Which battery charger?

Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
368
134
Leicestershire, UK
I'm sure this has been asked before but I just need to check.

My 184 TDI is struggling a bit with my new working from home regime and the odd short winter trip of 4 miles each way. It doesn't even have time to warm up properly. I got a low battery warning when starting it this morning. It's 2014 and I assume with the original battery.

I want to get a smart charger to help maintain it but not spend a fortune. I haven't checked but my car but it should have an AGM battery?

I've seen some comments about CTEK chargers.

Would any of these other options be any good? Are they all much the same? Idealy, spend as little as possible but not get a rubbish one.


I don't have to buy from these guys. They're just local to me. You'll to select `automotive` as I can't link to just the car ones.

Thanks.
 

Jim45

Active Member
Apr 27, 2018
304
85
Is yours a stop/start battery, if so you will need a specific battery tender?


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Jim45

Active Member
Apr 27, 2018
304
85
It is stop/start. I know I'll need a compatible device. Just trying to see if I need to spend the £££'s on a CTEK one or whether there are cheaper options. (y)
I have the CTEK CT5, but if you're looking to spend less this is compatible with flooded, gel & AGM £33

NOCO GENIUS1UK, 1-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger, 6V and 12V Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, and Battery Desulfator with Temperature Compensation https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0828HMG3N/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_fabc_8koYFb3VPF4B3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


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Zer0

Active Member
Jun 22, 2019
475
222
I have a start/stop "battery" if there's such a thing but a normal CTEK charger.
 

Tell

Full Member
Staff member
Moderator
If it got SCR (Adblue tank) it will also do an active generation which isn't going to complete which isn't good on many short runs so either you leave it running or take it for a spin.


You will know when it's been doing an active regeneration when you stop the engine and the fans are running at high speed, heat is coming out under the car. It's that which you want completed. Cooling process starts the fans off. If it keep doing that process next time you start it then you need a long run... will also charge the battery up. Possible a low battery may hamper that process or just drop the battery voltage more. Will test for whether it needs to do the regeneration every 200 miles or so. Passive is the one you ideally want but if not doing the mileage you get the active one.

Avg cars I put at 180 miles not per this link and you won't get a warning on a Seat that it is doing it.


Passive in a DSG you can sense since it changes down to make the engine work harder.

I toss that in as well 🙄.... I've been surviving on 2x7 mile runs once a week at the min (two cars that need to be exercised during lock down) but you need more and keep an eye on the regeneration completing. No additional battery charging but have stop start turned off via VCDS - less taxing on the battery and never remember to press that button. Old dog new tricks.
 
Last edited:

RADIOTWO

Active Member
Mar 6, 2018
275
47
North Derbyshire
I have one of those chargers from Aldi, I paid either £12/13 and it works fine on the stop/start batterys
the only thing I find is if the mains drops you have to reset, where the CTEK types I beleive restart them
selves
 

Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
368
134
Leicestershire, UK
I have a start/stop "battery" if there's such a thing but a normal CTEK charger.
There is such a battery :)

" Start-stop systems require a battery with modern technology, because normal starter batteries are not designed to meet the higher demands of these vehicles. ... For this reason, only EFB or AGM batteries should be installed in vehicles with automatic stop-start systems. "

" Unlike a regular battery which simply supplies a large current to turn the starter motor, a stop-start battery has enhanced cyclic performance which has the ability to discharge and recharge many times."

That is why some `stop/start` batteries can cost up to £400.
 
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Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
368
134
Leicestershire, UK
If it got SCR (Adblue tank) it will also do an active generation which isn't going to complete which isn't good on many short runs so either you leave it running or take it for a spin.


You will know when it's been doing an active regeneration when you stop the engine and the fans are running at high speed, heat is coming out under the car. It's that which you want completed. Cooling process starts the fans off. If it keep doing that process next time you start it then you need a long run... will also charge the battery up. Possible a low battery may hamper that process or just drop the battery voltage more. Will test for whether it needs to do the regeneration every 200 miles or so. Passive is the one you ideally want but if not doing the mileage you get the active one.

Avg cars I put at 180 miles not per this link and you won't get a warning on a Seat that it is doing it.


Passive in a DSG you can sense since it changes down to make the engine work harder.

I toss that in as well 🙄.... I've been surviving on 2x7 mile runs once a week at the min (two cars that need to be exercised during lock down) but you need more and keep an eye on the regeneration completing. No additional battery charging but have stop start turned off via VCDS - less taxing on the battery and never remember to press that button. Old dog new tricks.
Thanks for this. I'm not SCR but do have DPF. You're quite right ref the DPF regen. I have a Carista OBD dongle and monitor it using VAG DPF. I know exactly when it's due and/or starting a regen and can ensure that I add some extra mileage until it's finished. I literally do 180 miles for every regen. Prefer passive as that takes about 10 mins. Active can take twice as long.

