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2012TexasGT500

Using Shelby Battery Charger/Maintainer

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I don't drive my Shelby very often so the battery ended up dying on me. Since it will be sitting in the garage under a cover for the winter, I went ahead and ordered the Shelby Battery Charger and Maintainer to get the battery charged for right now, and also expecting to leave it hooked up this once I park it for the year. Got it all hooked up Sunday, and noticed yesterday there was a funky smell in the garage, almost like a mouse had died or something else was rotting in the garage. I took out the trash, looked for animals, etc. and the smell wouldn't go away. I finally had my wife unhook the battery charger while I was at work today, and when I got home, the smell was gone. Got in to try to start it and it wouldn't even crank even though it had been on the charger for 4 days and only disconnected for a few hours, so I'm guessing the battery is shot which doesn't surprise me since it's the original battery in the car and is 4 1/2 years old now.

 

I don't know batteries as well as I should, what would be causing a smell like that? Would the acid be boiling within the battery or something similar? Is this battery charger/maintainer safe to leave the car hooked up to it all winter? I had it hooked up to a basic Wal-Mart battery tender last winter with no issue but bought this Shelby one as it sounded like it would do more than just charge the battery, but I don't want to use it if it's not safe.

 

Thanks for the input!

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What were the lights indicating on the charger? With the battery that dead, it should have been showing trouble or an issue. I would imagine that the smell was the battery acids boiling. I would certainly replace the battery and make sure everything with the car is good. My 2006 Motorcraft Battery is still going strong! It lives on the Shelby maintainer all winter. It was unplugged all last month and the battery is still happy. It will be on the maintainer throughout this winter.

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The lights were showing the charger was at level 7 and the error light was not illuminated, at least last time I looked at it which was yesterday. I will swap the battery out this weekend. Glad to hear you use this charger/maintainer the way I intend to use it and don't have any problems! Thanks for the reply

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Excerpt from an article I just read...

 

I don't ever recall having a car battery produce so much odor that it stunk up a two-car garage. What would cause these symptoms to occur? The battery is Toyota OEM and is labeled an "84-month" battery. Should I insist that Toyota replace it? - Paul

Ray: Yes. You need a new battery. Yours is junk.

Tom: Your battery is out-gassing. It's emitting hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a gas best known by the question it usually prompts about who's been eating bean burritos.

Ray: ... unless my brother is nearby, in which case the question is unnecessary.

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Yep, mine is plugged into my Schumacher battery maintainer all winter and I don't have a problem.... these cars with the onboard computers will drain a battery in no time just sitting. I make sure I take the key out of the ignition and turn the radio off when I park it for any length of time. If you open the door or the trunk to get something out of the car it wakes up all the computers and they will slowly shut down over time but it kills the battery even quicker....

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I do not like battery tenders. What I do is charge the battery every two weeks, with a regular charger, throughout the winter months. I would never leave a charging device connected unattended. YMMV. I also leave my car unlocked, so the security system part of the car isn't on.

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Just a question "what was it set on " there are 4 settings 1-motorcycle, 2- car, 3 -the snow flake(dont remember what that means) and 4-recondition maybe it was on the wrong setting.....

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Snow flake is for cold weather. My CTEK (which is what I think the Shelby charger is) also uses the snowflake for Optima batteries.

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I do not like battery tenders. What I do is charge the battery every two weeks, with a regular charger, throughout the winter months. I would never leave a charging device connected unattended. YMMV. I also leave my car unlocked, so the security system part of the car isn't on.

So when you do charge it every two weeks how long to do you leave it on charge & do you disconnect it from the car when charging?

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So when you do charge it every two weeks how long to do you leave it on charge & do you disconnect it from the car when charging?

 

I use a regular 15amp automotive battery charger. I also leave the battery in the car, connected. There is no harm in doing this, it is as if the alternator is running. Do not use high current settings, like 60amps! Charge a battery slow, with low current.

 

A current based charger, will lower the amperage as the battery takes a charge, down to about 1amp. I find when I first connect it, it puts out about 10amps, then after an hour, it drops down to 5 amps or so. I usually leave it on for about 2-3 hours, and monitor it. About 2x a month I do this, during the winter. I also do this to my lawn tractor. I leave the battery in the car, connected. Once current is down to the 1-2amp range, the battery is charged.

 

If you want to buy, or charge it perfectly, you need a voltmeter, or a "peak charger". A peak charger will charge the battery until the voltage peaks, then shut off. You can do this manually with a voltmeter. Measure the starting voltage, before the charger is connected. Then monitor the voltage every 15mins. You will find it will peak, or hold steady, then you know it is charged, perfectly. Usually around 13.85V is where I disconnect the charger.

 

I find this whole procedure unnecessary, and just charge based on time, and what the battery charger's ammeter is displaying.

Edited by ShelbyGT5HUN

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I use the same CTEK charger/maintainer that the Shelby one is based on and have had no trouble with it at all. Just make sure that you have it on the right setting and follow the instructions (including running a recondition cycle once a year). I was told its the same charger that Shelby's been using for years on the cars in the showroom/museum too, which is why they OEM'd it to sell to customers. As far as the smell.. sounds like your battery was shot to start with and probably needs to be replaced. You could try running a recondition cycle first and see if it saves it -- YMMV (You may want to leave the car parked outside for that in case it just starts to stink again!). Doing that saved the battery on our old Plymouth mini-van for another 2 years.

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Thanks all for the replies. The battery has been deeply discharged a few times over its life, therefore when I connected the charger I set it to the recondition setting hoping to save it. Based on the smell, I figured it was shot and I just needed to replace it. I am glad to hear that other people use this charger with no problems, so I will swap out the battery and give it another shot!

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