Do you have a car or motorbike that you don’t use very often? What about a caravan, boat, or lawn mower?
If you do, you probably already know that your battery can run down over time if it isn’t being charged. The same thing will happen if you’re using a leisure battery to run devices or appliances on board a caravan. However, did you know that you can use a solar battery maintainer to keep your battery topped up for free?
Want to find out more? You’re in the right place! Read this blog post to find out about solar battery maintainers.
Is it as easy as it sounds?
Using a solar battery maintainer is easier than you might expect. All you need to do is put the solar panel somewhere where it’ll get some light and connect the lead to your car! They’re also great for caravans or motor homes with leisure batteries.
You can still keep your battery charged on overcast days, or if the solar panel is on the inside of your car or garage window. The panel is attached by suction cups for smaller models, or with screws for larger ones.
The panel can be used outdoors, too – just run a bead of silicone sealant between the glass and the plastic casing to keep the rain out.
How do I connect it to the car?
There are a few options for connecting your maintainer. You get two choices out of the box – either a 12v cigarette lighter plug or some battery clips. If your 12v cigarette lighter socket stays on when the car’s ignition is turned off, you should be able to plug in your maintainer here. If not, you can use the battery clips to connect it directly to the terminals on your battery.
If you don’t like the sound of that, or your cigarette lighter doesn’t stay on when the car’s ignition is turned off, you can also pick up an adapter so that you can charge your car through the OBD diagnostic port – click here to take a look. The OBD port is used for diagnostics, and most modern cars have one somewhere near the driver or passenger seat, so it can be a useful option for plugging in a battery maintainer!
What happens next?
That’s it! It’s perfectly safe to leave the battery maintainer attached overnight – it won’t drain your battery, and it constantly charges by adding a small amount of charge at a time. This ‘trickle’ won’t damage the battery by overcharging it, it’ll just keep the battery topped up until it’s used again. That means they work really well with things like caravans, where something like an alarm might drain the battery over time. If the maintainer is connected to a car battery, just remember to disconnect it before you start the car to avoid any damage.
Solar battery maintainers at Halfords
Have you seen the light and realised just how useful a solar battery maintainer can be? You’re in luck – we’ve got three different sizes of them at Halfords, depending on how much juice you need.