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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I had quite a few electrical problems, Coil pack, starter, all window motors and possible alternator, in the past month and I believe it has to do with my charging and running my laptop off the cigarette lighter for hours, which started a few weeks ago when purchase a 12VDC laptop charger.
I sometimes go so long and not pay attention to the time that I drain the battery and require a boost.

I currently have a Kirkland Signature 750CCA and have been looking for an upgrade, maybe Optima yellow top 34/78 groups size.

What do you think?

Thanks
 

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Buy some cheap extra batteries for the laptop (if it has removable battery) or a Lithium Ion battery bank for the power supply.
Lead batteries are designed for 20% capacity cycle, if you drain them further they quickly loose capacity and die. Deep cycle are slightly more resilient but require slightly different charging parameters.

There are aftermarket LiIon car batteries, but they are expensive and quality can vary (generally, not cost effective).
 

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Used an Optima Yellow Top in mine for several years and it was certainly better than a standard battery that could not handle deep cycles; however, fitment is not the best as they don't offer a Group 34 size for our application and I'm not sure the cylindrical cells are the most optimal use of a rectangular space as regards storing energy. Add to that the pain of finding one that has not been abused prior to your purchase of it and Optima begins to seem like a bit of a hassle. Resorted to having them shipped directly to me years ago and was initially happy with that approach, but then Optima started doing the "ship from distributor" model and it seems like quality became hit/miss again.

Subsequently, I've swapped over to the NorthStar X2Power (SLI34AGMDP) sourced from my local Batteries Plus and have been very pleased with it so far as regards both fitment and function; however, I'm only just now 3 years in with it. Looks to be basically the same thing as the Odyssey Extreme. Basically, I'd recommend either the X2Power or the comparable Odyssey Extreme in Group 34 sizing as intended for our application.

At one time, all my cars had Optima batteries; however, I'm now transitioning them all over to the X2Power... so far so good on the two I've transitioned. If you go with Optima, definitely stick with the Yellow Top, the Red Top is nothing but trouble for an application that involves deep cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. I am going to change the way I use my laptop in the car and hope that makes a difference. I believe charging it consumes much less than running it plugged in. Basically it's not worth the investment.

Cheers
 

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If it is harborfreight, then is not going to last.
Mostly BS, as per usual. :rolleyes:

Yes, HF sells some things that are total crap, but a lot of their stuff is actually pretty decent. I know because I actually own a bunch of tools from them.

If interested in something from HF, check out the reviews on their website before buying it. I have found them to be pretty accurate.
 

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Bamia, I don't think the laptop charger is the problem.

If you have multimeter, what is the battery voltage with engine running at say 1000 rprm. It should be 13+ to 14+ volts.

What is battery voltage when you shut off car in the evening? Should be above 12.5 volts.

What is battery voltage in the morning before you start car. Should be similar to what it was when you shut down.

For a sanity check, I'd compare to another vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It is surprising that a tiny laptop would drain the battery in 2-3 hours but I know that it happened a few times while I was plugged in for long periods. I think total of four time, on at least one occasion I just unplugged for an hour and the car started after that.

Running at bout 800 RPM I get 13VDC and with engine off and no accessories it jump up and down between 13 and 12. I get the same result with the laptop charger plugged in, both car running and not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I retested and got 14VDC when running.
I will retest again next week with a better meter as the one I'm using is a Fluke T5-1000 and not suited for this application.
 

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bamia, 13 volts with engine running, probably not good. 14 volts with engine running good.

Your Fluke meter is fine, and as I said, try it on another vehicle.

Use the below to monitor voltage while driving:


Use your meter to monitor battery voltage while using the laptop.
 

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If it is harborfreight, then is not going to last.
It's from Harbor Freight. I have some tools, accessories and a generator from them. They are of good quality and I haven't had any problems. There are some things, I won't buy from them though.
 
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It's from Harbor Freight. I have some tools, accessories and a generator from them. They are of good quality and I haven't had any problems. There are some things, I won't buy from them though.
If you buy from Harbor Frright is either because you are looking for cheap stuff or you need something right away.

