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Thread: Can a generic car charger ruin your phone battery??

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidfiretibby


    really dude? i've used aftermarket chargers (both home and car) on multiple phones over the years and NONE of my batteris have swelled.


    Right!

    Some years ago in the nicad age, the swelling thing happend. With Li-ons, there is a built in over charge protector---like someone above said, there is a chanch that eith the after market or the oem charger mess up---but I agree the main problem is quality and I had one of the $2 versions bust today. DAmn, that thing only lasted for about 6 months, but on the other hand, I got 5 of them, so I still have 3-4 more if I can find them. I ain't complaining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plane
    . . . I had one of the $2 versions bust today. DAmn, that thing only lasted for about 6 months . . .
    The "cheap stuff from China" kiosk in the mall had *great* prices on Treo chargers. We opened one and the connector fell apart. We opened a 2nd - the connector on that one fell apart too. And the 3rd. And . . . Hasta la vista Baby!

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    Quote Originally Posted by plane
    Right!

    Some years ago in the nicad age, the swelling thing happend. With Li-ons, there is a built in over charge protector---l

    I'd like to show you the dozens of swollen Li-ion batteries I get returned to my store that look like footballs. It might not have happened to you, but it happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by entropism
    I'd like to show you the dozens of swollen Li-ion batteries I get returned to my store that look like footballs. It might not have happened to you, but it happens.

    I'm not disputing what you write, and it well could be the "'cheap" chargers fault, but it could be numerous other factors too, ie handset being dropped, water damage, being left in a hot car, and on and on; who knows? All a charger has to do is produce some amount of dc current. It's the phones job to regulate the amount that goes to the battery, maybe the phone's circuit had a glitch.

    And I had almost forgot, but my home charger for my palm is an oem. About a month ago, I noticed that the red charge light was on well after it should have turned green; picked up the phone and it was very warm(almost hot), a couple of weeks later that battery died (again almost a year old). One of us might say stuff happens, and another might say it's the cheap charger that I've been using for a year. Without proper testing, they are both just informed opinions, just conjecture, with no documented proof process. Also, if this were a a big issue, I'm sure there would be much, much more discussion.

    I still think the bigger problem is poor construction, rather than the power output, as they are just a simple little circuit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plane
    . . . All a charger has to do is produce some amount of dc current . . . they are just a simple little circuit.
    Wrong. So *very* wrong.

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    I apologize to plane for making too strong a statement in my previous post.

    I agree that there is little intelligence in most chargers.

    Some chargers do more, but most chargers just convert 12 volts DC, 120 volts AC, etc. to stable 5 volts DC or whatever your phone needs, stabilize and regulate that output, and in some cases limit the current with circuitry in addition to a fuse. The voltage regulation circuitry is active circuitry that isn't always simple, but that circuitry is straightforward, usually with little intelligence. Most of the intelligence for charging is in the phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidfiretibby


    really dude? i've used aftermarket chargers (both home and car) on multiple phones over the years and NONE of my batteris have swelled.
    I repair 30+ Motorola's a day, and see it all the time. Either way, my recommendation is not to use an aftermarket charger. They're cheap, and when you forget and leave your handset attached to an aftermarket charger overnight, don't be upset when you wake up and your phone won't power on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanBounca
    . . . when you forget and leave your handset attached to an aftermarket charger overnight, don't be upset when you wake up and your phone won't power on.
    In a somewhat related issue, my OEM Treo car charger and some other car chargers have a warning label telling you to disconnect the charger before starting your car. But that's a lot of bother, so who pays attention to warnings?

    Once after leaving my headlights on all day my battery was to low to start my car. The starter solenoid just chattered. When I tried to call roadside assistance my cell phone wouldn't make any calls. It turned out that the voltage fluctuations from the chattering solenoid had scrambled the programming on the phone. A quick manual re-program and the phone was fine.

    I still leave the charger plugged in when starting the car, but I would unplug it if the starter solenoid ever chattered again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanBounca
    I would NOT recommend using an aftermarket charger with your handset. We, as technicians, are able to verify that a handset has used an aftermarket charger about 90% of the time, and per manufacturer policy, we MUST void all warranties.

    Basically, use it at your own risk.
    Thats bologney. I'd like to know where you are a technician, because whoever told you that is very inexperienced (to put it nicely). Batteries swell when they are worn out or are defective. They breakdown internally eventually. That would be neat if you could tell by looking @ the battery but it is purely speculation on your part, that it is caused by an aftermarket charger.
    Now if you can pull data from the phone showing voltage spikes or the auto shut off failing, then maybe you could "tell"...

    We sell some OEM, some AM, but they are high quality chargers either way. The WalMart Belkin chargers are truly junk, along with a lot of other cheap AM chargers. Typically the cheapos have short, thin cords, and flimsy connectors. You can play tug of war with a quality charger. We buy quality chargers so that we can offer a LIFETIME Warranty on them. The cheapos can be acquired wholesale for under a dollar, but generally are garbage...

    I will add, a Lithium Ion battery's life is based on charge cycles. Each time you plug in the charger and unplug it, thats a cycle. The cycle life of the battery can really vary but people who use vehicle chargers frequently- burn up batteries quicker than those who charge on a home charger once a day/every other day. (typically) Lithium Ion batteries do not benefit from being depleted completely every time before charging. Once in a while is okay... Anyway, batteries wear out eventually, sometimes they last 5 years, sometimes they crap out in 6 mos...

