Automotive

Is this battery tender good enough for my purposes?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 19th, 2020 3:01 pm
[OP]
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Mar 1, 2020
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GTA West

Is this battery tender good enough for my purposes?

Hi guys:
Trying to see if anyone has used or bought this for their car? Is this good enough for general use? (Eg nothing fancy, I try to use vehicle once a week these days but it sat too long one time last week for 2-3 wks so it didn't start easily - eg 3-4 slow cranks)

https://www.costco.ca/energizer-enc2a-2 ... 73480.html

Is it also ok to plug this unit in an extension cord socket as the outlet in my garage may be too far from the battery area of the car?

Rather than changing my battery immediately, the battery subforum suggested I recharge my battery first.... Battery is 5yrs old but I learned age isn't a determinant for car batteries in the subforum :)

Many thanks
36 replies
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Aug 22, 2011
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Should be enough provided your battery isn't down to it's last leg.
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Dec 28, 2007
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It'll work perfectly fine, that's what it for. Running on an extension cord is ok, no different than plugging in a block heater.
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Mar 23, 2004
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It's ok but if the battery is weak/on the way out, it's time for a replacement as this won't exactly save it at this point.

Best type of maintainer, and the only type that will have any hope of "rejuvenating" a battery is a full-time desuflator like a BatteryMinder. The cheapest of which is about $65 CAD these days...
https://www.amazon.ca/BatteryMINDer-150 ... B00D7HZ6FC

If you can leave that on the battery for like a month continuous it might reverse some of the sulfation in the battery. Again though while age is not specifically a factor, 5-7 years is typically the time most people are looking at replacing a battery that hasn't been particularly well cared for/maintained.
Jr. Member
Apr 25, 2018
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Ottawa, ON
5 years and hard to crank... probably time for a new battery soon anyway.

If you had maintained a battery well for 5 years, them maybe it could last another few.
[OP]
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Mar 1, 2020
573 posts
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GTA West
Thank you all guys! I'll give it a shot then, worst that can happen is to buy another battery in Costco and use the tender bought here (seems like you guys think it's good enough) for the new battery then...

Do i need to reset everything in my car every time I use the battery tender/charger? Eg code for radio etc? Will my Maintenance
Minder still remember all my previous settings (eg oil life, etc) since I'm disconnecting the battery from the car to connect to the tender/charger? Any other thing I need to reset/remember once I reconnect the battery after using the charger/tender?

Finally, Out of curiosity, if age is not really a determinant, how long is a battery really going to last at the maximum if you super duper take care of it? 10 yrs?
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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LPGA2020 wrote: Thank you all guys! I'll give it a shot then, worst that can happen is to buy another battery in Costco and use the tender bought here (seems like you guys think it's good enough) for the new battery then...

Do i need to reset everything in my car every time I use the battery tender/charger? Eg code for radio etc?
Nah, you don't need to disconnect the battery in order to charge it, so you're good.
LPGA2020 wrote: Out of curiosity, if age is not really a determinant, how long is a battery really going to last at the maximum if you super super take care of it? 10 yrs?
There's lots of factors. Heat is a major one, also many short trips resulting in a general low SOC. Low SOC results in more sulfation while high engine bay temperatures basically "cook" the battery. You can avoid low SOC by not putting too much electrical load on short trips (seat heaters, defrosters, high blower motor speeds), and also by charging by using a maintainer charger.

Heat really can't be avoided in some cars which have a very hot engine bay--for example many VWs with 2.0Ts (like GTIs) have been like this for years. You shut the engine down and the heat under the hood gets pretty crazy. Those cars kill batteries in relatively short order; there's many other cars which run hot engine bays either due to limited space in the engine bay and large engines, or just turbocharged engines. Most lux cars these days put the battery in the trunk, but many other cars still keep it up front. The trunk typically enhances weight balance as well as keeps the batteries much cooler.

AGM batteries can overcome some of these things and promise longer battery life as they are more resistant to sulfation, vibration, and heat (somewhat) but they tend to be very expensive and the actual in-practice lifespan can still vary. TBH I'm not sure I'd bother spending more money on an AGM. Better idea is just "get a Kirland at Costco" like most ppl on here ;) As a note I've owned several AGMs and as said it's pretty hit & miss if it lasts any longer than other batteries but the prices are really high these days.
[OP]
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Mar 1, 2020
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GTA West
ES_Revenge wrote: Nah, you don't need to disconnect the battery in order to charge it, so you're good.


There's lots of factors. Heat is a major one, also many short trips resulting in a general low SOC. Low SOC results in more sulfation while high engine bay temperatures basically "cook" the battery. You can avoid low SOC by not putting too much electrical load on short trips (seat heaters, defrosters, high blower motor speeds), and also by charging by using a maintainer charger.

Heat really can't be avoided in some cars which have a very hot engine bay--for example many VWs with 2.0Ts (like GTIs) have been like this for years. You shut the engine down and the heat under the hood gets pretty crazy. Those cars kill batteries in relatively short order; there's many other cars which run hot engine bays either due to limited space in the engine bay and large engines, or just turbocharged engines. Most lux cars these days put the battery in the trunk, but many other cars still keep it up front. The trunk typically enhances weight balance as well as keeps the batteries much cooler.

