problem inside on the PCB.

Can anyone recommend a good charger to replace this one?

Oh, and btw, let me mention that I don't drive the car (a 2004 Subaru Forester XT with about 55,000 miles) all that much, so it sits in the driveway sometimes for weeks without being driven. I normally put the charger on about every 2 weeks, but during the heavy snow last month, I failed to charge the battery for at least 6 weeks, and only drove the car a few miles.
I have checked the alternator, and it appears to be working fine.

I have also been thinking that perhaps I might want to purchase (in addition to the regular charger) a solar trickle charger that I could leave connected to the battery and place on the hood or roof to allow it to charge every day.

Thanks
Ultrarunner
 
Last edited:

skid00skid00

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Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
92
I have a larger Ctek for my boat's trolling batteries, and a smaller one for the cars, cycle, and lawn tractor. I also have a large Solar for the sump pump batteries.

The Ctek's are 'smarter', with more charging options. They do an initial short sulfation reduction, then charge. They will run an occasional maintenance charge when voltage drops below a certain level.

I've had several battery tender type chargers, and they didn't seem to hold up, nor actually charge that well.

If you go with Ctek, I strongly recommend you get the quick connects with battery level LED's in them. You can see at a glance if the battery needs charging.
 

Buck91

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
1,714
I scored a Schumacher SC-1200 charger on an amazon lightning deal a couple years ago and its worked VERY well for me. Looks like that model was discontinued, so I'm not sure what the newer version is like.
 

skillet

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
784
Location
Green Co. , Bluegrass State
I’ve switched to NOCO brand chargers and maintainers around my place.. I’ve had so many other brands fail that I can’t count them all.. This brand has been most reliable and trouble free.
 

ultrarunner2015

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Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Messages
57
After doing some shopping (mostly on Amazon) I have come to the usual conclusion: Some brands are better than others, but every brand makes some duds. That is, if you believe the negative reviews on Amazon. But then I don't really trust Amazon reviews anyway.
That said, after some thought, I have decided to hold onto my B&D unit (which still works after my repair), and buy a membership in AAA. I went for the plus, which allows up to 100 miles towing and many other benefits - including jump starts.
I spent less on the AAA membership than I would have on another charger, and they can give me a jump when I'm nowhere near an electrical outlet that my charger requires. Besides that, my car is 17 years old, still running great, but so much could happen even a few miles from home.

This is not to say I may not need a new charger someday, and I will keep a link to this thread in my notes so I can come back to it quickly. I thank all who have helped me here.
 

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