Use Battery Tender to Ensure a Proper Battery Care

Automotive batteries go through a charge cycle and discharge when the vehicles are in use; they rarely require external charging. However, when the battery ages or if the vehicle’s alternator starts malfunctioning, external charging is necessary. Removing the battery from the vehicle and charging it for a few hours would make it fully functional, but it could also mean the battery might require replacement. Such charging is necessary only for failing or low battery power. However, battery maintenance involves another type of charging known as trickle charging, which helps prolong battery life and prevent premature death.  Keep reading to learn more about trickle charging, for which you should know how to use a battery tender. Battery Tender is the brand name of the gadget, a proprietary product of US Company Deltran and first introduced in 1965.

How to Use a Battery Tender?

The device is a modified and sophisticated trickle charger equipped with microprocessor technology and is also known as a maintenance charger and float charger. The sophisticated design of the chargers ensures the supply of a constant voltage to batteries when connected to a standard AC outlet from which it derives power. Now, the question is whether a battery tender is the only type of charger that you need for charging automotive batteries. No, even if you use a battery tender, you would still have to charge the battery traditionally when the voltage falls below the acceptable level and renders the battery defunct.

Knowing trickle charging and traditional charging should help better understand the need for battery chargers for charging automotive batteries.

Traditional Battery Charging vs. Trickle charging

Traditional Charging – Traditional battery chargers are small stand-alone units capable of supplying a steady voltage to the battery when connected to a standard AC power outlet. Connecting the battery to the charger using the red and black battery clamps to the respective battery terminals and switching on the equipment commences the charging process, which should last a few hours. The charging time depends on the current flowing to the battery and is denoted in Amperes. As a rule of thumb, a higher ampere setting means faster charging and vice versa. On completion of charging, some chargers might switch off automatically while others might require manual intervention.

Trickle Charging – Since the purpose of trickle charging is to maintain a steady level of charge when the battery is not in use for a prolonged period, you can put fully charged batteries on trickle charge. Batteries undergo a constant cycle of charge and discharge when vehicles are in use, but when kept idle for a long time, the battery loses charge steadily and might even die. Trickle charging ensures a steady supply of constant voltage that prevents normal decay of idle batteries and prolongs battery life.

This charging process is similar to putting a patient on a drip to maintain a steady flow of nutrients to the body, which helps sustain and recover from some illness. Trickle chargers are more helpful for smaller automotive batteries used in two-wheelers and lawn movers, as these even help to top up the battery charge in the same way as regular charging.

Battery Tender or Battery Maintainer?

All Battery Tenders are Battery Maintainers, but not all Battery Maintainers are. The reason is that despite being a battery maintainer, a battery tender is slightly different because it’s a proprietary device, and Deltran manufactures the product’s brand name. Although people don’t hesitate to designate all Battery Maintainers as Battery Tenders because these are functionally the same, legally, these are different entities.

The Battery Tender design incorporates an automatic cut-off mechanism that prevents overcharging, which can damage batteries. Battery Tender is the brand name of the gadget, a proprietary product of US Company Deltran and first introduced in 1965. You should familiarize yourself with the different settings that help adjust the current flow, which impacts the charging time. Moreover, you should also understand the significance of the colored lights, red and green, as these remain steady or keep flashing. A flashing red light indicates the equipment is ready to use, and a steady red light glows throughout the charging period. When the green light flashes alongside the steady red light, it indicates that the battery is 80% charged. Finally, a steady green light indicates that charging is complete.

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