How Do I Know If My Battery Tender Is Bad? (4 Reasons)

How Do I Know If My Battery Tender Is Bad

A battery tender is a trickle charger. However, according to the brand’s official platform, their product is more sophisticated:

  • The charger starts by analyzing the battery to determine its functionality. For your sake and the battery’s safety, the battery tender won’t charge a defective battery.
  • If the battery passes the various checks, the charger will deliver its full charge.
  • Once the battery’s voltage reaches a pre-determined threshold, the battery tender will maintain the voltage at that level.

The battery tender is appealing because it protects your vehicle’s battery. Many drivers prefer to disconnect the battery before leaving a car in storage. However, you can forego this step if you connect a trickle charger because it maintains the battery’s charge over long periods.

Battery tenders are not perfect. Theoretically, you can maintain the battery tender’s connection to the battery forever. You don’t have to disconnect it. However, this is not practical because things can go wrong.

In fact, most trickler charger manufacturers will encourage you to check on your battery tender every few weeks. But how can you tell that your battery tender has gone bad? You will observe one or more of the following symptoms:

1). The LEDs Won’t Illuminate

Battery tenders have LEDs that keep you abreast of the tool’s operations. These lights will either illuminate or flash depending on the model, letting you know that a battery tender is working. The indicators will stay dead on a defective battery tender, proving that the battery tender is faulty or the lights have stopped working.

2). The Battery Has No Charge

The battery tender should prevent a battery from depleting. These tools stand out because they keep the battery full, or close to full, at all times. Therefore, a depleted battery shows that things have gone wrong.

A partially charged battery should also concern you. Although, you shouldn’t take drastic actions based on this symptom alone. A battery can discharge because it has a defect.

3). The Temperature Is Too High

Consumers expect the battery tender to stop working when it detects extreme temperatures. Therefore, a battery tender that continues to charge an overheating battery should concern you. You should also pay close attention to excess heat in a battery tender.

Consumers usually blame excess temperatures on a bad battery. But sometimes, this issue arises because the battery tender has malfunctioned. Keep in mind that most chargers generate some heat when they perform their functions.

Don’t expect a battery and its charger to remain cool during the charging process. Moderate warmth shouldn’t concern you. You should only act when the battery or its charger becomes too hot for you to touch.

4). The Lights Are Flashing

Battery tenders have lights that flash when things go wrong. For instance, you can blame a flashing red light on poor electrical contact and insufficient AC power, to mention but a few.

Battery tenders have enough intelligence to detect malfunctions. They will warn you by flashing specific indicators. Use the manual to interpret these error codes.

Troubleshooting Tips For A Bad Battery Tender

  • Test the battery with a voltmeter. Connecting faulty batteries to a battery tender is discouraged. A voltmeter will confirm the battery’s health. If the battery belongs to a car, I want you to look for a reading of 12.7V. If the battery tender has seemingly refused to work, the reading above proves that your battery is full.
  • If the battery tender doesn’t respond when you connect it to one outlet, switch to a second outlet. Some battery tenders fail to work because the outlet is dead.
  • If a battery has refused to charge, give it time. Some batteries are massive, and it takes more time to fill them, especially if you allow them to discharge fully. You should only panic if the battery tender significantly exceeds the recommended recharge duration.
  • Check the electrical contacts. Poor connections can interfere with the battery tender’s work. Clean the contacts with water, baking soda, and a cloth.
  • Do you see a switch on the battery charger? Don’t forget to flip it to the ON position.
  • Connect the charger to an AC power source and test it with a multimeter. Make sure the charger’s supply matches the voltage of the battery you want to charge. A charger with a lower voltage will introduce delays.
  • If all the LEDs are off, check the battery tender’s connection to the wall outlet. If you’ve ruled out the outlet, inspect the power cord and its plug.
  • Test and replace the fuse where necessary.
  • Many technicians expect battery tenders to last three to five years. Keep this in mind if your battery tender starts to misbehave after three years.

Try to apply the manufacturer’s instructions to protect the battery tender from unnecessary harm and to extend its lifespan. Those instructions include the following:

  • Keep the battery tender away from rain and snow.
  • Don’t pull the cord to remove the plug from the outlet. You will damage the cable. Instead, you should grab and pull the plug.
  • Avoid extension cords. This Battery Tender guide permits extension cords in emergencies. But even then, stick to high-quality extension cords without breaks or tears in the cable. The gauge should match the battery tender’s electrical requirements.
  • Don’t use damaged battery tenders. If you don’t know whether or not a battery tender is damaged, but it fell, or someone gave it a sharp blow, ask an expert to inspect the device before you use it.
  • Don’t open the battery tender when you notice signs of a malfunction.
  • Don’t clean the battery tender without disconnecting it from the AC power source.
  • Keep the battery tender away from heat and fire sources.
  • Don’t pierce the casing.
  • Don’t modify the battery tender.
  • Stop using the battery tender when you notice suspicious smells or excess heat.
  • Try to charge your batteries in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep the battery’s terminals clean.

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