AGM batteries can overcome some of these things and promise longer battery life as they are more resistant to sulfation, vibration, and heat (somewhat) but they tend to be very expensive and the actual in-practice lifespan can still vary. TBH I'm not sure I'd bother spending more money on an AGM. Better idea is just "get a Kirland at Costco" like most ppl on here ;) As a note I've owned several AGMs and as said it's pretty hit & miss if it lasts any longer than other batteries but the prices are really high these days.
Thanks! Got it! I didn't realize these chargers are like phone chargers LOL... Eg can leave battery on the phone and it will not destroy/remove the memory/data on the phone. Hopefully these chargers/tenders are not like some phone chargers that catch fire though! (Now that I just realized that you plug the battery charger without removing the clamps on the battery from the car!)

My car is a 2010 RDX turbocharged so I guess that's why batteries don't last as long... Also read the size of the battery is too small on the RDX forums so maybe that's another reason, though I do drive the car for at least 15-20 min per trip, when I used to use it more often prior to covid LOL... My friend told me I should be happy I managed to get 5+ yrs out of it 2x already but didn't know about age being a non factor till now lol eg I'm on my2nd battery now...
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LPGA2020 wrote: Thank you all guys! I'll give it a shot then, worst that can happen is to buy another battery in Costco and use the tender bought here (seems like you guys think it's good enough) for the new battery then...

Do i need to reset everything in my car every time I use the battery tender/charger? Eg code for radio etc? Will my Maintenance
Minder still remember all my previous settings (eg oil life, etc) since I'm disconnecting the battery from the car to connect to the tender/charger? Any other thing I need to reset/remember once I reconnect the battery after using the charger/tender?

Finally, Out of curiosity, if age is not really a determinant, how long is a battery really going to last at the maximum if you super duper take care of it? 10 yrs?
Only if you disconnect the battery. code for radio depends on the make, some require codes some don't. For example shit honda doesn't recognize it's own car, but kia does. Don't know other makes since I don't own them.

Heard of batteries lasting even more than 8 years. Depends where you live. In lower mainland and van island batteries can last well into 8+ since winters won't kill them.
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Messerschmitt wrote: Heard of batteries lasting even more than 8 years. Depends where you live. In lower mainland and van island batteries can last well into 8+ since winters won't kill them.
Winters don't really kill batteries... they just demonstrate the shape the battery is in - ie a poor battery will have a hard time in the cold as the battery's chemical reaction slows in the cold.

The season that really kills batteries is the Summer due to the heat which is why most car OEMs provide that 'what the heck is this for' battery cover in order to insulate the battery from the engine's heat.
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craftsman wrote: Winters don't really kill batteries... they just demonstrate the shape the battery is in - ie a poor battery will have a hard time in the cold as the battery's chemical reaction slows in the cold.

The season that really kills batteries is the Summer due to the heat which is why most car OEMs provide that 'what the heck is this for' battery cover in order to insulate the battery from the engine's heat.
Both heat and cold can permanently damage batteries (heat more than cold). Luckily, our summers are also much milder. Almost never going above 30, or even 25
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Messerschmitt wrote: Both heat and cold can permanently damage batteries (heat more than cold). Luckily, our summers are also much milder. Almost never going above 30, or even 25
Cold only really damage the battery if the battery fluid freezes due to a low state of charge.
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LPGA2020 wrote: Thanks! Got it! I didn't realize these chargers are like phone chargers LOL... Eg can leave battery on the phone and it will not destroy/remove the memory/data on the phone. Hopefully these chargers/tenders are not like some phone chargers that catch fire though! (Now that I just realized that you plug the battery charger without removing the clamps on the battery from the car!)
Ehhh they are not exactly like phone chargers as it's totally different chemistry. For one thing lead acid is highly tolerant of low-current overcharging, whereas Li-Ion will go on fire if there were no charge controller and the charge current didn't start tapering off above 80% charge and stop when necessary.

However most "automatic" car battery chargers go into a "float mode monitoring" type mode after the charge is complete. Meaning that it does completely stop charging, then it waits for the voltage to drop below a certain point again and if/when it does, it starts charging again. This doesn't really do enough to prevent sulfation in the long term; and, it does nothing to reverse it either. That's where a BatteryMinder product has a claimed difference as even at the end of the charge, the desulfating pulse continues full-time which prevents further sulfation and can possibly reverse it as well.
LPGA2020 wrote: My car is a 2010 RDX turbocharged so I guess that's why batteries don't last as long... Also read the size of the battery is too small on the RDX forums so maybe that's another reason,
Yeah those Honda batteries always tend to be small. Still Civics, Integras, etc. back in the 90s never really had a problem starting or with battery life. But yeah a check on Acura/RDX forums will reveal the typical life of a battery in the same vehicle, as you can gauge by the user reports.
Messerschmitt wrote: Both heat and cold can permanently damage batteries (heat more than cold). Luckily, our summers are also much milder. Almost never going above 30, or even 25
As said, "cold" or low temperatures only permanently damage lead acid if the battery is allowed to freeze due to temp low enough to do so for the given SOC. Otherwise, low temperatures preserve the battery. Of course OTOH the "preserving" also means the chemical reaction is slowed, meaning there's less current available to start the vehicle--hence the sometimes large difference between CA and CCA ratings.

