Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car. - Alfa Romeo Forum
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  (Post Link) post #1 of 69 Old 18-12-08 Thread Starter
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Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Should we put a sticky up, so people are aware of this?

If it's so important, though, why aren't there big stickers and warnings all over the place about it? Particularly in the engine bay near the battery.

Surely in this day and age of litigation, Alfa could be sued for damage caused by incorrectly charging the battery, because they didn't make it clear enough that you should disconnect the battery first?

Especially when a woman can sue for putting her dog in the microwave, or McDonalds can be sued for supplying hot coffee without a warning saying that it might be hot, and that you shouldn't try wearing it.

Luckily, nothing got damaged when I did it.
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  (Post Link) post #2 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

AFAIK it is always 'best policy' to disconnect a battery while charging
 
  (Post Link) post #3 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

The ultra-modern versions should be ok, maybe? Check ctek's products out,on their website?:
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Not Alfa's responsibility I would say, since charging the battery is not a built in necessary use of the car.

The supplier of the battery charger is the one who should warn you of the correct operation of their product - and indeed my battery charger includes instructions on correct use, including that the battery should be disconnected from the cars terminals.
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  (Post Link) post #5 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

You should never really charge the battery of any vehicle with it still connected...

That's rule 1 of my 'Common Sense with Auto Electrical Parts' Class.

Rule 2 is don't check the battery is good with your tongue...
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  (Post Link) post #6 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

you tried charging the battery with it still connected to the car? somehow i dont think thats alfa's fault.

the battery must be disconnected from the car loom via the terminals.

having said that, i have jump-started a car from a completely flat battery by leaving the battery connected, attaching the charger, plugging in the charger, and turning the ignition. blew the fuse on the charger, but started the car.
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  (Post Link) post #7 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

In the old days charging the battery while still conenct to the car was a very quick way to ruin the alternator, Modern intelligent chargers should be safe in this respect, infact the one on my Ducati has been connected up since July with no ill effects.

Maybe Alfa should also have stickers saying don't stick your hand in the fan, or beware hot water pipes or be careful not to drive into walls etc?

A bit of common sense or actually reading the manufacturers instructions might be a better way of going about it though.
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  (Post Link) post #8 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

is it not standard practice to disconect the battery before charging it. i though everyone done this you have to be mad not to?
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  (Post Link) post #9 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Has anyone on here definitely caused themselves a problem by doing this? As long as the charger is switched off when it is connected to the battery it should be perfectly ok.Problems will only be caused by doing things incorrectly. I very rarely disconnect batteries to charge them and have never had a problem, which considering hardly a day goes by without me doing it says to me its either safe or I've been lucky every day for the last 30 years.
In fact if you search back through threads on here there are plenty from people that say that their Alfas have immobilised themselves after a battery change or disconnection. I actually avoid disconnections if possible and usually use a code saving device which effectively keeps a slave battery connected.
 
  (Post Link) post #10 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

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Originally Posted by Dazp View Post
is it not standard practice to disconect the battery before charging it. i though everyone done this you have to be mad not to?
What he said.

I think you would be mad to leave the battery connected.
Although you could get away with just disconnecting the earth from the battery as it would break the circuit.
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  (Post Link) post #11 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Perhaps next time I buy a hammer I'll get aone with a warning sticker on it............. That tells me not to hit myself on my head with it .........

Cheers to All
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  (Post Link) post #12 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Good article on batteries and chargers in last months CM magazine, as I mentioned earlier. Seems that there are roughly four types of chargers to choose from. Some of the better, latest ones should be ok for in situ connected up, charging, no,maybe, yes? Basic chargers-No.Multi-stage chargers-Yes. Smart chargers-maybe. Pulse chargers-yes. The last bit of the article may be obvious but states: Tired batteries gas at lower voltages, so trickle charging can lead to continous gassing? Eee, bit involved Innit'?:
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  (Post Link) post #13 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Ok, can someone please explain what the reason behind the disconnecting is and tell me what the ensuing dangers or disasters are meant to be if you dont do it? If it is so bad why can you buy battery boosters/engine starters and whats the difference between a battery charger delivering a few amps and the alternator delivering 66 of them.
As was said in post 1 if its so important why aren't there warning notices in the engine bay by the battery.
 
  (Post Link) post #14 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

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Originally Posted by alfafamily View Post
Ok, can someone please explain what the reason behind the disconnecting is and tell me what the ensuing dangers or disasters are meant to be if you dont do it? If it is so bad why can you buy battery boosters/engine starters and whats the difference between a battery charger delivering a few amps and the alternator delivering 66 of them.
As was said in post 1 if its so important why aren't there warning notices in the engine bay by the battery.
Probably for the same reason there isn't a sticker on the inside of the fuel flap saying "Don't try peering down this little hole using a disposable lighter to see better" ........... Everyone knows it's a bad idea!!!!!

