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Old 04-06-2008, 08:11 PM   #1
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Porsche Trickle Charger?

I had my 2006 boxster sitting in the garage since December. I bought the trickle charger from Porsche and had it plugged in the whole time. This morning I decided to get the car out to start driving it. It started right up. I drove it, had it parked for a couple hours, drove it home and parked it in the driveway. When I went to put it back in the garage it wouldn't start. The starter clicked as if the battery was dead. I pulled the battery and put it on the charger. When I hooked it up the charger showed it only had about 6 volts on it. I'm guessing that it must have had enough juice to start it a couple times before it died. I only drove it about 10 miles both directions this morning so it probably wasn't enough to charge it back up. Does that sound normal?

Is that the proper use of the trickle charger? Did I do something wrong? For long durations, is that trickle charger not sufficient?

I think next year I'll pull the battery before I store it for the winter and just charge it up when I'm ready to get it out.

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Old 04-07-2008, 07:50 AM   #2
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I have never had that problem on mine. I've not driven it for as long as 3 months and it started up no problem and kept running. Your newer model might have a lot more computer electonics than mine drawing power. The trickle charger should have handled that though. Maybe your battery is bad and not accepting a full charge?
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:11 AM   #3
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Bad battery. I'm on 2 years with my trickle charger for 3 months at time and the battery is still fine as far as I can tell. Did you plug the charger into the cigarette lighter by the armrest?
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:26 AM   #4
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Yes, it was plugged into the cig lighter in the armrest. It had enough to start twice so the trickle charger must have been doing something. I'm just thinking that maybe the electronics/computer draw was more than the charger was putting back in.

Concerning it being a bad battery it is a 2006 with only 3300 miles on it. It has set a lot. I bought it from the dealer about a year ago and it only had about 800 mile on it so it probably sat on their lot a lot too. Could all that sitting cause a battery to go bad? It's probably gone dead and been charged a few times during its life.

Anyways, I had the battery on the charger all night and it took a full charge. Put it back in and it started up. (that was after I had to jump the front lid release after I closed it when I pulled the battery. Learned that lesson) Right now it is showing a PSM failure and a system fault. I assume that has something to do with the low battery. I called the dealer and he said its probably a low voltage error. He also said that I couldn't reset it myself. I had to bring it in. I'm sure there has to be some sort of workaround for resetting that. I went ahead and scheduled an appointment to have the oil changed and have a once over done on the car to make sure everything is ok and have those lights reset.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:15 AM   #5
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See if the battery has accessible wet cells, if it does, get a cheap acid tester and check each cell, only takes one bad one to screw the entire unit. It's also very important to have enough distilled water in each cell to cover the plates entirely, a partially exposed platen usually cooks and goes bad.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:24 PM   #6
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New cars tend to have a slight draw on the battery all the time.. Alarms, computers etc. A proper battery tender could have helped, but just sitting there without being used to put a charge back in is not helpful. While a bit apples to Orange, the project car i bought has an optima red-top battery that has been cared for carefully and put on a battery tender over the years.. the battery is close to 10 years old but still works! (for know anyway )
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9fourteen
When I hooked it up the charger showed it only had about 6 volts on it.
914,

I ran into the same problem early this winter. I had no idea that our Boxster had so much draw while just sitting in the garage, and I did not have the battery on a trickle charger.

We know that all lead acid batteries sulfonate if it is drastically discharged and will not hold a charge for long. I looked into this on the PCA website last year and found the following:

12.5 - 12.8 80 - 100% Battery is ok
12.2 - 12.5 50 - 80% Recharge battery
11.6 - 12.2 0 - 50% Low state and recharge immediately
Below 11.6 0 % Battery should be replaced

When I checked my battery at autozone it was much less than 11 volts and therefore sulfonated and not able to hold a charge.... I replaced it. Now is working fine.

I have a sneaking suspicion that your "new" battery was significantly discharged several times and will now not hold a charge. I have heard that a standard battery will tolerate 4 - 5 major discharges before it becomes significantly sulfonated. I am suspicious that this occurred while the car sat on the dealer's lot. I know that was the culprit for my 4 year old battery.

Hope this helps,
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:35 PM   #8
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what you described sounds like my problem. Doesn't look like the battery will hold a charge at all now. I had it fully charged yesterday morning and put it back in the car to pull it back into the garage. I just went out to check it and tried to start it and it was dead again after only one day. I pulled it and it showed 6 volts again on the charger. I'm guessing it is cooked. I'll take it somewhere to have it tested tomorrow just to verify.

