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Registered
2007 XT - 5MT ELH, EWG, E85, Kinugawa TD06SL 20G 8cm
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1,589 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
3/07/10 EDIT: Pics added

My car has been in storage since August 2009, it was driven in early December a couple miles to charge the battery, it started ok, now almost 2 months later the bat does not hold charge after jump start. Should I drive for an hour at highway speeds to charge the battery or it's dead?

Some people report up to 8 years of Panasonic bat life, mine being only 3 years old seems should have some life left.
If the bat needs replacement, What's the best option? Optima or a lightweight battery? I live in a cold area but would love weight saving.

I do not want to opt for a cheapo battery at AutoZone.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,878 Posts
You can try charging the battery with a battery charger, driving the car is not sufficient to charge a battery, at best with regular driving it will maintain it's charge. There are a lot of draws on a battery even if the car is not on, keeping all the electrical at the ready (electrical engineers please feel free to comment).

If you decide to charge the battery a lower amp charge is better for the battery versus a higher amperage charger that can get the job done faster.

This is not to say that your battery will continue to hold a charge after this, experience has told me with motorcycle batteries, that if left to discharge they don't hold there charge for long due to sulfating, leading to replacement.

The next can and will be easily disputed but personally I have found bringing the battery inside to warm up before charging has given the best results. If you are storing your car during the winter it may be more beneficial to disconnect the battery during storage and possibly if you are able store the battery inside, somewhere with good ventilation.

I have a routine of each spring and fall, when cleaning the car is to connect the battery up to a charger for awhile to bring the charge up. It never fails to indicate some loss of charge. We got close to ten years on the original battery in my 99 Forester.

As for the Optima's there have been a lot of comments recently that the quality has gone down due to outsourcing production, but there are a number of members who have had good experiences with them.
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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35,859 Posts
Lead acid batteries don't like to be discharged & left flat. It's possible that your battery can be restored, but not just by driving, but with battery charger. :smile:

Now that I'm retired, I don't drive my vehicles every day. To maintain the battery at it best, I put a battery charger on the battery at least once a week. Even when you're not using the vehicle, there is always a small current drain for those devices that are still operating or need power to maintain its memory. :wink:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,683 Posts
Lead acid batteries don't like to be discharged & left flat. It's possible that your battery can be restored, but not just by driving, but with battery charger. :smile:

Now that I'm retired, I don't drive my vehicles every day. To maintain the battery at it best, I put a battery charger on the battery at least once a week. Even when you're not using the vehicle, there is always a small current drain for those devices that are still operating or need power to maintain its memory. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
+1

Rarely will a battery (lead acid) ever stay good if it sits for 1 month+, especially in the cold. Spend 30$ and get a good trickle charger to keep it charged.
 

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As others have said, if you're leaving the car stored, you MUST keep the battery on a trickle charger, or at least fully charge it and pull it from the car.

90% of batteries on the market are made by one company, this includes all the part store batteries, walmart, sears etc. These are probably a better bet than an optima at this point. The excide orbital or odyssey batteries are decent but not worth the cost. Interstate still sells their own batteries, probably the only company that actually makes their own battery. I'd probably just go with one from walmart, they're pretty decent batteries for a good price. My buddy is running his whole solar array on them.
 

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Registered
2007 XT - 5MT ELH, EWG, E85, Kinugawa TD06SL 20G 8cm
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1,589 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Sorry for late reply, I forgot about this thread.

I am so glad I posted, as I was about to buy a brand new battery, instead as suggested by good dog anf others I borrowed a trickle charger from my neighbor.



You can see state of charge went from a bit more than 50%, to 100% !

It has been a month with sporadic cold mornings and the car starts like a charm.

State of charge, before charge, the car would not start after jump start and driving for a while.



State of charge, after charging for 24hrs at 2A:



 

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The Modfather
2016 BRZ Limited - Manual 6 Speed Manual
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8,095 Posts
I use one of these:

Battery Tender

and got an extra one of these:

extra hook up


I switch between my Forester and Miata during the year and sometimes either one can sit for up to 2 months at a time. Even though I was driving my Forester (with an Optima Battery) once a week to take both kids somewhere at the same time, that wasn't enough to keep the battery from going mostly flat after a month or so. Driving really does not charge the battery only a charger will do that. If you let it sit that long with out a tender you should have disconnected the ground cable. There are small drains on the battery even when the car is off. A tender is the way to go IMHO either that or unhook it.
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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35,859 Posts
Quick answer, no. The 12 volt outlets are great for trickle charging the battery. This is how we keep our Forester batteries fully charged. For heavy duty charging (high amps), like for a dead battery, you need to connect directly to the battery terminals.

Keep in mind the 12 volt outlets in the Forester are not on (live), unless the key is in the ignition & turned to the accessory position. Of course you can MOD your outlet(s) for constant power, always on. :wink:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2004 FORESTER XT AUTOMATIC
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187 Posts
Thanks for the info, but I `m really asking can you charge the dead battery from the socket with an battery charge instead of using on the battery terminal?

Im using an
MotoMaster Eliminator Intelligent Battery Charger, 2A
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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35,859 Posts
Thanks for the info, but I `m really asking can you charge the dead battery from the socket with an battery charge instead of using on the battery terminal?

Im using an
MotoMaster Eliminator Intelligent Battery Charger, 2A
I'm going to say no, not with a completely dead battery. I'd recommend using a heavy duty battery charger connected directly to the battery terminals.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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Banned
'03 Fozzy Eat A Taco
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916 Posts
Thanks for the info, but I `m really asking can you charge the dead battery from the socket with an battery charge instead of using on the battery terminal?

Im using an
MotoMaster Eliminator Intelligent Battery Charger, 2A
I'm going to say no, not with a completely dead battery. I'd recommend using a heavy duty battery charger connected directly to the battery terminals.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
No, the lighter sockets are not LIVE when the key is out of the car... Bobby already outlined that Sir

you have to use the battery terminals...
 
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