In this article we want to give you some interesting facts about batteries and do-it-yourself guides for testing batteries, buying a new battery or how to charge your battery.
Did you ever wonder how you can test a battery on your own? They are different ways and I would like to introduce them to you.
You can buy a temperature compensating hydrometer at an auto parts store to measure the specific gravity. Use a digital D.C. Voltmeter to measure the voltage. Please have your battery fully charged before you are starting. You don’t need to remove the surface charge before testing. If the battery has been setting at least 6 hours you may begin testing. To remove surface charge the battery must experience a load of 20 amps for 3 plus minutes. Turning on the headlights (high beam) will do the trick. After turning off the lights you are ready to test the battery.
|State of Charge||Specific Gravity||Voltage – 12V||Voltage – 6V|
* Sulfation of Batteries starts when specific gravity falls below 1.225 or voltage measures less than 12.4 (12v Battery) or 6.2 (6 volt battery). Sulfation hardens the battery plates reducing and eventually destroying the ability of the battery to generate Volts and Amps.
Load testing can tell us a lot about the state of a battery, about its amperage output and about its ability to retain charge. Most battery companies issue the amp load value alongside their batteries, the value of which is usually half the CCA rating (e.g. 500CCA would load test at 250A for 15sec). Load testing can only be performed on a battery at full charge. A healthy battery should reflect the following:
When in doubt about battery testing, call the battery manufacturer. Many batteries sold today have a toll free number to call for help.
When purchasing a new battery it is important to consider a few critical factors:
*The letters A-M denote the month of manufacture (not including “I”), and the numbers 1-99 the year.
It is natural to conclude that as consumer energy demands increase, battery life expectancy decreases – it is an unfortunate fact that today only 30% of batteries survive to the 48 month mark. The capacity for a battery to both take and retain charge is directly affected by the process of sulfation, with over 80% of battery failure being attributed to sulfation build-up, the causes of which are numerous:
When it comes to recharging a battery – the quicker you replace the used energy the better. When batteries are discharged partially or in full, sulphates immediately begin to affect both their performance and longevity. An engine’s alternator works most effectively at recharging a battery if the battery has not been fully discharged. Batteries with very low charges (deep-cycled) are frequently overcharged by the alternator, resulting in long term damage to your battery. Most engine batteries have the capacity for approximately 10 deep cycles before failure so it’s important to remember the 3-step regulated charging process:
They are some things to consider if you want to handle batteries in a safe way but also to keep them in a good condition. Here are my do’s and don’ts in a small summary: