Contrary to what most people believe, batteries are more complicated than they seem, so much so that even technical people don’t find it easy to understand the process of charging. Car battery charging is an essential step in primary care and maintenance, especially if you don’t drive your car frequently.
It’s critical to ensure that your battery runs on a sufficient charge; otherwise, the battery will discharge in time and experience low starting and auxiliary power frequently. It’s a simple procedure that every motorist should know, so take a few minutes to study the following tips:
Check to see if your battery requires charging
Never charge a full battery since this will damage the internal components. In general, batteries need charging if they have been stored unused for long periods or if the battery had been accidentally drained. It’s also good practice to charge a battery that is showing signs of age in order to restore it, at least temporarily.
The tools required to carry-out this process, is a digital car battery meter to check state of voltage, and a hydrometer to check specific gravity of the acid electrolyte solution. These two procedures will show you state-of-charge or if the battery has any dead cells.
Know your car batteries specifications
Before buying or renting a charger, read and understand manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for safety handling. The type of charger you will be using will depend on the type of automotive battery you have and its components. For example, AGM and Calcium/Calcium batteries, require different charge rate settings to each other, so it is essential you know your battery type.
If you’re unsure, ask a battery specialist for advice and make sure to use a good quality battery charger that has been approved for use in Australia, and performs your specific task successfully.
Car Battery Charging Requires You Observe All Safety Precautions
Prior to charging , always check the battery chargers compatibility and correct voltage. Make sure the charger is turned off before attaching it to the terminal clamps. Bring the car to a well-ventilated area or if possible, one that has a clear space away from sparks and open flames.
Frequently check the manufacturer’s instructions on using the charger and see if you’re doing it correctly, particularly how to place settings. This will help prevent overheating and most importantly over-charging.
In parallel charging, know that specific charging times and rates are not easy to determine because of factors such as the battery’s electrical capacity, electrolyte temperature, battery condition and state of charge at the time of charging. Take note of manufacturer’s guidelines regarding approximate charge times so you have an idea what to expect.
To be on the safe side, always wear safety glasses and acid-proof gloves before charging. Vehicle batteries contain sulfuric acid which produces a highly flammable gas, hydrogen, whilst being charged. It is also highly corrosive, and contact with bodily parts should be completely avoided.
Keep These Three Battery Maintenance Tools Handy!
By regularly checking the state of your battery you will avoid getting stranded with a dead one. Ongoing inspection is the key to have years of trouble-free starting power, longevity and not having to call a roadside replacement service for a Long, Long Time.
Fact: Short distance driving and not using your vehicle enough leads to undercharged batteries which equals acid stratification and sulfation. The number one reason they fail prematurely.
1) The Matson Electronic Battery Tester with Printer will give you an Instant State of Health in the condition of your battery. This is a “Must Have Tool” if you would like to increase the Longevity and Replacement Intervals.
2) In the event the digital tester says it requires a charge the Ctek MXS 10 12V 10 Amp Smart Battery Charger (56-823) and will keep your battery in Optimum Condition at all times.
3) If you accidentally leave your Headlights or an Interior Light on you must keep a portable Matson 12 Volt Lithium Jump Starter in your Glove Box. It’s happened to most of us only to find out our battery has gone completely flat and unable to start the vehicle.
When car battery charging is required, we always recommend as a first choice, you get the professionals to do it for you. It is quite a dangerous procedure, especially if unsure of the correct steps required to avoid injury to oneself.
Call your battery technician service guy, and get it tested and charged by a professional.
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