Cheers to All
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Just mentions the fact that alternators charge batteries pretty slowly, whereas some mains chargers are designed to get batteries usable in the shortest period of time.Apparently AGM's are the way to go, if you have money a' plenty?
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Cheap battery chargers do not output very smooth DC, that doesn't harm the battery but can damage rectifier packs in alternators and probably fry computers in modern EFI systems.
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  (Post Link) post #17 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Diode controled chargers should be no problem,I doubt the old 5 amp chargers would cause any problem.I have used both over the years on Jag's,Saab's and Volvo's,never with any problems. As someone said, the modern chargers are recommended for "maintainence" charging as are the Solar powered chargers,other than a slim chance of alternator damage I cannot see any problem to equal peering into the fuel tank with a lighted match!!!
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  (Post Link) post #18 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

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Originally Posted by Green_Rizla View Post
Probably for the same reason there isn't a sticker on the inside of the fuel flap saying "Don't try peering down this little hole using a disposable lighter to see better" ........... Everyone knows it's a bad idea!!!!!

Cheers to All
Peter
That's not a very helpful answer though is it? To paraphrase;
Q " What's wrong with charging in situ"
A "Everyone knows it's a bad idea".
Why is it a bad idea?
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  (Post Link) post #19 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

Its a bad idea for a couple of reasons..

Firstly the voltage from most chargers is not very stable, and you run the risk of damaging the cars electronics.

Secondly the cars electronics will be putting an additional load on the battery charger and if it is an automatic type that monitors the batterys charge, then this addition load may confuse it and cause it to overcharge the battery.

There are probably other reasons too. Is it so much of a hardship to disconnnect the earth before attaching the charger?
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  (Post Link) post #20 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

So consensus is - disconnect - (minimum disconnect the neg lead)


Sticky & locked methinks
 
  (Post Link) post #21 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

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Originally Posted by mave View Post
That's not a very helpful answer though is it? To paraphrase;
Q " What's wrong with charging in situ"
A "Everyone knows it's a bad idea".
Why is it a bad idea?
My apologies........... What I should have put was

"Everyone knows it's a bad idea because it'll ***** up your electrics on the car......... I haven't got a clue about the technicalities of what will go 'bang', 'pop' or just generally get 'fried' and if you want to know then any auto-elctrician will le to put you straight on that. I really wish I could help more but I'm afraid I can't"........ "But rest assured, if you charge the battery while it's still connected to the car, your Alfa's already fragile electrical systems may well be worse than they probably already are".

Is that better..........????

Cheers to All
Peter

If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti.
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  (Post Link) post #22 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

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Originally Posted by symonh2000 View Post
Its a bad idea for a couple of reasons..

Firstly the voltage from most chargers is not very stable, and you run the risk of damaging the cars electronics.

Secondly the cars electronics will be putting an additional load on the battery charger and if it is an automatic type that monitors the batterys charge, then this addition load may confuse it and cause it to overcharge the battery.
Good explanation, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by symonh2000 View Post
There are probably other reasons too. Is it so much of a hardship to disconnnect the earth before attaching the charger?
Only if you don't happen to have the radio code
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  (Post Link) post #23 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

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Originally Posted by alfafamily View Post
Has anyone on here definitely caused themselves a problem by doing this? As long as the charger is switched off when it is connected to the battery it should be perfectly ok.Problems will only be caused by doing things incorrectly. I very rarely disconnect batteries to charge them and have never had a problem, which considering hardly a day goes by without me doing it says to me its either safe or I've been lucky every day for the last 30 years.
In fact if you search back through threads on here there are plenty from people that say that their Alfas have immobilised themselves after a battery change or disconnection. I actually avoid disconnections if possible and usually use a code saving device which effectively keeps a slave battery connected.
I agree alfafamily, I recharge batteries on a variety of vehicles on a regular basis, nothing has went bang so far
 
  (Post Link) post #24 of 69 Old 18-12-08
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

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Originally Posted by Green_Rizla View Post
My apologies........... What I should have put was

"Everyone knows it's a bad idea because it'll ***** up your electrics on the car......... I haven't got a clue about the technicalities of what will go 'bang', 'pop' or just generally get 'fried' and if you want to know then any auto-elctrician will le to put you straight on that. I really wish I could help more but I'm afraid I can't"........ "But rest assured, if you charge the battery while it's still connected to the car, your Alfa's already fragile electrical systems may well be worse than they probably already are".

Is that better..........????

Cheers to All
Peter
A little. At least this time you bothered answering part of the question, rather than just jumping on the guy who asked it
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Re: Never charge your battery while it's connected to the car.

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A little. At least this time you bothered answering part of the question, rather than just jumping on the guy who asked it
Have I upset you ???? .............. I never jumped on anyone. I was merely using the analogy of the cigarette lighter and petrol fumes to demonstrate that that and charging a battery whilst connected could have disasterous effects........... at the same time I (in my humble opinion) do not believe either warrant a sticker, as they are (again in my humble opinion) both based on common sense.

My sincere apologies for any offence caused.

Cheers to All
Peter
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