Auto Battery FAQ

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1. How do I determine the right battery for my car?

The best way is to consult the vehicle owner is manual for the correct group size and minimum rating. If this is not available, you can look up the vehicle make, model, and year in a battery application guide and note the recommended group size and rating given. You should not use a battery with a rating lower than which the vehicle manufacturer recommends. There is no problem using a higher rated battery than that specified for the vehicle. In fact, moving to a higher rating will improve starting in the case for older vehicles and, in general, provide longer battery life.

2. What is Reserve Capacity?

A battery must provide emergency power for ignition, lights etc. in the event of failure in the vehicle is battery recharging systems, the reserve capacity rating is defined as the number of minutes a new fully charged battery at 80`F (26.7`C) can be discharged at 25 amperes and maintain a voltage of 1.75 volts per cell or higher.

3. How do I maintain / service my battery?

Clean the terminals and vent plugs if required. A clogged vent plug can caused an explosion. Check the water level of each cell and fill up. Always use good quality drinking water or distilled water free of ions or other chemical. The contaminated water could drastically reduce the battery life and power. Do not fill over or acid may flow overand spill on to your car. Sulphuric acid attacks your car paint and any other metal parts.


4. How do I know when I needed to replace my battery?

Warnings that a battery may need replacing or that the electrical system needs checking include:- 
- Slow or interrupted turnover of the starter motor. 
- The instrument panel indicates battery "discharge" for extended period after the engine is already running. 
- The battery seems to lose power quickly in cold or extended starts. 
- The headlights dim at idle. Unfortunately, many times there is little if any warning. If you suspect your battery is failing, the prudent thing to do is to have it load tested or replaced.


5. What precautions shall I take when charging battery?

Always handle batteries with care whether they are charged under or not. All lead-acid batteries contain highly corrosive sulphuric acid and generate explosive gases, when the battery is being charged several precautions should always be taken. 
Always charge batteries in a well-ventilated area. 
- Connect the charger leads to the battery red positive(+) lead to the positive(+) terminal and black negative(-) lead to the negative(-) terminal. 
- Make sure that the leads to the connections are tight and secure. 
- Turn the charger off before connecting the leads to the battery to avoid dangerous sparks. (Apply the same when full charge is achieved). 
- Never try to charge a damaged or frozen battery. 
- Do not allow the battery to overheat or prolong the charging. 
- Read and understand the charger instructions before attempting to use the equipment.

6. Are lead acid batteries recyclable?

Lead acid batteries are 100% recyclable. Lead is the most recycled metal in the world today. The plastic containers and covers of old batteries are neutralized, reground and used in the manufacture of new battery cases. The electrolyte can be processed for recycled waste water uses. In some cases, the electrolyte is cleaned and reprocessed and sold as battery grade electrolyte. In other instances, the sulfate content is removed as Ammonia Sulfate and used in fertilizers. The separators are often used as a fuel source for the recycling process


7. How do I jump-start my vehicle?

You'll need a set of jumper cables and another vehicle with a charged battery. You can find cables at gas stations, auto parts stores or just about anywhere you buy car parts. Be sure to read and follow the safety and handling information on the battery, this website, and on the jumper cables.

8. Why wont my car start?

One of the reasons is a weak or dead battery. If you have a battery tester that can measure cranking amps, use it to see if the battery is weak. If you can’t test the battery, try jump-starting . If the car starts right away, your problem is most likely a dead battery.  Charge the battery and clean the terminals and cable connectors to ensure good contact. If your car does not start by jump-starting, you may have a problem with your starter, alternator or another component of the electrical system. Be sure to read and follow all safety and handlinginstructions on the battery and this website.


9. What kind of preventive maintenance can I do for my battery?

Check your battery every now and then to make sure the battery terminal connections are clean, snug and protected from the elements. Signs of corrosion or leaks could mean that the battery is no longer operating optimally.
Secure the hold-down bar. This ensures that your battery is snugly seated and will help minimize vibration which can be detrimental to certain types of batteries.
Routinely test your battery to make sure it is correctly charged. This allows you to recharge your battery, if needed, to maintain its peak performance. It's important for your battery's health to get it tested at least once a year to keep it at its optimal performance level.


10. How should I store my batteries?

If storing your vehicle or battery for an extended period of time, aim to keep the battery charged at full capacity throughout the storage period. You can do this by using a battery maintainer – a device that will monitor your battery and keep it at full capacity during storage. If it is not possible to use a maintenance charger, you should fully charge the battery prior to storage and then disconnect it from the vehicle to prevent small electrical drains (such as in-car clocks, security systems and so on) from draining it. Check the battery voltage periodically and recharge it if it falls below 12.6 volts.


11. What are the main causes of battery failure?

Common Causes:
*High temperatures: Heat is the No. 1 cause of battery failure. Heat accelerates grid corrosion and grid growth in the positive plate. As heat corrodes the positive grid, the battery loses capacity and starting power, which weakens its ability to start an engine – particularly in colder weather.
*High vibration: Vibration can damage and separate internal components, which ultimately lead to reduced starting performance or even battery failure.
*Deep drains/failure to recharge after drops in voltage: When a battery is discharged, the active materials produce lead sulfate crystals inside the plate that are called discharged material. If these crystals are not recharged, they eventually combine to form larger crystals. These bigger crystals are harder to dissolve and recharge, and eventually they lead to battery failure by disrupting the plate structure.
*A faulty alternator: A faulty alternator will lead to an undercharged or completely discharged battery. An undercharged battery has reduced capacity and starting power. If the battery is continuously undercharged because of a weak alternator, the battery will become deeply discharged and sulfation will occur.

Other Possible Causes of Failure:
*Battery application and installation
*The battery is not being used in the application for which it was designed. A common mistake, for example, is using an SLI (starting-lighting-ignition) battery in a vehicle that requires a deep-cycle battery.
*The battery is not sized properly for the application.
*The vehicle has too many electrical accessories.
*The battery is not properly installed.

Service and maintenance
*The battery cables have not been cleaned and properly adjusted to fit the battery terminals.
*The vehicle’s electrical system has been repaired or altered.
*The vehicle has been in long-term storage.


12. How do you perform a load test?

To pass a load test, the battery must maintain 9.6 volts at 15 seconds when tested at one-half the CCA rating and 70°F (or above). This test must be done with a true load (carbon pile) and not one of the hand-held testers that work off a conductance algorithm. The test must be run with the battery in a high state of charge. Be sure to read and follow all safety and handling instructions on the battery, this website and your battery tester.

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