One of the best solutions to preventing a dead vehicle battery is the ChargeGuard Auto Shut-off Timer. The latest version of the original automatic shutdown device prevents battery drain and extends battery life. The device also provides complete voltage protection for expensive electronics.
With ChargeGuard, critical aftermarket electronics such as computers, two-way radios and card readers are always available to the officers. They can leave the vehicle unattended, if needed, without having to remember to turn their equipment on or off.
ChargeGuard works by automatically turning mobile equipment on when the engine is started. When the engine is turned off, the equipment stays on for an adjustable period of time, and then is automatically disabled. When properly deployed, ChargeGuard will eliminate the delays and hassle of a dead battery.
By preventing battery wear from deep cycling, ChargeGuard saves the cost of frequent battery replacement. It also reduces fuel costs by running equipment after the engine has been turned off. With an MSRP of $99, ChargeGuard is cheaper than the first tow, jump, service call, hour of downtime, or that first replaced battery.
“With the installation of the ChargeGuard unit, we have not had to replace a battery, nor have we had a battery-related service call (jump start) on a vehicle equipped with the unit,” said Sgt. Ken Gregory of the Hoover, Ala. Police. “By eliminating the cost of replacing batteries, service calls, and reducing officer downtime for vehicle repairs, we have more than covered the cost of the ChargeGuard units.”
With the cost of gasoline headed back over $4, the Next Generation of its IdleRight™ Fuel Management System – IdleRight2 – minimizes engine idle time, decreases vehicle fuel consumption, decreases engine wear, and reduces the amount of exhaust emissions. The NextGen IdleRight2 is designed to work with many popular after-market remote starters, which makes an easier installation. It also has a much lower price for a faster return on investment. The original IdleRight had an MSRP of $450 – the NextGen IdleRight2 has an MSRP of $150.
IdleRight2 minimizes idle time by monitoring the battery's voltage while the vehicle is turned off and the electronics, i.e., lightbars, radios and computers, are still on. When the battery voltage drops to a pre-set level, the system triggers the remote starter to run the engine long enough for the battery to recharge, then turns the vehicle off again. This process significantly cuts down on the vehicle’s idle time while mission critical electronics are in use.
The original IdleRight device was wired into the car in order to automatically start the vehicle up to recharge the battery and turn off the engine when charge time was sufficient. The IdleRight2 is designed to work with remote starters to start and turn off the vehicle, which greatly simplifies installation.
In 2009, the Glastonbury Police Department in Glastonbury, Conn., tested the original IdleRight system to calculate how much idle time and fuel they saved with this system. During the test, a vehicle ran for four hours with all of its emergency lights activated. Before IdleRight was installed, the vehicle idled for the entire four-hour period and wasted 2.8 gallons of fuel. With IdleRight installed, that same vehicle’s idle time dropped to just 40 minutes, using only 0.46 gallons of fuel.
Based on this example, if a department pays an average of $3.50 per gallon of gas and utilizes vehicles that idle 25 percent of the time, the department could save over $4,450 a vehicle per year in fuel alone with the IdleRight system.
Reducing idle time is the key to saving fuel, preventing unnecessary engine wear, and decreasing harmful emissions. According to Ford Fleet, every hour of idling is equal to 33 miles of driving. For police cars that frequently idle for long periods, one eight-hour shift can add 264 miles of wear and tear to each of these stationary vehicles.
IdleRight2 features an LED diagnostics system that shows what state the unit is in, and allows customers to calculate their savings by outputting the number of idle hours saved. This data can then be plugged into the Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator to determine total savings in fuel, money, miles and maintenance. This calculator is online at www.idleright.havis.com/savings.html.
Andrea Felice is with Havis, Inc. and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.