Car batteries come with a full charge, so you don’t have to recharge when you purchase one. You can test this with a meter.
How to Test the Battery Voltage
1. Make sure all the electronics are turned off from the radio to the lights in the car.
2. Then make sure that your multimeter is at 20V DC, that’s if it’s not auto-ranging.
3. Connect the red lead to the positive terminal.
4. Connect the negative battery terminal to the black lead.
5. Then check the measurements, and if they are lower than 12.4V, it’s an indicator that your battery needs charging.
Car batteries are the reason why you are able to start that vehicle and head to your destination. That’s why it’s vital for any car owner to be aware of how they work and how to maintain them for them to last longer and to avoid ending up with s dead battery in the middle of nowhere.
Just How Do Car Batteries Work?
Car batteries are the source of that electricity jolt that’s required for the functioning of your vehicle’s electrical components. This means that without a car battery then your camping trip is doomed. This is how this how they work:
. First, there’s a chemical reaction that powers your car. The chemical energy is then converted to electrical energy by the battery, which then provides the energy needed by the starter. Besides, the battery stabilizes the voltage that ensures the continuous running of the engine.
Types of Car Batteries
We look at the different car batteries that may vary in the CA, CCA, current, and voltage. Let’s start with the-.
1. Lithium-ion Batteries
Currently, most car models are using this battery, including electric cars. In most cases, you’ll find them being used in PHEVs. The Li-ion batteries also store more charge in relation to other batteries. Besides, they are lighter compared to other batteries within the same power.
They also have a long life span which is around 5-10 years, regardless of how they are being used.
2. Starting, Lighting and Ignition Batteries
Known as SLI in short form, they can be found in most vehicles running around. Their role entails powering the infotainment system and all the available electronics as well as starting the car.
They consist of up to 6 galvanic cells arranged in a series that delivers 12-Volts. When fully charged, they have a summed up output of 12.6 volts considering every cell contributes 2.1 volts. It’s important to note that this battery’s charge cycle is very short.
3. Lead-Acid Batteries
If you are looking for batteries with the least maintenance demands, then go for the lead-acid batteries. However, you should be warned that they can only be replaced since they are sealed, making rendering servicing impossible.
How To Charge Car Batteries
First, be sure that the battery is removed from the car and that all the accessories are switched off before doing that. This is to ensure that you avoid any possible shock. Then, you’ll need to identify the negative and positive terminal on your battery. The negative usually has the marking “-” while the positive can be spotted with the “+” sign.
Now that you’ve ensured that no current is flowing by unplugging the charger from the socket connect the red clamp to the positive terminal and the negative terminal to the black clamp. The next step will be to connect the charger and switch it on.
For instance, the optima charger goes off when the battery is fully charged. Other charges may require you to watch for the signs that indicate a full charge, so know how yours works by reading the manual that comes with the charger.
When fully charged, switch off the socket and disconnect everything you had hooked together.
For a normal car battery with a regular charge amp ranging between 4-8 amperes, charging may take around 10-24 hours to attain a full charge. However, you only need a couple of hours to jolt your battery for it to be able to start the engine, about 2-4 hours.
After buying a new battery, you may use it for close to 3-5 years before the need for a new battery arises. The rate of wearing out is dependent on the management and the conditions through which you expose your battery.
How To Know The Car Batteries Need A Replacement
There are things to watch for to know that your car battery may need a replacement soon, and here is the list:
. The moment your car engine starts being slow and hesitating to start, maybe a pointer that the battery is getting old. Or when the engine is not as fast as it was in the beginning.
. When you start experiencing battery leaks. This can be discovered by a foul smell, usually that of sulphur. You may also notice that the battery is corroded on the sides as a result of the leak. That there needs quick attention by a mechanic for a replacement.
. If the battery box takes a different configured shape. This shows it won’t be long before it dies on you as something is probably very wrong.
. The age of the battery is also a determinant because ideally, they last for about 3-5 years, meaning that if it was last replaced three years ago, then you are running on spare time. In hot climate 4 years is the most.
Taking good care of your car battery can see it serving you for the maximum number of years. You should therefore normalize practices like avoiding extreme temperatures like overheating your battery, leaving the vehicle lights on, parking your car for long without getting it on the road, and operating with a faulty battery. This is because it may lead to failure in the system, like the electrical system, which may result in more serious consequences.
They come with a full charge when you buy a new one.