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Battery Maintenance Tips

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Stig, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    We take batteries for granted as they're under guarantee - right?

    Fact is the average lifespan of a battery is about 2,5 yrs (much less in military and govt vehicles)

    The more a car stands, the faster the battery will deteriorate - disconnect it! and charge it
    A hard working battery is a happy battery, an idle battery is a soon-to-be doorstop.

    By now you will be in the habit of checking your motor over at least once a month
    - I do it over the weekend when I decide to wash the car and bay.

    Check your battery voltage with everything switched off and a gauge (set on 24VDC)
    between + & -, it should read 12V + (if not, charge it before proceeding)
    Start the car and check the reading again - it should now read 13V - 15VDC.
    Anything more or less is damaging your battery
    Change the gauge to 200VAC and check again - anything more than 30VAC is a regulator fault and will damage your battery and electronics over time.

    You can revive your battery by 1st checking the water, always use distilled water for topping up or battery acid if the battery is near empty. A hydrometer is a handy tool but not many people have them.

    Leave it to discharge overnight with the lights on and then slow charge it up again over 24hrs.

    This will often "bring back" a sick battery and should be done every couple of months
    - more often if the car isn't used much

    Do not fast charge - ever! - it bends plates and cooks the battery.
    Fast charging should only be done on sulphated batteries to try to "knock" the sulphate from the plates.

    Always charge on trickle charge, more than 2A is overkill and for emergencies only.

    Clean the terminals with a brush or sandpaper, there is a handy tool you can buy to clean the inside and outside of the terminals.

    If the terminals have white powder on them - mix a couple of teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda powder (found in the kitchen cupboard) in a bowl of water and brush that on - it will neutralize acid build up and also useful when you spill acid on your clothes. Alka Seltzer/Rennies/Eno's etc is the same stuff!

    Make sure your battery contacts are clean and tight
    - then apply a light film of grease over the outside to prevent further corrosion, and make sure the + terminal has a plastic or rubber shield over it.
    You can make one from a bicycle tube if necessary.

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