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Old 07-23-2019, 03:56 PM   #1
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Disconnecting battery in toad

I've often see mention of disconnecting the battery in various toads but don't understand why? Inquiring minds want to know.

I suppose if I knew that then I'd also know if it's necessary for my toad. I do know that in my Mini Cooper, some of the systems come alive if it starts moving and I guess that's a drain on the battery but how much so I'm unaware.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:09 PM   #2
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A lot of toads need to have the key turned partially on, which activates some current drawing devices. This can draw down the battery to a point where you can't start the toad. On my 2014 Honda CR-V I have a charge line between the coach and the CR-V that keeps the battery fully charged.

Now modern vehicles are changing all the time. Some need to have a battery disconnect because of the way they were built. Electronic steering, electric brakes etc. complicate things. Its best to find out the straight from the manufacturer as to whats best.
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Old 07-23-2019, 05:00 PM   #3
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I've often see mention of disconnecting the battery in various toads but don't understand why? Inquiring minds want to know.

I suppose if I knew that then I'd also know if it's necessary for my toad. I do know that in my Mini Cooper, some of the systems come alive if it starts moving and I guess that's a drain on the battery but how much so I'm unaware.
I'm not an expert on flat towing but I am a professional mechanic and garage owner. I discourage battery disconnects as much as possible. Most battery replacements get a jump pack on or other power while I replace.

On a Mini footwell modules can simply crap out when a battery dies or is improperly charged. Battery disconnects sometimes kill them. LOTS of modules can lose their learned values and it's not always fun.

Find a way to recharge the "toad" while driving...no different than charging a travel trailer when hooked up. A 7 way pin will easily charge at a 15 to 20A rate, more than enough for key at accessory position draws.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:02 AM   #4
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I guess the number one reason is that some toads require the key being on to unlock the steering, something I forgot about when I asked my question. Mine doesn't so I see no reason at the point to disconnect the battery.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:31 AM   #5
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Is your Mini Cooper an automatic transmission or a stick shift model? From what I have read, towing a Mini with a automatic is not feasible, and Mini does not recommend towing even a standard shift vehicle. However, it seems a lot of people do tow the standard shift ones.

Is the vehicle new or older? Are you concerned about the car's basic or extended warranty?
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:38 AM   #6
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Even with no key in the ignition, you have to think about your auxiliary braking system and how it gets its power. Some tap into your air brakes so no problem. My Invisibrake uses substantial power that is drawn from the toad battery. I ran a charge line and its working well.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:57 AM   #7
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Even with no key in the ignition, you have to think about your auxiliary braking system and how it gets its power. Some tap into your air brakes so no problem. My Invisibrake uses substantial power that is drawn from the toad battery. I ran a charge line and its working well.
Agree. All active braking systems use significant power. Charge line is a simple and clean way to do it and assure the TOAD battery will always be fully charged. There really is not reason not to install one.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:06 AM   #8
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Agree. All active braking systems use significant power. Charge line is a simple and clean way to do it and assure the TOAD battery will always be fully charged. There really is not reason not to install one.
Not all. Mine does not use any power from the toad at all.
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:08 PM   #9
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It is required due to electric power steering. Not doing so results in big bills.
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:15 PM   #10
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My toad's owner's manual requires the battery be disconnected.

It has what is basically a servo-controlled manual transmission. There were issues where the key went to the 'on' position due to road vibrations, etc. and the computer woke up. Seeing that the car was moving, the transmission was shifted into low gear, and tragedy ensued.

That's when the owners manuals were revised.
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:36 AM   #11
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Is your Mini Cooper an automatic transmission or a stick shift model? From what I have read, towing a Mini with a automatic is not feasible, and Mini does not recommend towing even a standard shift vehicle. However, it seems a lot of people do tow the standard shift ones.

Is the vehicle new or older? Are you concerned about the car's basic or extended warranty?
Mine is a 2009 6 speed and haven't found any cautions in the manual regarding towing a stick shift, only for automatics.

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Agree. All active braking systems use significant power. Charge line is a simple and clean way to do it and assure the TOAD battery will always be fully charged. There really is not reason not to install one.
Simplicity is one big reason. My trailer connector is occupied with the wireless transmitter for the magnetic trailering lights so I'd have to tap into power someplace else. I may do that anyway and run the power to a auxiliary 12v socket for the braking system as none have power with the key off. I use magnetic trailering lights so otherwise there's no power draw on the Mini when it's being towed.

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It is required due to electric power steering. Not doing so results in big bills.
Are you saying disconnecting the battery IS required? Please explain.

While I don't have electric power steering, my wife's CRV does and there may come a time when we choose to tow it instead of our mini.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:11 AM   #12
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There are multiple reasons for the battery to be disconnected depending on the vehicle. You’re only going to find out why for your specific vehicle by calling the manufacturer.

I called Ford about our 16 Edge requiring a battery disconnect when towing and was told it is to keep the battery from going dead; a simple charge line installed with our brake system eliminated he need to disconnect. That doesn’t mean yours will be that simple. As others have pointed out features like electric power steering may only be protected if the battery is disconnected.

You probably won’t get the answer you’re seeking on the forums, except from another owner of the same model and year.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:16 AM   #13
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...You probably won’t get the answer you’re seeking on the forums, except from another owner of the same model and year....
agree totally. My Enclave says to remove 2 or 3 fuses when flat towing, but then run the engine every 250 miles or so for 5 minutes, presumably to recirculate the transmission oil. From the research I did this was because the electronics use too much power with the key in the acc position, where it has to be since you cannot remove it when the transmission is in neutral.

I added a charge line and leave all where it is. I can't imagine fussing with fuses to restart when stopping for fuel and needing to start for a few minutes.

Never had any problems in thousands of miles of towing.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:22 AM   #14
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Mine is a 2009 6 speed and haven't found any cautions in the manual regarding towing a stick shift, only for automatics.

Simplicity is one big reason. My trailer connector is occupied with the wireless transmitter for the magnetic trailering lights so I'd have to tap into power someplace else. I may do that anyway and run the power to a auxiliary 12v socket for the braking system as none have power with the key off. I use magnetic trailering lights so otherwise there's no power draw on the Mini when it's being towed.

Are you saying disconnecting the battery IS required? Please explain.

While I don't have electric power steering, my wife's CRV does and there may come a time when we choose to tow it instead of our mini.
Sounds like your wife's CRV is newer than a 2014. If that is the case, according to Honda, you won't be able to tow it 4 down at all. It must be trailered.
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