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Correction to my Method for the Porsche maintainer: The unit doesn't "default" to motorcycle mode.

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That's exactly how it sounded.
My wife thought (jokingly) that our neighbor had shot his wife last night.
We both got up to look around the house.
We didn't find anything obvious.
The neighborhood was quiet. No Police, no lights.
We went back to bed. It was around 4:00AM.
This morning I did another thorough inspection of the house. Nothing ...
... until I went to the patio and saw the carnage!
These are photos of one of my batteries, connected to a trickle charger.
Apparently the trickle charger didn't trickle and just charged. Also, the battery, which seemed to be vented, wasn't.



Moral of the story:
If you charge your battery(ies) via a charger, please make sure the charger is working properly and the vent in the battery(ies) actually vents.
Luckily not much harm was done except having battery acid all over the place which I had to neutralize with baking soda and water.

Happy Boxstering,
Pedro


Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 290,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
Wow! Lucky that there wasn't anyone around that battery Terrible if it had been in a car.

So that was a trickle charger, not a battery maintainer?
Interstate? *NM*
old timer - 4 months ago
Yup. Interstate.
It’s not for the Boxster.
I have two batteries that I keep charged for my electric trolling motor.
Fishing is good this time of year.
Happy Porsche’ing
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 290,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna


"A mile of highway will take you one mile. A mile of runway will take you anywhere."
Actually, those are REALLY bad!
They only work for a couple of years then do all sorts of weird stuff.
Lights don't light, charging is erratic, etc., etc.
I used to sell CTEK and stopped about 5 years ago after several failures.

Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 290,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
Now I’m worried. I’m in Florida and my Boxster is in the garage in Ohio with a C-Tec attached. This is just the second year I’ve used the unit and last year it worked well. The reviews I’ve read on C-Tec were all good but I always bow to Pedro’s wisdom and experience. Nothing I can do now but keep my fingers crossed. Anyone else have experience with these units they care to pass along?
There are several models branded by C-tec and Porsche. Mine (the cheap simple one) was fine for the 5 years I used it across 5 winters.
I have mine for around 10 year with the CTEK MULTI US 3300. Never had a problem.

My cars (VW, Boster) are plugged in for 6 months at a time
It seems there is a lot of recent anecdotal evidence that these units are first class.

"A mile of highway will take you one mile. A mile of runway will take you anywhere."
... but they lost me as a customer a long time ago.
Happy Porsche'ing,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 290,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
Re: Interstate?
old timer - 4 months ago
so do you go off the alley or out port everglades?
So I'm more interested in what fishing you do? Do you do any
bass fishing, or do you do mostly off shore stuff? What kind of
boat do you have?

I have been using the Porsche Original Teile - Genuine Parts
Charge-o-Mat 000 043 202 56. Output 12V-DC/500mA. I have
been using it for approx 15 years without any problems.
Our backyard lake is part of the Everglades Waterway System so it’s very rich in wildlife in, on and out of the water.
The lake is spring-fed and quite deep in places, since I’ve measured 60 feet plus with the fish finder.
I catch mostly large mouth bass (usually 2-3 lbs but I have caught a few 8 pounders over the years.
The best for fighting is the butterfly peacock or pacú. We’ve also caught small mouth bass, alligator gars, oscars, catfish, very large carp and a couple of snakeheads.
Sharing the water with them are a myriad of gators (mostly about 5 feet long, but have seen 10 footers as well) water moccasin (cotton mouth), really big pythons (20 footers are normal) and all sorts of turtles.
The birds are unbeliable (if you’re a birdwatcher you’d want to move here).
There are gigantic blue herons, white herons, osprey, golden and bald eagles, parrots, ibis, indigenous and migrating ducks, coots, and vultures among others.
My boat is a small 12 foot aluminum jonboat which has given me time to enjoy this incredible place even if I don’t catch anything some days I still have a great time.
Happy Porsche’ing
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 290,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
You haven't been lucky enough to catch a Cayman .....or better yet, a topless Cayman.
Glad you had no damage, Pedro. This is my first winter using the Porsche/C-tec unit, and now I have something to worry about??? I hope not. I maintain through the cigarette lighter with the battery (Interstate) in the car. I go out in the garage every few days for other reasons and always look at the maintainer lights - all is fine, so far.

Gary 2003 Boxster Base - Midnight Blue Metallic, Savanna Beige, Metropol Blue
Wow that is Crazy.
A quick search of the Internet found the button which changes modes is the problem, not covered under warranty of course. Found a video of a hack which basically adds an external button and problem solved. I don't trust it on my Boxster anymore but on my gas golf cart it seems to be working OK.
1) Plug it into the 12V cigarette lighter* in the center console (981 Boxster S with the Smoking Package.)
This causes the indicators to light on the maintainer body. It defaults to the motorcycle icon.
2) Press the Mode button so that the LED for the car icon lights.
3) Then plug the unit into a powered ~120V receptacle.

