Dear Sarge,

I have an Odyssey PC1200LMJT battery in my Polaris RZR XP 1000. It is about 18 months old. Well, last week we went camping and my kids left the stereo on all night and killed the battery. I removed the battery and took it to a friend’s house nearby to charge it. His “smart” charger’s readout stated my battery was bad and it refused to charge it. He suggested I install a new battery in my RZR. With a new battery the RZR would start on its own for the rest of the weekend, so the camping trip was saved. When we got home, I put my old Sears 6 amp charger on the battery and it proceeded to charge the battery at a 1 amp rate. It took 3 days before the battery could be topped up with the “smart” charger. But it did come back and it does power my RZR just like new. So, battery saved, child punished, he washed and waxed my RZR! My question Sarge is why wouldn’t the new so called “smart” charger charge my battery while my old Sears charger could?

Charlie Gilmore

Rock Springs, Wyoming

Private Fishgill,

You were introduced to the wonders and the limitations of “new” technology! A new, so called “smart” automatic charger has to analyze the condition of the battery being charged and then make a determination based on its built in data base, how to proceed. With your battery completely flat, the static charge was most likely sub 8 volts. Maybe as low as 6 volts. At that voltage level, the charger reads that battery as bad. Whereas since your AGM battery was fairly new, it could be saved. However the charger was pre-programmed to instruct its dumb human operator that 6 – 8 volts from a 12 volt battery is not enough to even bother attempting to charge. Your old Sears 6 amp charger is a “dumb” charger, so it will attempt to charge any battery connected to it. My advice Boot, is NEVER get rid of that “dumb” manual battery charger! Yes you can have a “smart” automatic charger to top off a battery and drop into maintaining float mode so as to not over charge a battery like a “dumb” charger can. But ALWAYS turn to the old tech manual battery charger when trying to resurrect a known good battery that has gone flat. 25 pushups for you Boot for not overseeing your recruits and your kid can clean the mud from your Zooters tires with a toothbrush for the rest of the camping season! Dismissed!

See UTV Action’s Compact Jump Starter Buyer’s Guide Here: COMPACT JUMP-STARTERS BUYER’S GUIDE – UTV Action Magazine

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