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Batteries and Battery Accessories Brisbane

Car Battery Maintenance

13.10.2014

Importance of Battery Maintenance

Every vehicle owner dreads the day of a flat battery. Waiting on road side assistance for a replacement can be a time consuming process. On top of this the expensive service charge can cause a significant hole in your wallet! However, it doesn't have to be that way if you are proactive.

In most circumstances batteries will go for 3 to 5 years before needing to be replaced. But if you spend a couple of minutes periodically each year to perform a battery check, you can potentially improve this life span. Regular battery maintenance will also help you to monitor your vehicle battery charge, and identify the signs that show its time to replace it. Below are 5 tips that will help you to maintain your vehicle battery:

Tips to improve your car battery life

Its important to be aware that batteries contain toxic substances that can be potentially harmful. Care and common sense are advised when performing maintenance on your vehicle battery. Wear gloves and eye protection to ensure safety.

Check for cracks

Check the battery, clamps or terminals for any cracks. If you find a crack or leak that item will need to be replaced.

Keep it clean and remove any corrosion.

If you see corrosion you will need to remove the cables from the battery terminals.

Please Note: This may affect the radio causing saved settings to be lost. A memory saving device can be used to save these settings while the battery is disconnected. After re-connecting the cables some radios also require a password be entered before being used. Ensure that you know this password before going ahead with the following steps.

 Firstly remove the negative cables followed by the positive. Take your time when unscrewing the cables to make sure that the wrench does not touch any part of the vehicle (as this can cause the engine to short circuit potentially causing damage to the electrical system).

 As a cleaner use either an anti-corrosion spray or mix a tablespoon of bicarbonate soda with a cup of water. Apply to the metal cable connections and battery terminals, let it sit for a minute and then scrub with a brush to remove any corrosion. After cleaning and drying lubricate the metal terminals and cables with a protection spray or petroleum jelly. Then re-connect the positive cable to the proper terminal followed by the negative.

Also clean up any oil or grease on the battery as this can also cause corrosion and discharge.

Check the electrolyte level

Low Maintenance Battery

Some low maintenance batteries can be identified by its filter caps on the top. If your battery has these caps remove and check the level of the mixture inside. The level should be just above the plates. If required top this up to the appropriate level with distilled water. Ensure that you do not overfill the ports as warmer temperatures will cause the fluid to expand.

Maintenance Free Battery

Maintenance free batteries usually have a smooth top and no caps. Check to see if there is a glass indicator on the battery. If the colour is green its charged, while the colour black means that it needs charging. If on close inspection its yellow or doesn't have a colour the battery may need replacing.

Check the cables. Secure the battery.

Make sure that the cables and terminals are tightly fixed and that the battery is secure within the engine bay. A battery can be damaged while driving if it is not securely fitted.

Keep it charged

Using a battery that is constantly under charged will reduce the overall battery life. This is common in the event where a motor vehicle is stationary for a long time. Regularly charging or running your vehicle will help to maximise the life of its battery. (To test the charge of your battery use a voltmeter)

When should a battery be replaced?

Its important that you know the age of your current car battery. Usually there is an indication on the battery of the life expectancy. If its close the end of its life span you should replace it. Some warning signs that a battery needs replacing include:

 

  • The car barely starts. You will hear a clicking noise, but the engine does not crank over.
  • The car headlights are dim while idling, but then brighten when revving the engine.

 

Turbo Batteries provides the full range of replacement automotive batteries. Contact us on (07) 3881 1444 to speak to a car battery specialist in Brisbane.

 

 

Calcium or Flood - What to Expect from the Automotive Battery

05-08-2014

When it comes to automobile battery performance, you want to feel confident that you will have the cranking amps necessary to get your vehicle started. The circumstance is that there are several different types of batteries that are available, and it is not always evident which sort of battery will work best under what situation. Here we intend to dispel any confusion or misunderstanding between the automobile calcium battery and the automobile flooded type battery. Understanding the pros and cons of any power source will allow you to make needed decisions regarding automotive performance

The car battery plays an extremely important role in the operation of your vehicle. Anyone who has ever driven or rode in a car understands that if the battery is not charged, the vehicle is not going anywhere. This power house has the responsibility of supplying a starting charge to automotive electrical systems, and then maintaining that voltage while the car is in operation. Location and the type of car you drive will have impact on the type of battery that is selected to support your power distribution.

Automobile Calcium Battery

Sometimes referred to as a Maintenance Free battery, the calcium battery is sealed and does not require the addition of water to help maintain a charge. This battery is an acid battery. The internal lead plate is impregnated with calcium instead of antimony like a standard lead acid battery. Because of the soft nature of lead, calcium is used to strengthen the battery plates.

A primary advantage of a calcium battery is a longer shelf life. These batteries have an extremely slow discharge rate. Additionally, the calcium batter has a better resistance to vibrations. With a maintenance free battery, there is less risk of sulphation, and cold cranking amps are rated higher than standard lead acid batteries.

One of the biggest disadvantages of an automobile calcium battery is that it costs more than many other batteries because of the specialty construction to have it built. If one of these batteries loses its charge it is more difficult to recover than a regular battery. The calcium battery also is known to have a shortened service life in part because older cars are not wired to charge the batteries right. There is a specialty charger that is used for a recovery of calcium batteries. They are not built for the quick charge that a standard battery can take.

Automobile Flooded Type Battery

The flooded type battery is still the most widely used style of car battery. Several of these batteries are of a hybrid nature. This means that the positive grid contains an antimony plate and the negative grid is a calcium plate. A great advantage of a flooded battery is the fast recovery from deep discharge states. In addition, a flooded battery has a longer life-cycle than other batteries. Due to its construction properties, the flooded battery has a magnificent resistance to corrosion and breakdown resulting from exposure to high temperatures. This type of battery is also more resistant to overcharging and is able to accept shorter charging times through a quick charge. A key advantage to this type of batter is that they are generally the least expensive.

The primary disadvantage to flooded batteries is the environmental concerns. Corrosive battery acids can cause damage to the battery or other automobile components. Also, if not properly ventilated, batteries can emit noxious fumes that can be damaging to people and is also flammable. This could potentially lead to an automobile fire causing unwanted damage to car and driver. Each battery style has risks and rewards and every situation must be evaluated individually.