Extend battery service life with proper maintenance

Flat or defective batteries result in expensive downtimes and stress. The most common cause is insufficient charging. Yet all this can be prevented with proper battery maintenance. Even maintenance-free batteries must be sufficiently charged. The term maintenance-free simply means that the battery loses so little fluid that refilling is not required. Sufficient charging is essential. At least as much power must be supplied to the battery as is consumed during use.

One cause of battery problems is short machine operating times. The engine running time is often insufficient to replenish the power required to start it. Batteries are also subject to continuous self-discharge, not only during winter, but during the warmer months in particular. If the battery charge is too low, damage caused by sulphation will occur, and the battery’s usable capacity will be reduced.

Once the battery is damaged or insufficiently charged, consumers running when the engine is switched off or frequent starting (for example for test purposes during workshop repairs) can lead to battery failure. Even after jump starting, the alternator alone cannot fully recharge the battery and an external charger is required.



During the winter months in particular, failure often occurs because the battery’s performance is reduced due to the slower chemical reactions, and because a cold engine is more difficult to start. Only sufficient charging can prevent permanent damage to the battery.



A simple voltage tester or multimeter (GRANIT no. 507M320) can be used to carry out regular checks on the battery’s state of charge.

Our top tips for battery maintenance:

 

  • Check the state of charge regularly by testing the voltage
  • Recharge before the open-circuit voltage drops below 12.4 V
  • Never sell or install a battery with a voltage below 12.4 V
  • Use downtimes in the workshop to fully charge the battery

 

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