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Discussion Starter #1
I have had the Up GTI hooked to a smart charger (Airflow, same idea as a Ctek) for some weeks now while it is resting during lockdown, and it has achieved maximum charge and switched to “standby” mode, so all well and good. I have two of these chargers and have used them on assorted other cars while in store with no issues.

However today I started the engine just to circulate some oil, and was surprised to see the voltage fall on the charger readout. Normally as soon as the alternator kicks in it shoots up to maximum. I switched the headlights on, and perversely the voltage rose to near maximum. Huh? I concluded that the car must have some sort of alternator cut out, so that it only kicks in when needed, such as when the lights are on and drawing power.

This has puzzled me all afternoon, so out of curiosity I have just been out to look at the battery and realised it has a sensor device on the negative connector. (see pic) I had never noticed it before.

So my questions are …

What does this sensor do?
Does the Up GTI have some sort of modern hi-density battery?
Is it OK to keep it charged with a smart charger?

4935
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Someone off the forum has answered my first question. The thing is an IBS (Intelligent Battery Sensor) which controls the alternator and the stop/start amongst other functions.
 

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My Vauxhall Mokka has one of these sensors and I also occasionally use a smart charger, an Aldi cheapo. My battery is an AGM type, and the charger has kept it in perfect condition. Car is now over seven years old, and covers about 5,000 miles per year, stop/start system continues to work fine.
I should also mention that both of my motorbikes are permanently connected to smart chargers, and both bikes sit most of the year, and all winter, unused. Bikes always start first time and batteries are still as new. One of the bikes is now five years old and covered less than 500 miles, the battery is in perfect condition, but only due to its permanent connection to the charger.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for that.

I asked as the only place I had previously come across these IBS things was on a friend's new Mazda MX5 which has a special high density battery which comes with all manner of warnings about how to charge it, and how not to charge it. He used a smart charger and it disabled the stop/start. My MX5 doesn't have an IBS, and I was surprised to find one on the Up.

Like you I have used smart chargers for years on cars and bikes with no problem, but there are some batteries systems that don't take kindly to them.
 

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John, I forgot to mention that I had a smart charger attached to the Seat Mii I purchased on a whim in June of last year. The car basically sat in my garage attached to the charger until I sold the car in February of this year. The car suffered no ill effects, and the stop/start worked fine whenever I drove the car.
My Mokka has an AGM battery and they are supposed to be quite picky about how they should be charged, but seems okay. In fact my charger has a frost setting on it which apparently gives a slightly higher 14.7 volts rather than 14.4 volts, this is recommended setting for my AGM battery. Life was so much easier, and less complicated, in the good old days. Haha.
 

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Interesting to hear. I use a conditioner on my old car/old tech stable but the Tsi lives on the drive so I must confess to a socially distanced, non stop, non contact 10 mile round trip to charge the system, clean the brake discs and run the A/C

Once a fortnight seems to be enough to keep everything in good order. As soon as I leave the drive, I'm effectively going home............
 

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I thought I would ask in this thread rather than start a new one. I have not used my gti since the lockdown started any trips for shopping etc have been in our other car. So is it likley that the battery will be completely flat and need to be replaced once I want to start using it again? I am a bit weary of trying to unlock the car and try and start it in case it then causes any issues like keep making the alarm go off or something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I thought I would ask in this thread rather than start a new one. I have not used my gti since the lockdown started any trips for shopping etc have been in our other car. So is it likley that the battery will be completely flat and need to be replaced once I want to start using it again? I am a bit weary of trying to unlock the car and try and start it in case it then causes any issues like keep making the alarm go off or something else.
If you car is stored in a garage, or anywhere within reach of a 13 amp socket, I'd suggest you buy a smart charger, anything from an ALDI or LIDL cheap one to an expensive C-tek. If you have no access to power, you'd be best to start it once a fortnight and let it idle for 15 mins, to keep the battery topped up. As a rule car batteries do not like being allowed to go totally flat, but I have rescued flat batteries before without issues, so hopefully you would not need to buy a new battery.
 

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I had a traditional 12V battery deep cycle drain due to a cooling fan override switch failure on one of my oldies. Managed to jump start it but it was never the same, a cell had failed, and I have now replaced it. IMHO, it's not worth the grief as so much depends on your battery working a top level. As John says, try and start it every couple of weeks, either drive it (ideal if safe) or idle it for 15 minutes, keep on top of the maintenance cycle, as others have said, moderns weren't built for / don't like sitting around for weeks on end............
 
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