As my Brera 210 SV 2.4 was left standing for a month in 2012 while I was ill from heart attack recovery, it needed the help of RAC to Jumpstart it back to life. (Remembering to connect the earth lead to the Engine as per handbook) otherwise you can fry the ECU. Needing to be able to rely on the car to start, time to get a new battery. You will know that Alfa spares want £150 ! At carbatteriesonline I found that a VARTA SILVER F18 would fit and had a cold cranking amps of 800 thanks to calcium carbide technology: A much better battery for £87 including delivery with 5 year guarantee. It’s a beast of a battery: 85 amp hours, designed for cars with a lot of electrical equipment. 75 fuses in a Brera! Trip to the local Alfa service at Ancaster Welling was required to fit the new battery and re-set everything in the computer: radio code, window closing etc. Note regarding its slightly less height meant the retaining clamp was not touching in the middle. Car went much better.
MAGIC GADJET- CTEK COMPUTERIZED SMART CHARGER.
More illness, so didn't drive the car for a month again causing the 14 month old battery to go totally flat. No starter whirr, just click and door lock sound. Called RAC out for a jump start and ran the engine for an hour. Was advised by the patrolman that the battery needed to be removed and fully charged, Alfa Brera JTDM 2.4 SV is all electric and needs to have the computer re-set with a laptop if you do this. He sold me a CTEK comfort indicator lead for £10 and fitted this to the battery so it has a permanent socket to plug the CTEK SMART CHARGER into without removing it from the car. The CTEK unit he sold me was a point 8 amp. Not even 1 amp. Hopeless for the Varta Silver F18 -85 amp hour beast of a battery with 800 cold cranking amps. Connected it for two days with no result, so called RAC out again. Man came and tested the CTEK and found it was dead. No output. Sent it back for a refund
I noticed RAC charged £52 for it when it is £32 on Amazon. The connector is £6.50. hmmm. So I looked up the reviews and bought this 5 amp. CTEK MXS 5 T for £62 by next day delivery from Amazon. Delivered and connected by 12.30. Ready to use : start engine light on, in less than two hours. So could have gone out by 2.30. Charged to 5.30. Continued on day two. 1.30 pm to 7.10 reconditioned cycle to fully charged completed. 8 hours 50 for a flat 85 ah battery is excellent. To be on the safe side I gave it another day of 8 hours. 4 hours on ‘float’= fully charged. Back to driving on the road, six starts today ,short one mile errands, the indicator is still showing green. Seventh start to move the car outside my house caused the orange light to flash. But went about three miles each way to opticians was surprised to see the green flashing again when I got home. So it did bring the battery back to full operating condition.
My infrequent use is now sorted. Just check what light is flashing on the connector to see if it wants charging.
This device is essential for classic and infrequently used cars or motor bikes. Keeps your battery healthy and extends its life. An absolute bargain at £62. Can't praise it enough. As an afterthought I have changed it for the 10 amp version that will halve the charging time.