I very rarely actually use the stop/start due to my rural existence and in `town`, I keep my foot on the clutch or actually remember to turn it off!

Not exactly the 20,000 miles a year I used to do.
 

Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
368
134
Leicestershire, UK
I have the CTEK CT5, but if you're looking to spend less this is compatible with flooded, gel & AGM £33

NOCO GENIUS1UK, 1-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger, 6V and 12V Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, and Battery Desulfator with Temperature Compensation https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0828HMG3N/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_fabc_8koYFb3VPF4B3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I was looking at Noco as well. The one you link to is 1amp so probably good for slow charge and maintaining.

I also saw this one but it's much the same price as the CTEK.


So many choices!

EDIT - you've linked to the newer models.

My linked one has been replaced by this:

 

RUM4MO

Active Member
Jun 4, 2008
6,488
521
South Scotland
I'd think that you would need to get a 5 Amp output minimum - these 1 Amp will be okay if you don't have much in the way of drain when the car is locked up AND the battery is fully charged before you connect a 1 Amp smart charger - but most of the time right now, cars are being connected to partially or heavily discharged batteries so these low output smart chargers tend to get the huff and stop charging as you will be operating them outside their "zone".

Many good charger websites, like the CTEK site will offer you advice on the "sizing" of a charger for your application if you are in doubt.

The thing is for me, I've left my own car connected to a CTEK for many years with no issues except one major power surge that left it in a safe alarming state, my error was that I just power cycled it and the alarm indicator went off, it was only a week later that I discovered that it was operating in a safe and very low voltage state, so I had to re-boot it a few times to get it back to performing as per its description.
 

Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
368
134
Leicestershire, UK
I'd think that you would need to get a 5 Amp output minimum - these 1 Amp will be okay if you don't have much in the way of drain when the car is locked up AND the battery is fully charged before you connect a 1 Amp smart charger - but most of the time right now, cars are being connected to partially or heavily discharged batteries so these low output smart chargers tend to get the huff and stop charging as you will be operating them outside their "zone".

Many good charger websites, like the CTEK site will offer you advice on the "sizing" of a charger for your application if you are in doubt.

The thing is for me, I've left my own car connected to a CTEK for many years with no issues except one major power surge that left it in a safe alarming state, my error was that I just power cycled it and the alarm indicator went off, it was only a week later that I discovered that it was operating in a safe and very low voltage state, so I had to re-boot it a few times to get it back to performing as per its description.
Very valid point. I was thinking that as I have a 1amp trickle charger for a tractor mower and quad bike just to top up and maintain.

Having said that, reviews of the 1amp suggests it just takes about 76 hours to charge a standard car battery, so it should do the job but I do like the idea though of something a bit beefier.

I think I'll just have to bite the bullet and get a sensible one as it's cheaper than a new battery and I've got 2 other vehicles that would benefit from it.

Still got to sort out my s*dding folding mirror issue as well.
 

SteveGSXR600K1

Active Member
May 6, 2017
364
105
I was looking into chargers yesterday and was impressed by the Ring one from Halfords.


Lots of features, etc, including keeping radio settings, etc, going if you replace the battery at any time. Only thing I'm not sure is that the design is now 5 -6 years old.
 

Zer0

Active Member
Jun 22, 2019
475
222
There is such a battery :)

" Start-stop systems require a battery with modern technology, because normal starter batteries are not designed to meet the higher demands of these vehicles. ... For this reason, only EFB or AGM batteries should be installed in vehicles with automatic stop-start systems. "

" Unlike a regular battery which simply supplies a large current to turn the starter motor, a stop-start battery has enhanced cyclic performance which has the ability to discharge and recharge many times."

That is why some `stop/start` batteries can cost up to £400.
Yeah, great start/stop batteries. Must be why the battery of my 11 month old car is already failing.
 

black_sheep

Active Member
Mar 10, 2013
671
276
I was looking into chargers yesterday and was impressed by the Ring one from Halfords.


Lots of features, etc, including keeping radio settings, etc, going if you replace the battery at any time. Only thing I'm not sure is that the design is now 5 -6 years old.
Halfords own brand ones are also made by Ring. I bought their smart charger as I had a trade card and you generally get more £ off their own brand stuff purely so I could change the rear brake pads.

As an engineer, I see a 5-6 year old design as reliable and proven technology with better value for £.
 
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