Working around vehicle batteries can be vexing at times. Is the problem the battery, the battery connections, your equipment or something else altogether? We get calls all week, every week, related to these issues and they often can be grouped under a few common headings. So, in an effort to help you on your road toward battery service bliss, we address the most common issues that cause problems in the area of battery service applications and equipment.
When testing a battery installed in a vehicle, do your best to connect your leads directly to the battery posts rather than the harness hardware. Digital battery testers are precise instruments and results can be skewed if the tester is connected via battery hardware. Connecting directly to the posts when performing a battery test will ensure that you get the most accurate results. This may require use of a vehicle memory saver when the hardware is removed, but this extra step is worth it to achieve a true, accurate assessment of battery condition.
When jump starting, a little extra effort to find a good vehicle ground is well worth it. This is one we get many calls on and one that is a point of contention in many of the forums. The negative jump starter clamp should not be connected to the negative battery post. It is always safest to connect to a vehicle ground. This is the best practice and should be followed every time you jump start. But, failure to find a good, conductive ground can lead to the perception that your jump starter is not working properly. It may take an extra moment or two to identify a proper vehicle ground, but will save you time in the end by allowing you to get an effective start on your first try.
Know what kind of battery you are charging and then charge it appropriately. In today’s environment, charging a battery is no longer the simple “See battery, connect to battery, charge battery. Done.” It is critical to know what type of battery you are charging and to have the right equipment to properly charge each type of battery. For instance, an AGM battery requires a different charging curve than a traditional flooded battery. If you don’t know that your battery is an AGM battery or know but don’t have a charger that can charge it properly, you risk damaging that battery.
View the battery charging application as a preventive maintenance step. Gone are the days where you should reach for your charger only when you have an issue and fear a costly battery replacement or are trying to get a few more days/weeks from a battery on its last legs. Today’s vehicle battery is subject to significantly higher demand from vehicle electronics and accessories than in days past. As a result, batteries are being cycled (drained beyond a surface demand, such as vehicle starting) like never before. Periodically charging your battery with a quality battery charger will help you extend the life of your battery by counteracting the chemical processes that lead toward battery deterioration and shortened life.
Charge your jump starter frequently. If you left your car parked in your garage for six months of storage, would you expect to be able to turn it over without first charging its battery? Most people would say no – they know that the car would not have the power to fire the starter. Yet, we regularly get calls asking why a jump starter is dead after 12 months of idle storage. You have made an investment in a jump starter, hopefully a quality one. You should charge it every 90 days to ensure that it will be ready when you need it the most. We have made it easier than ever to keep up with your jump starter charging cycles. You can now sign up to receive free recharge reminders. Simply visit https://start.cloreautomotive.com/get-in-charge.html and complete the signup form and we will send you quarterly recharge reminders. It’s that easy.
Vehicle repair and maintenance can be trying, particularly when you are working on charging and starting system issues. There are many variables in play in diagnosing and resolving such issues, but keeping in mind the five simple steps above will eliminate a number of pitfalls before they happen and put you on the road toward Battery Service Bliss.