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2014 Arctic White C7 Z51
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Car has been in winter hibernation and something led me to go get something out of the car that I needed. When I attempted to open the car with both FOBs neither would work and I switched out the battery and still didn't work.

The pictures below shows the red blinking security alarm light is on so there is power. However, when I look at the Battery Tender lights they are on and shows charging.

Normally when the car is fully charged then the car icon light would be green but in the winter in years past it would toggle from yellow to green because the single digit temperatures would pull more on the battery so it would always be at 100%.

Looking for thoughts and recommendations and I thought about giving a boost......

Battery Tender.JPG
 

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Couple of thoughts Kyle. I believe our C7s sometimes tend to not recognize FOBs after being left alone for extended periods. I presume you were able to use your mechanical key to gain access?
How old is the main battery? The CTEK should be able to get it to full capacity even with low temps once it is charged up. If you mean that it cycles once in a while during the cold temps from green to yellow and then back to green and remain on green for extended periods, that would seem normal. Have you checked the charger accessory plug to ensure it has clean and good contact with the truck receptor?
 

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+1 to Jeff’s post. I’m also assuming that you can use the physical key from either of the fobs to open the back and then use the release to open the driver door. I know that the fobs can lose their connection because I typically only use one of the two fobs and if I switch, I need to get in the car insert that fob into the slot in the steering column and I usually leave it there for that drive which reestablishes it’s contact with the vehicle. You may not want to start and drive the car since it’s in hibernation but that should do the trick as far as the fobs once you get around to driving again.
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Recent New battery in 2019 or 2020 thereabouts.... Yes, used mechanical key. I pulled the plug out and reinserted to make sure it was good connection. However, I after reinserting the plug and twisting it around I got some different lights on the tender and they are flickering as they should until fully charged so fingers crossed.

Thanks for your feedback.

3D7FB569-055C-448E-9996-0EDCB7B30D33.jpeg

Couple of thoughts Kyle. I believe our C7s sometimes tend to not recognize FOBs after being left alone for extended periods. I presume you were able to use your mechanical key to gain access?
How old is the main battery? The CTEK should be able to get it to full capacity even with low temps once it is charged up. If you mean that it cycles once in a while during the cold temps from green to yellow and then back to green and remain on green for extended periods, that would seem normal. Have you checked the charger accessory plug to ensure it has clean and good contact with the truck receptor?
 

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I am not sure what it means, but in your 1st picture the lower single light (power supply light) appears yellow rather than green. In last picture that same light appears Red rather than green & the center light above looks red rather than Yellow/orange as is should be when charging. Maybe it is a generation of charger thing, but definitely different than my colors on any of my 3 Ctek chargers (one looks just like yours). On mine you never have more than 1 of upper 3 lights lit at same time when working right. Have you tried unpluging charger from power supply to reset it? Also have you put a volt meter on battery? Not sure how low battery can be before the charger won't work on it. Also how cold is area, could battery have gotten low enough to be frozen?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So let my battery charge overnight and it started up multiple times today which is great. However, I do understand that the lights will cycle to different modes. However, they seem to stay the same but depending on how you twist the plug into the hatch outlet the lights that comes on varies. I am wondering if the trickler/maintainer charger is failing and should just be replaced. Thoughts?

If replacing, are there any recommendations as I hear about CTEK, or do I get OEM keeping winter temperatures can get really cold for example currently it’s 10 degrees outside and a low of 2 degrees tonight?

A also wonder if there is a portable compact battery charger/booster that also serve as a trickle/maintainer? Or, other recommendations/suggestions.

"However, depending on how you twist the plug into the hatch outlet the lights that come in varies" Example two Below:

FE30C357-DFCF-44D4-B943-10CB55858F11.jpeg
E483D2AF-250D-4926-A03D-3FB834DFDAB9.jpeg
 

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I am partial to CTEKs and they offer some additional functions beyond the GM CTEK version. Here was a review of one I did (and use along with several other CTEKs) Stingray Corvette Forum
 
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Discussion Starter #11
I narrowed it down to just replacing the tender with a new one.... Looking for recommendations as I don't want to overkill unnecessarily and I also would need to do the add on Cig lighter plug in adapter which is additional cost and not sure why it's not included. It also appears prices are cheaper on Amazon then on the manufacture's website so I assume they want to push sales through 3rd parties and not compete with them.

  • The polar is intriguing but in 30+ years the tenders I've used never had a problem handling the cold winters.
  • I also like the Test Battery and Charge option to know the status of the health of the battery.

