Posted: Jul 31, 2013
Do I Need a Battery Maintainer?
How often do you use your car, truck, ATV, motorcycle or boat? If the answer isn't "daily," you may want to consider using some kind of battery maintenance device. While older vehicles tend to have fewer electrical accessories that discharge batteries when the engine is off, that is certainly not the case for newer vehicles. Memory seats, radio presets, satellite-linked radio and communication services and car alarms are just some of the modern accessories that draw current from batteries when your vehicle is parked.
As a result, a battery in a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air may be able to sit months with very little voltage loss, while a new C7 Corvette may completely discharge a battery in a matter of just a few weeks of non-use. Many exotic and high-end new cars even come with some kind of battery maintenance device, because those manufacturers have acknowledged the level of electrical sophistication in their vehicles has advanced so far, that regular use of a battery maintainer is now simply part of ownership of those vehicles.
We know many vehicle owners think periodically starting and idling their vehicle is a viable alternative to using a battery charger or maintainer. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is, the energy consumed by your vehicle during storage and starting probably won't be replaced by simpling letting it idle and while you're doing that, you're also placing tremendous strain on your vehicle's charging system, which could lead to premature alternator failure.
Even running your car or boat on the weekends may not be enough to properly-maintain your battery!
There are many quality battery maintenance devices on the market to choose from and virtually all of them are less expensive than a brand-new alternator. We recommend devices that are microprocessor-controlled and have specific settings for AGM batteries, like the OPTIMA® Digital 400 pictured above. These "smart" or "intelligent" chargers will do a better job of maintaining all types of lead-acid batteries, whether they are flooded or AGM.