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Discussion Starter #1
What a mine field:eek:

Basically what I want is to either be sure that should my battery be flat as it usually is when the GP has been sat for a week at the airport that I can start it without having to sit waiting to MINI assist for an hour.

I'd much rather that the battery didn't loose its charge in the first place, but trickle chargers I have seen tend to be needing a mains supply, well other than these

Maplin > Solar-Powered 12V 1.5W Battery Trickle Charger

So has anyone got one of these solar things? Or is it going to be a poor as I am thinking it will be?

Or should I just bite the bullet and buy a jump starter, which has in built battery.

Ideal world I'd be able to get one of those jump start things that also could trickle charge it while it stands, but not been able to find one:(

Anyone else using anything like these products that they can recommend?
 

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oooh ... pagers!
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R -- is the battery flat in the GP because of stuff running off it at a trickle over the course of the week? And is the GP fitted with a different battery than a plain-old-ordinary MINI?

curious because I leave my 06 S for weeks at a time when I traipse all over and have never had a flat battery -- but GPs always seem to get them?

if it's the same battery as regular old minis, then it suggests its a trickle off the battery that the GP is using for something or other ... if you don't need the alarm, can you just disconnect the battery when it's sat somewhere like the airport for a week?
 

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Rocking the F57
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GPs have a smaller battery than the standard S - weight saving measure, however they have been known to have power drain issues also.

I'd be tempted just to buy a booster pack Martin.... that way when you get back and it doesn't start - just lift the carpet, plug it onto the battery, and start it :)

Then when you get a chance, get it into Sytner Sunningdale (who fixed Snowies power drain issue) and get it fixed ;)
 

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BlueMax
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On my 04 MCS I also have a battery that runs down fairly quickly when sat for a few days. Only the alarm circuit is activated and this uses so little power (or should use little power)! I have also found that I need to trickle charge it every few months as it is somehow not fully charging. The 'condition eye' - Green sufficient, Black - insufficient and Yellow replace tends to drift towards black. When in black and suddenly confronted with a high starting current requirement (and especially when cold), the battery just cannot crank it. I stay only 6 km's from work and spend much of this in peak hour traffic (bad, bad for the engine and fuel consumpt.) and also bad because I suspect the lack of rpm's/time does not allow for full charge. Seems like the charge just keep on diminishing even when driving and a few days then 'kills' it. Luckily I have not seen the Yellow yet!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
GPs have a smaller battery than the standard S - weight saving measure, however they have been known to have power drain issues also.

I'd be tempted just to buy a booster pack Martin.... that way when you get back and it doesn't start - just lift the carpet, plug it onto the battery, and start it :)

Then when you get a chance, get it into Sytner Sunningdale (who fixed Snowies power drain issue) and get it fixed ;)
Snowies still isn't 100%, and he has to keep it on trickle charge;)

Its just something I have to live with I guess, but I want a back up there or some kind of prevention there to save the hassle, so thats why I thought I'd see if anyone used any products or could recommend any:)
 

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Snowies is still not right even after a fault was found. Martin and I discussed this over the weekend

I know my battery is naff and the dealer agrees BUT it still manges to pass the BMW battery test so it will not be changed under warranty. Then of course there is the added debating issue of alarm and ICE that is non standard.

This is not unique to #1657 as #0881 suffers to a lesser extent.

Yes you can fit a slightly bigger capacity battery of the same size or a bigger battery full stop.

When #1657 is left garaged in the UK I use BMW mains powered trickle charger - works like a treat and is really small - I plug it into the rear lighter socket which is direct (via a fuse) to the battery.

I also have one for #0881 - but forgot to put it on before I left Italy, so when I return after 19 days away I am expecting problems.
 

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Considering that solar power charger is a tenner, I would be tempted to buy it and see how it does.

Probably work better in the car parked up in Italy, than one parked up in UK, with the summer we've been having;)
 

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Northern Monkey!
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I would get the booster pack. A 1.5W solar panel is a toy and considering the limited sunlight in the UK and the fact that its sitting on the dash and not at optimal angle, its unlikely to have any measurable effect.
 

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6X therapist
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You dont need direct sunlight for Solar Power to work, so as long as there is daylight it will provide some charge. Of course ot wont work in a multi storey unless you are on the top deck

TBH the size of panel that would be needed to provide a decent trickle in UK conditions would need to be the size of the dash topper, which the Maplin device isn't. So a booster would be the way to go.

Funny thing is, my car has never had a problem and its been left for 2 weeks at a time on more than one occasion. It has a tracker, upgraded ICE and alarm which must add to the drain as they are constantly flashing/monitoring things. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, so boost seems the way to go, anyone got one or want to recommend a model for me to buy?
 

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If I owned a GP then providing I wasnt leaving it for 2-3 weeks at a time I would be fitting a better battery (heavier)
If you are leaving it for extended periods & it is outside then a solar charger will help. We supply quite a few to old porsche 911 owners. Our range runs from 135ma to 1200ma . They have discharge protection & overcharge protection built in on the lower ones & seperate on the bigger ones
 

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Rocking the F57
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Could always stick a couple of hamster wheels in the boot hooked up to a dynamo :p

You could build them into a base box unit :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If I owned a GP then providing I wasnt leaving it for 2-3 weeks at a time I would be fitting a better battery (heavier)
If you are leaving it for extended periods & it is outside then a solar charger will help. We supply quite a few to old porsche 911 owners. Our range runs from 135ma to 1200ma . They have discharge protection & overcharge protection built in on the lower ones & seperate on the bigger ones
Any chance of some pics and prices Mike?

Oh and don't forget I wanted those other things too;)
 

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The de Chromed MINI
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my MCS will last 2-3weeks before it struggles to start with the stock battery, just replaced it with a slightly bigger capacity, which seems to be much better (no vibrating speedo needles) even after 3 weeks, now got a mains trickle charger to keep it topped up,
 

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oooh ... pagers!
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Could always stick a couple of hamster wheels in the boot hooked up to a dynamo :p

You could build them into a base box unit :eek:
or you could just have a friend drive your GP around whilst you're gone :D :p keep it from losing charge that week.
 
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