CTEK MUS 4.3 TEST&CHARGE Price: $131.99

279313

  • Complete Battery Care - Unique and patented system to recover, charge and maintain all lead-acid battery types to maximize performance and extend life.
  • Safe and easy to use - User safety through spark free operation and reverse polarity protection. Vehicle electrical safety through exceptionally clean voltage and current delivery with no surges or spikes. No need to disconnect the battery from the vehicle when charging.
  • Connect and Forget - Simple plug and play operation. Select the program and mode and leave the charger to do the rest.
  • Unique 8 step charging - The patented 8 step program tests battery condition and revives, charges and maintains to ensure maximum battery life and performance. RECOND recovers deep discharged and stratified batteries. FLOAT/PULSE maintenance ensures ideal battery care during periods of inactivity.
  • Tests Battery and Alternator - Three unique and simple to perform test programs to establish condition and performance of battery and vehicle charging system.
  • Extends battery life - The unique features of CTEK chargers combine to maximize performance and extend battery life.
  • Protects vehicle paint against scratches from charger.


    CTEK MUS 4.3 POLAR Price: $125.99
    9805FF91-7583-41AC-8D4F-86D6ABF3D2AB.jpeg
  • Complete Battery Care - Unique and patented system to recover, charge and maintain all lead-acid battery types to maximize performance and extend life.
  • Safe and easy to use - User safety through spark free operation and reverse polarity protection. Vehicle electrical safety through exceptionally clean voltage and current delivery with no surges or spikes. No need to disconnect the battery from the vehicle when charging.
  • Connect and Forget - Simple plug and play operation. Select the program and mode and leave the charger to do the rest.
  • Unique 8 step charging - The patented 8 step program tests battery condition and revives, charges and maintains to ensure maximum battery life and performance. RECOND recovers deep discharged and stratified batteries. FLOAT/PULSE maintenance ensures ideal battery care during periods of inactivity.
  • Charges down to -22°F (-30°C) - Specially developed for use in extreme cold conditions and featuring AC and DC cables adapted for low-temperature use.
  • Extends battery life - The unique features of CTEK chargers combine to maximize performance and extend battery life.
  • Protects vehicle paint against scratches from charger.

CTEK MXS 5.0 Price: $102.99
279312

  • Charges batteries up to 110AH. Maintains larger batteries up to 160AH.
  • Unique reconditioning mode
  • Built-in temperature sensing capabilities
  • AGM and new EFB (enhanced flooded battery) battery charging capability
  • 8 step charging program
  • Completely sealed unit
  • Spark proof and reverse-polarity protected
    clean voltage & current
  • Premium input and output cable with robust strain relief
    5-year warranty


279315
 

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Kyle,

The reason the your lights on your tender went different colors when you twisted the plug in the car's rear receptacle is that some of those receptacles that GM uses are, well, not the best quality.

What is going on is that the low-quality rear receptacle in your particular car doesn't get a good electrical connection all the time for all angles, and you have to twist it around until it makes good contact.

Mine is the same way.

So, what I did was once I got the plug inserted and twisted to an angle where it was making good contact, I have never taken the little adapter out of the car. It has been in there for years. I unplug the maintainer at the quick connect, and just leave the plug and its short cord in the receptacle in the rear of the car. In that way, I have never had to mess with it again to get good contact.

I think that is one big advantage of having the plug removable from the cord.

Here is a stock photo from the internet that looks similar to the one I have.

279323
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Rodney!

So mine doesn't have the quick connect and I didn't seem to find on CTEK website a way to splice and change over to a quick connect. Are you aware of options but now I am wondering that if the receptacle is bad in that you don't get a good fit even if buying a new one might have the same problem?

I am also wondering if the plug just shifted and I really don't need a brand new one. I read something that said that when fully charged the car icon should turn green which he hasn't done in that last few days since getting car started. It has been connected to the tender but I am concerned on how to tell if its working or not outside of the lights going solid vs blinking.

56636677-0DAD-4A8E-A9A0-93D5151A0967.jpeg

ctek has a orange Polar one for cold weather situations
Kyle,

The reason the your lights on your tender went different colors when you twisted the plug in the car's rear receptacle is that some of those receptacles that GM uses are, well, not the best quality.

What is going on is that the low-quality rear receptacle in your particular car doesn't get a good electrical connection all the time for all angles, and you have to twist it around until it makes good contact.

Mine is the same way.

So, what I did was once I got the plug inserted and twisted to an angle where it was making good contact, I have never taken the little adapter out of the car. It has been in there for years. I unplug the maintainer at the quick connect, and just leave the plug and its short cord in the receptacle in the rear of the car. In that way, I have never had to mess with it again to get good contact.

I think that is one big advantage of having the plug removable from the cord.

Here is a stock photo from the internet that looks similar to the one I have.

