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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TLDR: Does anyone have a dependable battery maintainer/charger model to recommend, especially in cold weather?
Hello everyone,
I was hoping to get recommendations for a good trickle charger to keep the battery well-charged during the winter. I'd rather that than install a block heater.
So I don't know if it's been anyone else's experience as well, but here in Canada I'm always worried my 2010 Mazda6 won't start in the extreme cold. It struggles a bit and sputters, but starts. I replaced the battery a little over a year ago while troubleshooting another issue, so the issue isn't the battery age. I suspect it's just not a very winter-friendly car.
I used my car basically daily last winter, but I work remotely now so it gets used 1-3 times a week (sometimes less). For context, the coldest it got last year where I live is -34C (-29F).
So, I just want my car battery to have enough power to start the engine on the coldest of days. Consumer Reports recommends trickle charging to maintain the battery, so I'm looking for a smart battery maintainer/charger.
Now there's some decent ones on Amazon in the Best Sellers in Battery Chargers list. But, some people have said they don't work well in the cold, namely that the wires crack or it doesn't adjust the charge for temperature (like the Motopower Maintainer or the Noco Genius 2D). There's an expensive one for cold weather (CTEK MUS 4.3 POLAR), but people have said the wires stop being flexible even at -15C and that it's not actually compatible for Canadian winters.
So, are there any car battery chargers that you find are good to use in really cold weather? TIA
 

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Battery Tender and a lead you bolt to your cable ends (usually comes with the kit so you can hardwire to your motorcycle) and then just run it out the hood and lay it at the base of the windshield so you can plug it in without opening the hood. Thats what i did on my 3, but then im running a very tiny lithium so i need the extra attention. I bought mine in 2006 and it still works great.
 

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I have a cheap 1-amp NOCO Genius from Amazon (currently $30) - it's worked fine for my ATS (AGM battery type) and my Milan during Michigan winter. They have higher amp stuff, but I didn't need it so I went the lowest possible - I have an old battery charger if I need a jump.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Battery Tender and a lead you bolt to your cable ends (usually comes with the kit so you can hardwire to your motorcycle) and then just run it out the hood and lay it at the base of the windshield so you can plug it in without opening the hood. Thats what i did on my 3, but then im running a very tiny lithium so i need the extra attention. I bought mine in 2006 and it still works great.
Thanks! Yeah I saw that one. I'd be concerned about the plug getting exposed to water and snow though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a cheap 1-amp NOCO Genius from Amazon (currently $30) - it's worked fine for my ATS (AGM battery type) and my Milan during Michigan winter. They have higher amp stuff, but I didn't need it so I went the lowest possible - I have an old battery charger if I need a jump.
Thanks! Yes, I'm thinking that's probably all I need too. Good to know the low-cost models work.
 

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And that I think is the reason why CTEK is the choice of luxury cars for maintaining their batteries. Simply "connect and forget", nothing to worry about.

When I monitored how this charger works, it will give a voltage of about 14.5 continuously. Once the battery is fully charged, it will maintain a voltage supply of 12 volts. After 3 or 5 minutes, it will supply 14 volts for a minute or two then maintain again a supply of 12 volts.

With everything I've said, your main concern is the winter months which I think no one is able to comment.

@Cdn17Sport6MT lives in Canada, I think, but doesn't "suffer" temperatures as low like in your place.

Is there any possibility of installing a "wire heater"? The idea is like a pipe heater where a tube is side-by-side with the pipe, where the said tube is heated by steam. Unfortunately, I do not know how you can accomplish something similar to what I am saying.

I think a heated garage is better.
 

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Thanks! Yeah I saw that one. I'd be concerned about the plug getting exposed to water and snow though.
It cant, it has a cap. Think about it, its made for a motorcycle, your car aint gonna hurt it.
 

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+1 for Battery Tenders. Although I don't know about extremely cold temps, they have worked fine for me in single digit Fahrenheit temps. I post I made on a motorcycle forum below. All were used in an unheated shed or outdoors.

"Throwing my 2 cents in: Battery Tenders are great! I had 4 that I used on many cars, motorcycles, commercial mowers and lawn tractors. Long story short, the motorcycles and lawn tractors were all used, and over 7 years of using Battery Tenders on them, I never had to buy any replacement batteries. I mostly used them on the batteries over winters.
I'm sure there are other good brands of Microprocessor controlled chargers. These types are all vastly superior to plain Trickle Chargers."
 

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Lexaan. My beautiful 2010 Mazda 6 i Sport.
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I have one of these hard-wired to each of my vehicles.

I got some extra wire extensions and ran them out to the center of the grill on each vehicle and they just sit there nice and tucked away until I need to plug them in.

No need to open the hood or anything, just plug them in and let them charge up.

The charger will not overcharge but will simply maintain a good steady voltage until charged, then trickle charge as needed.
I left my dash cam on in my truck on accident and it kept everything good for 2 weeks until I realized it and unplugged the dashcam, the truck was perfect and the battery voltage was perfect.

I have a 2010 6 with that damned door sensor that likes to go haywire and I have not fixed it yet, so I would often come out to a dead battery due to that. since I set this up it is a 10-second job to connect up to it.

Hope this helps.
 
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