Dismounting:
1) Remove the 120V plug
2) Remove the 12V plug

NB: The 2013 981 doesn't have a notch in the driver's door lower seal that would've accommodated the maintainer wire while the door is shut, but is of no consequence.

* It's my understanding that at least one of the other, standard 12V outlets remains active/will activate when a maintainer is plugged in.

Minus 40 degrees... Is that Fahrenheit or Celsius?
Aside from what reliability issues these units may have, the one I have has been working flawlessly since 2001. For me, it's a general principle with most anything electrical/electronic to make all low voltage and/or low amperage connections first, then connect the high Voltage/Amperage. Perhaps in the particular case of the Porsche maintainer, there's less strain on its internals by following the aforementioned procedure, especially in light of Mode button/switching failure(s.)

By the way, I also had a Sears maintainer (circa 30 bucks,) that lasted about a dozen years, but then it began to never indicate full charge. As it felt more than historically warm to the touch, I tossed it and got a new one. The old one had a manual (although I imagine one could try using a big toe winking smiley ) slide switch to change from 2 Amps to 4. The new one apparently either automatically senses what it's being connected to, or it doesn't matter.

Minus 40 degrees... Is that Fahrenheit or Celsius?
So..what is a good maintainer?
Re: Chargers/maintainers
Laz - 3 months ago
I'm ok with both products. Getting ~10+ years out of a $30 Sears unit seems reasonable to me, and it might not've actually been malfunctioning when discarded. I was suspicious and erred on the side of caution. Perhaps my observations happened to miss the light being green. Perhaps the aged battery it was on needed a "fresh" maintainer. (Yeah, this last notion is a stretch.)
My suggestion is to check reviews of devices available on Amazon; discounting the illiterate/irrelevant/unreasoned comments, and being wary of five and one star reviews.

Minus 40 degrees... Is that Fahrenheit or Celsius?
With the unit receiving power from the vehicle, the first tap of the Mode button sets it to motorcycle, a second tap to the car icon.
To reiterate, my method is to make the vehicle connection first, then plug the unit to the main power.
Quote
Laz
1) This causes the indicators to light on the maintainer body. It defaults to the motorcycle icon.

Interesting that it defaults to the "motorcycle icon." I have an ancient B&D maintainer and the "small" battery (motorcycles, lawn tractors, etc.) is a 2 amp setting. In contrast to that, the setting for "large" batteries as used for automotive purposes is 1-amp. I've often wondered why the physically larger battery is recommended with the lower current but perhaps that's why I'm a mechanical engineer!
I think it's a matter of the same Watts being applied, as the power is perhaps the limiting(?) factor for delivery to the receiving battery. The smaller batteries are assumed to be 6 Volt, whereas the larger are 12 Volts.
6 Volts at 2 Amps = 12 Watts
12 Volts at 1 Amp = 12 Watts
I wish I had done that. I had two fail for the same reason (mode button). First one Pedro replaced under warranty, the warranty unit failed in about two more years. I tossed it. Looking for a good replacement. Someone mentioned one (I forget the brand) but carried by Tractor Supply and Northern Tool.

Al
Quote
Al in Melbourne Beach
I wish I had done that. I had two fail for the same reason (mode button). First one Pedro replaced under warranty, the warranty unit failed in about two more years. I tossed it. Looking for a good replacement. Someone mentioned one (I forget the brand) but carried by Tractor Supply and Northern Tool.

Al

My local Tractor Supply carries the Schumacher brand. Schumacher used to be associated with high end instrumentation.
Quote
John from PA
Quote
Al in Melbourne Beach
I wish I had done that. I had two fail for the same reason (mode button). First one Pedro replaced under warranty, the warranty unit failed in about two more years. I tossed it. Looking for a good replacement. Someone mentioned one (I forget the brand) but carried by Tractor Supply and Northern Tool.

Al

My local Tractor Supply carries the Schumacher brand. Schumacher used to be associated with high end instrumentation.

Hopefully some Chinese company hasn't bought (or appropriated) the brand name.
+1 on Schumacher. I have one on my hibernating 03 Boxster S and one on my infrequently driven winter beater 06 Fusion for about 5 years now. Quality products. Check out their site. [www.batterychargers.com]
I just returned from a two month stay in Florida. When I first read this thread I had already put a C-Tec on my Boxster and gone on vacation. Reading the comments on the C-Tec I worried that it would not maintain the battery. I’m pleased and relieved to report my Boxster started right up on my return. The C-Tec also performed well last year when I used it for a one month vacation. My experience may be an anomaly but I guess I’ll use it again next year. Thanks for all the information you folks provide.
My Sears charger just gave up the ghost (and I replaced the Boxster battery with a new one).

Any suggestions on make/model to get from Amazon for next Winter? I'll be using the cig lighter adapter.

Thanks.

Andrew
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