View attachment 279323
 

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Kyle, it appears (but it might be simply the angle) that your side contacts on the accessory plug may be depressed and hence not making consistent good contact. And yes, it should turn green once fully charged. You might want to get a new CTEK (Amazon) but you will also need to buy the adaptor plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Jeff,

I noticed that and took the plug apart and pulled out the metal sides to make for a
tighter fit. When I get home see what happens before ordering a new one and provide an update.

2B966054-0FF3-4E1A-B0BB-45E868476B68.jpeg
F565EAED-F00C-41D5-9DA5-B7DDB99C8338.jpeg

Kyle, it appears (but it might be simply the angle) that your side contacts on the accessory plug may be depressed and hence not making consistent good contact. And yes, it should turn green once fully charged. You might want to get a new CTEK (Amazon) but you will also need to buy the adaptor plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update for future reference:

As Rodney mentioned, the receptacle in the rear hatch is low-quality and doesn't the always allow you don't get a good contact fit. Thx Rodney as you were on point with CTEK.

After speaking with CTEK, there should NEVER be any flickering or blinking LED lights when the device is working properly. If there is ever a blinking or flickering light, almost always indicates a bad power connection! So twist the plug inside the receptacle until the LED is Solid and not flickering and you should be all set.

I assume what happened in my case is that it must have lost connection and then drained the battery. I normally look from afar coming and going into the garage during the winter and saw lights on and didn't think twice about it but likely didn't catch any flickering of any of the LEDs.

The car starts strong after removing charger so probably had only lost connection for a few days and I caught it early enough not to ruin the battery. So, removal the replacement CTEK out of my Amazon Basket waiting to be paid

8CD57505-C09B-4F88-8FDF-91A63154C724.jpeg
4D3F10E9-5F86-4E81-A635-259E1A7858FC.jpeg


Kyle,

The reason the your lights on your tender went different colors when you twisted the plug in the car's rear receptacle is that some of those receptacles that GM uses are, well, not the best quality.

What is going on is that the low-quality rear receptacle in your particular car doesn't get a good electrical connection all the time for all angles, and you have to twist it around until it makes good contact.

Mine is the same way.

So, what I did was once I got the plug inserted and twisted to an angle where it was making good contact, I have never taken the little adapter out of the car. It has been in there for years. I unplug the maintainer at the quick connect, and just leave the plug and its short cord in the receptacle in the rear of the car. In that way, I have never had to mess with it again to get good contact.

I think that is one big advantage of having the plug removable from the cord.

Here is a stock photo from the internet that looks similar to the one I have.

View attachment 279323
 

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Kyle, so you are not going to buy a new one?

Let me give you one more thought. When I first got the car, I noticed that the rear receptacle and surrounding carpet would deflect inward when plugging in the device, and deflect outward when removing the plug. It felt flimsy. I wondered how many mate/un-mate cycles it would go through before the receptacle either got shoved back in, or came out in my hand along with the plug someday.

That is yet another reason why I, personally, like disconnecting the CTEK at the comfort connect interface instead of the plug/receptacle interface.

Of course, maybe yours seems more firmly mounted than my receptacle's flimsy mount. Also, if you don't have a lot of mate/un-mate cycles (for example, maybe you leave it plugged in all winter, and never have to plug it in at all during the summer), then your use case is different from mine.

It's just a thought. Take care!

-Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Rodney, unfortunately my older unit that came with the 2014’s did not have the quick disconnect where you could leave in the receptacle.

In six years this has never been an issue which was what puzzled me and might just been an anomaly so I’ll keep monitoring throughout the day to see if anything changes with the connection and so far so good.

You are right that here in cold Michigan that the charger stays in for the entire winter untouched from December - March and not used from April - December so it might be a little different than your scenario.

However, the variable is probably the degree of looseness with each C7 receptacle and you drawing that to my attention combined with the information provided by CTEK I am cautiously confident that the problem is solved.

Kyle, so you are not going to buy a new one?

Let me give you one more thought. When I first got the car, I noticed that the rear receptacle and surrounding carpet would deflect inward when plugging in the device, and deflect outward when removing the plug. It felt flimsy. I wondered how many mate/un-mate cycles it would go through before the receptacle either got shoved back in, or came out in my hand along with the plug someday.

That is yet another reason why I, personally, like disconnecting the CTEK at the comfort connect interface instead of the plug/receptacle interface.

Of course, maybe yours seems more firmly mounted than my receptacle's flimsy mount. Also, if you don't have a lot of mate/un-mate cycles (for example, maybe you leave it plugged in all winter, and never have to plug it in at all during the summer), then your use case is different from mine.

It's just a thought. Take care!

-Rodney
 

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That's interesting Rodney. RedHot's (a 2014 like Kyle's) rear accessory plug receptacle seems to be very solid with zero deflection on putting the plug in or removing it. I wonder if they changed that area on your Z06?
 
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