    PS-
    I will give it to you that ANY Charger can cause an issue with a battery, but not that ONLY an AM charger could cause it. Like I said, the most common cause for swelling is a worn out and /or defective battery.

    BTW-
    I am not challenging your experience as a tech, but to say you, or anyone else can look @ a swollen battery and deduct that it has been charged by an AM charger is just silly.
    Last edited by NEXT_911; 12-31-2008 at 10:48 AM.

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    Sprint's AM Treo chargers are junk. And Sprint has the gall to charge almost $50 for them! I have been told they are garbage by a Sprint tech. He said the connectors are notorious for failing, too bad it was after my gf had forked over the money for one (to my dismay). The tech gave her an OEM as replacement. That doesn't make me trust anything Sprint sells with their own branding.

    I would have zero problem with Sprint selling aftermarket chargers if they charged AM prices. But why would anyone pay a premium for generic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthroMatt
    Sprint's AM Treo chargers are junk. And Sprint has the gall to charge almost $50 for them! I have been told they are garbage by a Sprint tech. He said the connectors are notorious for failing, too bad it was after my gf had forked over the money for one (to my dismay). The tech gave her an OEM as replacement. That doesn't make me trust anything Sprint sells with their own branding.

    I would have zero problem with Sprint selling aftermarket chargers if they charged AM prices. But why would anyone pay a premium for generic?
    I'd have to challenge you on that. We sell the Sprint branded chargers, offer a lifetime warranty, no questions asked, for 24.95, and rarely get them back. Most of the time when we exchange them, it is because the charger is physically damaged (ie...connector ripped off, water damaged etc.) We still swap them out free of charge BTW. I do have a problem with stores charging 40-50 bucks for a charger, OEM or not... But people pay it. We just choose to keep it reasonable.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEXT_911
    Thats bologney. I'd like to know where you are a technician, because whoever told you that is very inexperienced (to put it nicely). Batteries swell when they are worn out or are defective. They breakdown internally eventually. That would be neat if you could tell by looking @ the battery but it is purely speculation on your part, that it is caused by an aftermarket charger.
    Now if you can pull data from the phone showing voltage spikes or the auto shut off failing, then maybe you could "tell"...

    We sell some OEM, some AM, but they are high quality chargers either way. The WalMart Belkin chargers are truly junk, along with a lot of other cheap AM chargers. Typically the cheapos have short, thin cords, and flimsy connectors. You can play tug of war with a quality charger. We buy quality chargers so that we can offer a LIFETIME Warranty on them. The cheapos can be acquired wholesale for under a dollar, but generally are garbage...

    I will add, a Lithium Ion battery's life is based on charge cycles. Each time you plug in the charger and unplug it, thats a cycle. The cycle life of the battery can really vary but people who use vehicle chargers frequently- burn up batteries quicker than those who charge on a home charger once a day/every other day. (typically) Lithium Ion batteries do not benefit from being depleted completely every time before charging. Once in a while is okay... Anyway, batteries wear out eventually, sometimes they last 5 years, sometimes they crap out in 6 mos...

    PS-
    I will give it to you that ANY Charger can cause an issue with a battery, but not that ONLY an AM charger could cause it. Like I said, the most common cause for swelling is a worn out and /or defective battery.

    BTW-
    I am not challenging your experience as a tech, but to say you, or anyone else can look @ a swollen battery and deduct that it has been charged by an AM charger is just silly.
    Did you miss where I said, "Per manufacturer policy...? We replace swollen batteries, if the handset is still within it's warranty period. HOWEVER, we do this as a company, as most manufacturers consider the battery an accessory and won't replace the battery, whether the actual handset is under warranty or not. If we're to send them a swollen battery, they don't examine it. They don't diagnose it. They simply deem it physical damage from the customer, as they were using an aftermarket charger.

    Like I've said, with my experience as a technician, and the other 11-technicians that I work with, we can all vouch that aftermarket chargers 'cause more harm than good. I'd NEVER use an aftermarket charger on a handset that is still in warranty.

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    Urban-
    Not challenging your work as a tech, but to say that it is caused exclusively by AM chargers, is wrong. All types of chargers fail, all types of batteries fail, and all types of handsets fail. Which is the culprit is the art of being a tech...

    I am not arguing manufacturers warranty, or policy, I am arguing the blanket statement that AM chargers cause the failure of batteries exclusively and that you can deduct that via a visual inspection...

    I've seen batteries less than a month old swollen enough to pop the battery cover off, most likely a defective battery.

  14. #29
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    Why was this thread moved to the Instinct forum? Because the OP used the word in his first post?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEXT_911
    Urban-
    Not challenging your work as a tech, but to say that it is caused exclusively by AM chargers, is wrong. All types of chargers fail, all types of batteries fail, and all types of handsets fail. Which is the culprit is the art of being a tech...

    I am not arguing manufacturers warranty, or policy, I am arguing the blanket statement that AM chargers cause the failure of batteries exclusively and that you can deduct that via a visual inspection...

    I've seen batteries less than a month old swollen enough to pop the battery cover off, most likely a defective battery.
    Once again, we're trained to recommend not using them. I've seen numerous cases of them 'causing harm, and I'm not changing my opinion. The best thing someone could do is spend a couple extra dollars and get an OEM charger.

    For the record, a battery can swell overnight. It doesn't take a month.

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