If you are looking for quality tools, then you go somewhere. No respectable shop uses Harbor Freight tools.

You get what you pay for.

Last year I needed to buy a portable air compressor. It was a shortage nation wide.

Couldn't find it anywhere else, so I buy it from Harbor Freight.

Sure enough, I returned it next day, had to order one online.

I finished the project with the Harbor Freight one, but hardly.

You can buy a warranty but it is good for one time only. Even if it had free warranty, for me is not worth it.

If someone say they have quality tools, probably don't use those tools much.

My brother often buy broken Harbor Freight tools are garage sales, then go to Harbor Freight and request an exchange under warranty. All he has to do is buy a warranty and they will give him a new tool.

For me, not worth it.
 

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If you buy from Harbor Frright is either because you are looking for cheap stuff or you need something right away.

If you are looking for quality tools, then you go somewhere. No respectable shop uses Harbor Freight tools.
reminds me of the time these guys cut a harbor freight anvil in half with a waterjet, and found bondo in it

 

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Not everybody uses their tools enough to warrant remortgaging their house to buy Snap Off tools.

I have a wire feed welder, two angle grinders, a reciprocating saw, two drills, regualr and deep impact sockets, torx and allen sockets, screw drivers, and other tools I can't think of off hand . All from HF. Some I've had for years now. They all do their jobs and none have broke yet. I'm not gentle with them either because I don't really care if they break.
 

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Cutting a nice, well painted, beautiful blue, high quality anvil in two, my, my, They need Bondo in their brains. Ha, ha.

Whatever they were up to didn't work apparently, their site has expired.

Speaking of water cutting, some years back, the removal of the engines in our Naval submarines were replaced, using water cutting to cut the subs in two, to get the old engines out.
 

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If you buy from Harbor Frright is either because you are looking for cheap stuff or you need something right away.

If you are looking for quality tools, then you go somewhere. No respectable shop uses Harbor Freight tools.

You get what you pay for.

Last year I needed to buy a portable air compressor. It was a shortage nation wide.

Couldn't find it anywhere else, so I buy it from Harbor Freight.

Sure enough, I returned it next day, had to order one online.

I finished the project with the Harbor Freight one, but hardly.

You can buy a warranty but it is good for one time only. Even if it had free warranty, for me is not worth it.

If someone say they have quality tools, probably don't use those tools much.

My brother often buy broken Harbor Freight tools are garage sales, then go to Harbor Freight and request an exchange under warranty. All he has to do is buy a warranty and they will give him a new tool.

For me, not worth it.
I would think twice about buying an air compressor from them as well. (I have a Craftsman 33 gal. air compressor) Most of my HF tools are not mechanical. Just hand tools. They have some unique tools, that I haven't found anywhere else. My preferred brand is Craftsman. I buy what I need, using customer reviews, and if It does that one job, it paid for itself. Been working on cars for over 30 yrs., so I know a good tool when I see one. (No matter the brand) What I won't do, is spend hard earned money on a name brand tool, if I can get that tool cheaper under a different brand, with good quality.
 

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Cutting a nice, well painted, beautiful blue, high quality anvil in two, my, my, They need Bondo in their brains. Ha, ha.
Yeah, high quality! Ha,ha.

Bet those guys who buy high quality tools there would've never even scratched the paint of that anvil enought to see the bondo underneath it. They would swear they had a very high quality blue anvil, and would be proud of it.

The old anvil I own is the real thing, no paint left at all, so I can proudly say, no bondo whatsoever! 🤣
 

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I would think twice about buying an air compressor from them as well. (I have a Craftsman 33 gal. air compressor) Most of my HF tools are not mechanical. Just hand tools. They have some unique tools, that I haven't found anywhere else. My preferred brand is Craftsman. I buy what I need, using customer reviews, and if It does that one job, it paid for itself. Been working on cars for over 30 yrs., so I know a good tool when I see one. (No matter the brand) What I won't do, is spend hard earned money on a name brand tool, if I can get that tool cheaper under a different brand, with good quality.
I also used to buy Craftman tools, but Sears sold that brand to Stanley tools. Craftman tools used to be made in USA, not anymore.

No more Craftman for me.
 
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