Car battery drain prevention: disconnect switch - Page 2 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Radar View Post
I suggest a jump starter pack rather than erasing the car's brains. It might even be hard to start after disconnecting the battery. I know my '05 had to relearn how to start and idle cold after that. Just remember to give the pack a charge every few months.
This seems like it would be much simpler! I am waiting on my jump pack to arrive.


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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 07:31 PM
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My Outback is well and truly out of warranty and has spent considerable time camped in the boondocks, routinely being parked for a week or so. I never had a problem with battery drain but wanted to make sure of that. Initially I used a solar trickle charge unit similar to this product. Later on I connected a solar charge controller to the battery wired to an Anderson plug accessible through the front bumper/fender, which allowed me to use the solar panels I was using to power my fridge and communications to fully charge the (sealed) starter battery without having to open the hood/bonnet and expose the engine bay to the elements, and also to listen to the car's radio without having to worry about draining the battery. I routinely use this setup at home; the car typically only gets used once a week or less and I plug in a solar panel the day after it's used and the day before it next gets used to coddle the battery. There's a noticeable improvement in the eagerness of the starter motor when the battery is freshly charged.

This setup has also been handy when tinkering with lights or other electricals as it allows me to run the car's electrical system without having to run the motor to maintain voltage and/or protect the battery from discharge. The only issue I've had with it was when I fitted aftermarket LED daytime running lights which were activated by a voltage sensor - when the charge controller cycled the battery voltage during bulk charging the DRL's would cycle on and off. This was solved by adding a relay to disconnect the DRL's when the solar panel is connected.

I was just thinking yesterday how camping with battery EV's will be so much simpler. There is ample juice in an EV battery to run a camping fridge etc so there will no longer be any need to fit or pack a heavy deep cycle battery.


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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 07:36 PM
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@DavidPeab has experimented at length with solar panels on his cars,



and automatic disconnects on those he was letting his daughters have full time. (= so as to need not drive out with a jumper pack at midnight to a movie theater parking lot)

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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 10:33 PM
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My issue with a 10mm wrench is the wrench (or whatever tool) becomes a vital part of the system. If the wrench is lost, things become unduly complicated. I would prefer a well-made, hardwired, cutoff switch. The wrench would be a backup.

Many racing series require a battery disconnect that safety workers can pull in case of an accident. They've been in use for decades, so they should be reliable and refined. Typically they mount to the positive terminal and have a terminal for the battery cable to attach. You might try looking at Summit since they cater to racers.

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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 10:50 PM
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Disconnect switches are not a wise approach on a microprocessor controlled vehicle. These systems are intended to remain permanently powered up and in standby state, with critical data retained. Powering down hard wipes out all learned data, and requires a hot environment or stone cold reboot that the chip set really isn't intended to do on a regular basis. You are asking for reliability issue down the road, in addition to possible starting or driveability issues for the first few miles.

This is an approach for emergency use only, and not a good daily or even weekly practice.
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post #16 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 02:37 PM
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Been working on cars professionally and personally for over 20 years... new to these car forums. This is an interesting subject, which I can hopefully offer an option.
Has any one ever heard of Priority Start?
https://www.prioritystart.com/

I’ve known other auto techs who’ve never heard of Priority Start, and can’t belive this company isn’t more widely known. I have been buying them for over ten years.
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post #17 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 04:21 PM
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A battery isolator is a good idea whenever you find yourself needing one.
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post #18 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 05:21 PM
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.....Priority Start? ..... I have been buying them for over ten years.
This is a sound approach as a safety net on a car that's likely to leave you stranded. I think it's unnecessary for most (we have a NOCO lithium in each car, and the family knows how to use them), but I can't fault anyone who selects to go with a smart disconnect as another layer of protection.
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post #19 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 05:56 PM
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@DavidPeab has experimented at length with solar panels on his cars,



and automatic disconnects on those he was letting his daughters have full time. (= so as to need not drive out with a jumper pack at midnight to a movie theater parking lot)
I have that one sitting in my garage currently.

I removed it from little red because I mistakenly thought it was causing issues but it turned out to be the alternator. I never did reinstall it because the new owner didn't care.
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post #20 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 06:28 PM
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I have that one sitting in my garage currently.

I removed it from little red because I mistakenly thought it was causing issues but it turned out to be the alternator. I never did reinstall it because the new owner didn't care.
use to see those in cop/ tow truck catalog parts.
like use this before a draw like a high power radio kills the battery of something that maybe sitting unattended and forgotten about.


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