Assuming my battery is shot. I'm going to hit up the dealership first and blame them for selling me a bad battery. But assuming I get the typical dealership runaround and have to buy a new one, anybody have a suggestion? I have always bought Sears Diehard batteries for my other cars and had good success. At least what I expected for life. OEM batteries suck in my opinion.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:56 AM   #9
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914,

IMO, I think your battery is shot. 6 volts after a full night of charge? I think your battery is as sulfonated as it gets.

So far as replacement battery goes... stay away from Porsche OEM..... it is overpriced and terrible. I think they wanted to charge me $120 for a replacement.

You can search this forum and you will find different opinions.... Duralast from Autozone (what I chose), Braille, Optima and Toolpants recommended a cheaper battery from Walmart. You will find that he is quite knowledgeable and he found a battery from Walmart for about $60 or so. I found his thread after I bought mine from Autozone for $85.

I will try to find his thread for you after I try to go to sleep.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:38 AM   #10
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At lunch I'm going to run to Autozone and get a battery. Even if I fight with the dealership and got them to replace the battery I would just be getting another crappy OEM. Its not worth the hassle.

I went to Autozones website and when I punched in my car type it came up with a 94R-DLG batter for $125, 650 CCR, 8 year. The 48-DL which is the one which was recommended in the "battery suggestion" posts is $85, 700 CCR, 7 year. The 94R-DLG looks just like the OEM battery. I'll get the 48-DL since that is what most people are recommending.

Thanks everybody for your help. Hopefully I'll have it back on the road tonight!
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:24 AM   #11
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Autozone tested the battery and it was bad. I bought the 48-DL battery for $85 vs the 94R-DLG battery which they recommended. The guy gave me a bit of a hard time because he said the 48-DL battery is not for the car.

Anyways, did I get the right one? Is there any reason why this battery would not work? The other posts I saw concerning this battery said that it fit right in. I noticed that it about 2 inches shorter than the OEM battery. Width wise it looks about the same. I'm just wondering if it will mount tight with the existing clamp. I guess I'll find out tonight when I try to put it in.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:36 AM   #12
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I don't think the size of the battery matters that much as long as it is secured well in the holder. As long as the Volts and Amps and all that sort of stuff are correct for the car the size shouldn't matter.

For example, take a look at the Braille lightweight racing batteries. They are small and light but also have models for everyday use.

http://www.brailleauto.com/
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:46 PM   #13
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Hey 914,

2000SoCalBoxsterS is correct, you just need adequate specifications... i.e. 875 cranking amps and 700 cold cranking amps.

I bought the Duralast 48 as well (which we could have bought cheaper at Walmart or Costco.... I did not know). I am not sure why your battery is smaller. The battery that I picked up at Autozone for the same price was the exact same dimensions as my battery from my 2004 SE (OEM). It fit perfectly without any problems, continues to hold its charge and turn over the engine without any hiccups.

If you look at some of the other posts.... people swear by Braille, Optima and so forth. I think it all works well.

p.s. If you store your Boxster over the winter months like I do.... I would recommend a battery maintainer.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:11 PM   #14
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Battery fit without any problems. It is smaller than my OEM battery. The battery tray has multiple mount points for the battery clamp so you can have different size batteries. Those Germans think of everything.

All my warning messages reset except I still get a System Fault message. It seems to be trying to reset. I took the car out for drive and the light would go off every time I came to a stop and was idling. As soon as I got on it it would come on. I took it back home, shut it off and then restarted it. The Fault message never came on again but the engine sounded slightly rough. I'm guessing the computer hasn't fully reset. Is there a trick on getting the computer to reset? Or will it eventually figure it out on its own?

One thing that I found strange was I never got locked out of the radio. The battery was out of the car for over 24 hours.

I had the Porsche charger plugged into the cig lighter. I bought it when I bought the car and I always plugged it in when the car was parked for more than a week. It was plugged in the entire time I had it stored for the winter. I'm thinking the battery was already bad when I bought the car and it was just a matter of time before it completely failed. Is there a better battery maintainer than the Porsche one?
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:19 AM   #15
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Sorry 914,

I am not even reading the whole thread. Your first post talked about how you have been using the Porsche trickle charger. It should have been the first clue for me that your original battery was entirely sulfonated.

I have not heard anything bad about the Porsche battery maintainer. Your battery problems should be just a distant memory with the gorgeous summer ahead.

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