Originally Posted by LAF
I am overloaded on reading for sure. One thing I am sure of is the PC680 is the correct type of battery for the LT in design. It is a Starting Battery as compared to a Deep Cycle.
Seems there are things you can do to preserve them. First thing I see from all my reading is there is a difference for AGM/Gell/Flooded battery charging requirements. Not only in Amp but in "stages" of charge concern how many Volts are applied and when in the charging process.
It also has to do with Climate/Temp. Seems battery's like it in the 75-77 range and last longest both being used, and stored at that temp.
I am hard on the bike climate wise as it gets run all year when possible. That means it could go down to 5 or 10 and I will ride it or it could sit for a snow storm for 2 weeks till the road clears and then I expect it to start. So my riding temps are in the 100-10 degree area. Not the best for a battery.
Anyway it was a nice exercise in Battery Education and it did confirm on all my searches that if you have a few vehicles it pays to have a modern, multiple Amp, multiple Type charger.
Unless your blessed with mild temps year round like some of you
Then a Tender may not be needed
Oh, my 03 Turbo PT Cruiser has it's OEM battery still.
I did learn how to test a battery correctly, full charge, then at rest after 12 hours.
The biggest difference is between the gel and AGM/Flooded. The GEL battery has a lower voltage tolerance than the AGM/Flooded, as the AGM/Flooded battery is very very very close to having the same charge profile. IOW, if you use an AGM/Flooded charger on a gel battery, you will over-charge the gel battery.
On-charge voltage (max) for a gel should be around 13.9 and 14.4-14.6 for the AGM/Flooded. As far as the "special" charger for the PC680, don't "buy" into their BS, go buy a charger that is equipped for the Flooded/AGM/GEL batteries and you will be ok.
As far as ambient temps, all batteries whether deep cyle or starting, are rated and tested at room temperature. Any deviance from that, will alter your starting CCA's and reserve capacity, most of the time you will never know the difference until you start getting into the extreme temps, at and below freezing or above 115F.
If your bike, or any other seasonal piece of equipment sits idle during the off-season, should be tendered during its' dormancy to help maintain voltage and to help keep the battery from being sulfated.
And yes, to properly test a battery, it must be fully charged and fully cooled before testing. A good rule of thumb, if your bike (or anything else for that matter) fails to start under normal starting conditions and your battery is at least 3 years old, replace it. I don't care what the warranty states, they aren't worth the paper they are written on and they are all sales gimmicks. Warranties do not dictate battery quality.
If you are looking for a cranking battery, look for the CCA rating as that has the most stringent testing and is tested at 0F, you may also see HCA, MCA and CA, all of those are tested at closer to room temperature.
Cranking batteries should have more plates per cell, a deep cycle battery should have thicker plates (for reserve capacity)