A few signs that it’s time to replace the car battery
It is obvious that if the car battery is constantly working for wear and tear, the car owner does not monitor his condition, which he will not last long. Incredibly, some drivers are quite normal about the fact that the battery quickly fails and are even ready to change the battery every year. Such an approach is a mistake, because modern batteries were specially designed to cope with increased loads and work for a long time.
The average effective life of a classic car battery is 4–5 years, for AGM models it is slightly higher-5–6 years, and for AGM TPPL-from 8 to 12 years. Naturally, these parameters are relevant only if the established operating rules are observed. However, most often the battery has to work at all in not ideal conditions. Frequent undercharges, temperature surges and other factors can lead to the battery suddenly failing. Usually this happens unexpectedly for the driver, but there are several signs that can give a signal that the battery needs attention and its life is nearing its end. There are several ways to accurately determine the actual state of the battery installed under the hood.
Key signs that it’s time to change the battery
Look at the production date
The easiest way to determine the end of battery life is to look at the date of manufacture and the calendar. Of course, with proper care, the battery can work more than average, but most often, if its age has already passed 5-6 years, you should already think about acquiring a replacement. This is especially true on the eve of winter. An old power source can not cope with harsh operating conditions and suddenly completely fail.
Pulls weakly at the start, and the lamps on the dashboard shine dimly
If, during engine start-up, the indicators on the dashboard or the interior lighting is dim and the starter can’t crank up the crankshaft in any way, this indicates that the battery does not have enough energy and is not doing its job. Of course, the reason may be in oxidized terminals or undercharging, or maybe much more serious. If you notice such symptoms, this is an occasion to diagnose and find out the real cause of the malfunction. First, of course, you need to recharge and tighten the battery terminals. If there is no effect, most likely this starter battery should be at a standstill.
Inspect the case, if there are acid streaks on the surface, white deposits on the terminals, plastic damage-all these are negative factors. Especially dangerous is the presence of cracks that can occur for various reasons: during boiling or freezing of the electrolyte, during impact during an accident. If the case is damaged, this is a sign that the battery needs to be replaced.
Low terminal voltage
Do you have a tester, then you can evaluate the working state of the battery with its help. Using this device, it is necessary to measure the voltage indicator at the battery terminals. The open circuit voltage (NRC) should normally be 12.6-12.7 V. Note that it is impossible to take measurements immediately after stopping. At least a couple of hours should pass between engine shutdown and measurements. Otherwise, the figure will be overestimated.
If, as a result of the measurements, the NRC turned out to be lower than 12.3 V, this indicates that the battery requires recharging. If the situation has not changed after the recovery charge, then the battery is unsuitable for further operation, and it must be changed.
Real ways to extend battery life
If you notice in time that the battery is experiencing difficulties and is not working as efficiently anymore, you can try to extend its life. And this is quite real,It’s just amazing to know and follow some simple rules.
Avoid undercharging or overcharging
To restore capacity when the battery is low, it is recommended to use modern automatic chargers, which in the process strictly control the degree of charge and do not allow recharging. As a rule, such devices immediately turn off if the desired indicator has been reached. If you use a conventional memory, it is important to strictly control the process, as soon as the signs of "boiling" are visible, you must turn off the device. Otherwise, the battery service life will be significantly reduced, since when recharging inside, irreversible processes begin, the active mass crumbles, plates are destroyed, etc.
Undercharging is no less dangerous. Moreover, this is a fairly common occurrence, because when driving in a city with private and long stops at traffic lights or in traffic jams, the battery does not have time to recharge from the generator. As a result, the battery is constantly experiencing a lack of charge. If you do not make up for losses in time with the charger, this also leads to very unpleasant consequences. Sometimes the cause of constant undercharging may be a malfunction of the on-board electronics, for example, the generator.
Avoid temperature extremes
Everyone knows that batteries do not like frost and temperature spikes. Of course, our recent winters are not very severe, but, nevertheless, you should not forget about this negative factor. When the air temperature drops, any battery loses its charge faster, which often leads to problems with starting the motor. Naturally, no one can affect the weather, however, it is possible to provide the battery with optimal conditions. To do this, you can use special thermal covers or take the battery home for the night. These are simple but effective methods.
Keep your case clean
A very simple rule, but, unfortunately, not all motorists observe it. The state in which the battery case is located has a direct impact on its lifespan. Therefore, it must be wiped from time to time. Clean and remove dust, dirt, oxide and acid leaks from the surface. Remove them easily with a regular cotton rag or cloth. To neutralize the acid that is contained in the electrolyte, you can use a solution of baking soda.
You should also always check the condition of the contact terminals, which are often exposed to corrosion. Rust can be removed with the help of special anti-corrosion compounds, which not only remove rusty deposits, but also provide protection so that in the future it does not appear again.
Turn off when the machine is idle for a long time
If you plan not to use the car for a long time, before leaving it in the garage, be sure to disconnect the battery by disconnecting one contact terminal from the on-board network to avoid unnecessary energy leakage. This will save the charge, and then the battery will immediately be ready for use and you will not have to recharge it.
The best prevention is timely recovery (desulfation)
During the operation of car batteries, the acid that is contained in the electrolyte is broken down into water and salt. The latter precipitates and has the peculiarity of accumulation on battery plates. This process has negative consequences, and is called sulfation.
So that the battery does not quickly lose its working qualities and can be used for a long time, it is necessary to carry out the reverse process-desulfation. To do this, you will need to use a special charger with a desulfation mode. It lies in the fact that under the influence of currents of a small force, the salts break up, are destroyed and back into the electrolyte solution.
Desulfation will be effective if you do not wait until the battery is “on its last legs”. Preventive restoration will help to avoid irreversible processes. For preventive purposes, it is recommended to recharge the battery once a month with an automatic pulse charger at low currents-1-2 Amps.
As you can see, it’s not always necessary to immediately run and buy new battery for the car. Sometimes you can try to return it to working condition. And to make it simple. However, if the battery is very worn out, recovery is not possible, then there is only one way out-buy a new car battery. The 130.com.ua online store offers a large selection of batteries and memory for them. Here you can buy an automatic charger in Kiev, Odessa or Kharkov at a bargain price. Or choose a new battery.