It would be nice if the price of lithium-phosphate would come down though as these would make for great starting batteries at much lower weight. Lead acid is such ages old tech. Then again before that happens like half of cars will probably be electric and not require any engine starting anyway :lol:
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Messerschmitt wrote: Only if you disconnect the battery. code for radio depends on the make, some require codes some don't. For example shit honda doesn't recognize it's own car, but kia does. Don't know other makes since I don't own them.

Heard of batteries lasting even more than 8 years. Depends where you live. In lower mainland and van island batteries can last well into 8+ since winters won't kill them.
i have many 8+ years out of a battery..GTA no garage parking, no tenders, daily drivers..all types and makes of batterys...I even had an eliminator type that was about 3 years old, that i pulled from a car and sat about 3 or 4 mores years in garage (on wood) ..charged and lasted at least 2 more years before car was scrapped
[OP]
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Mar 1, 2020
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GTA West
ES_Revenge wrote: Ehhh they are not exactly like phone chargers as it's totally different chemistry. For one thing lead acid is highly tolerant of low-current overcharging, whereas Li-Ion will go on fire if there were no charge controller and the charge current didn't start tapering off above 80% charge and stop when necessary.

However most "automatic" car battery chargers go into a "float mode monitoring" type mode after the charge is complete. Meaning that it does completely stop charging, then it waits for the voltage to drop below a certain point again and if/when it does, it starts charging again. This doesn't really do enough to prevent sulfation in the long term; and, it does nothing to reverse it either. That's where a BatteryMinder product has a claimed difference as even at the end of the charge, the desulfating pulse continues full-time which prevents further sulfation and can possibly reverse it as well.

Yeah those Honda batteries always tend to be small. Still Civics, Integras, etc. back in the 90s never really had a problem starting or with battery life. But yeah a check on Acura/RDX forums will reveal the typical life of a battery in the same vehicle, as you can gauge by the user reports.


As said, "cold" or low temperatures only permanently damage lead acid if the battery is allowed to freeze due to temp low enough to do so for the given SOC. Otherwise, low temperatures preserve the battery. Of course OTOH the "preserving" also means the chemical reaction is slowed, meaning there's less current available to start the vehicle--hence the sometimes large difference between CA and CCA ratings.

It would be nice if the price of lithium-phosphate would come down though as these would make for great starting batteries at much lower weight. Lead acid is such ages old tech. Then again before that happens like half of cars will probably be electric and not require any engine starting anyway :lol:
Thanks for clarifying! So correct me if I'm wrong: what you're essentially saying is I shouldn't be too fearful of a car battery tender/charger over charging and burning the house/car down right? I was intending to charge this in my garage (hence the extension cord question) and was planning to check up on it every 15 mins or so just in case something goes amiss and unplugging it prior to sleeping and then repeat the next day... I guess what you're saying essentially is it's ok, that I'm overthinking it? Lol (was even.planning to try to use a baby monitor just to be sure but I guess I don't need to look for that, if at all)

Yes the RDX forums mention that the CCA of stock battery (440 or something) is too low for the engine and if we could fit a bigger one we should. At this point, I'm not going to be novel, would just buy the same size from Costco... Heck I don't even know how to replace the battery yet, let alone buy a bigger size lol...

Btw do I need to put distilled water on the Kirkland Costco batteries? I've never put any in any of my 2 RDX batteries (eg old and currently battery) lol... If needed, then no wonder I only got 5-5+ yrs since I never put in any as I can't find a place where to put it (eg no 6 cap cover nor 2 set of 3 hole covers that I used to see in older car batteries)

Finally I researched a bit on desulphination, hence do I need to buy a unit that reverses desulphination? Is desulphination a cause that may salvage my battery of 5+ yrs (btw it still starts the car, slower starts though when it's cold lol)? (Eg the one you suggested has that function it seems, the Costco one that I linked to does not - boy this is confusing, I thought buying a battery and a charger was simple lol)

Thanks again!
Last edited by LPGA2020 on May 17th, 2020 10:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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I have yet to get more then 3 years out of the OEM battery in the few dodge rams I’ve owned, but wife’s rav4 is going on 6-7 years!
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If you can, measure the voltage before and after you've had the battery tender on for a few days. Or you can take it to a parts or battery place and get it load tested, they usually do it for free. A fully charged battery should read 12.6V. You may not need a new battery. Mine lasted 8 years before I needed to change it. My wife's car is at about 5 years right now and still measures 12.6V.
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5A is already slow enough. 2A? I don't think it's a good idea.
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My Battery Tender Junior took two days to "recondition" our Hybrid's AGM battery that went flat thanks to a map light left carelessly on.

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