The life expectancy for your car battery is typically between four to six years. Several factors determine how long your battery will last, for example weather conditions, vehicle type and driving habits. There are, however, several key pointers you can utilise to help increase the life expectancy of your car battery.
- Locate the battery in your car.
- Check the battery's water level every 2 to 3 months, only if it's a non-maintenance-free wet-cell battery.
- Clean the battery terminals with a wire brush every 6 to 8 months.
- Coat the battery with grease made for high temperatures.
Fully charged automotive batteries should measure at 12.6 volts or above. When the engine is running, this measurement should be 13.7 to 14.7 volts. If you don't have a multimeter to tell you the voltage of your battery, you can do a test of your electrical system by starting the car and turning on the headlights.
Car Battery Care
- Step 1: Clean the cables. Clean corrosion from the battery.
- Step 2: Check the level of the electrolyte. Add water to fill holes, if necessary.
- Step 3: Check the condition and charge of the battery. Test the electrolyte in each cell with a hydrometer.
- Step 4: To drop in the new battery first remove the cables.
Five to 7 years is not unusual as long as the battery is operated under normal conditions. Extremely hot weather and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life, according to the Car Council. The battery contains liquid and heat causes it to evaporate.
Use only distilled water to fill the cells. Distilled water can be purchased at most grocery stores. If the electrolyte levels in the cells are low (plates are exposed), fill each cell to just cover the plates. Then use a battery charger to recharge the battery, or just drive the car for a few days in normal service.
A sealed car battery basically means that the battery cells are sealed, not the entire top. Gone are the days of filling the cells with water now and again. These batteries are meant to be maintenance free.
AGM batteries are generally more powerful and cost-effective, but gel batteries offer more longevity. They require less regular maintenance or ventilation, and can withstand varying climates better than flooded batteries. Sealed rechargeable batteries also tend to charge faster than flooded batteries.
3. Wet cell (flooded), gel cell, and absorbed glass mat (AGM) are various versions of the lead acid battery. The wet cell comes in two styles; serviceable and maintenance free. Both are filled with electrolyte and are basically the same.
SLA and VRLA are different acronyms for the same battery, Sealed Lead Acid or Valve Regulated Lead Acid. AGM, Absorbed Glass Mat refers to a specific type of SLA/VRLA where the electrolyte is absorbed into separators between the plates consisting of sponge like fine glass fiber mats.
AGM is maintenance free, provides good electrical reliability and is lighter than the flooded lead-acid type. It stands up well to low temperatures and has a low self-discharge. The leading advantages are a charge that is up to five times faster than the flooded version, and the ability to deep cycle.
The Best AGM Battery Contenders
- Many people trumpet the spiral celled OPTIMA as the best AGM battery.
- As alluded to earlier, Odyssey Batteries (Enersys) are widely acknowledged to be the best AGM sealed lead acid battery available.
- Like Odyssey, NorthStar uses 99.997% pure lead to manufacturer their batteries.
Deep Cycle AGM:- AGM batteries should be charged using a charger with a mode switch for AGM type batteries. It is recommended to use a charger, current limited to 20% or 0.2C of the batteries capacity at a charging voltage of between 14.6 – 14.8V following deep cycle use, or 13.6V – 13.8V for standby use.
Do not use gel or gel/AGM settings, as they will not fully charge an OPTIMA battery and could damage it over time. However, even some AGM-compatible chargers will not recharge deeply discharged (less than 10.5 volts) OPTIMA batteries. For regular charging, we recommend a maximum of 10 amps, 13.8 to 15.0 volts.
For instance, a 6 volt battery will have 3 cells (3 x2.2= 6.6 volts), a 12 volt battery will have 6 cells (6 x2.2=13.2 volts) and so on.That 2.2 volts is the fully charged, straight off the charger number.
Float voltage is the voltage at which a battery is maintained after being fully charged to maintain that capacity by compensating for self-discharge of the battery.
Gel cell batteries are deep cycle batteries that contain an electrolyte which is suspended in a gel solution between lead plates. You can recharge a gel cell battery with a gel cell battery charger. Constant voltage charging is one of the best charging methods, which you can accomplish in one of two ways.
This chemical reaction results in an immobile, gel like mass giving these batteries their name. The gel batteries are virtually maintenance free as they uses one-way open valves that allow the internal gasses to recombine into water, hence removing any need to check to top up distilled water or monitor water level.
A: MK Gel batteries can be stored in sub-freezing temperatures as low as -25°F without freezing as long as they are fully charged prior to storage.
A modern gel battery (also known as a "gel cell") is a VRLA battery with a gelified electrolyte; the sulfuric acid is mixed with fumed silica, which makes the resulting mass gel-like and immobile. Unlike a flooded wet-cell lead-acid battery, these batteries do not need to be kept upright.
Deep-cycle includes solar electric (PV), backup power, traction, and RV and boat "house" batteries. The major construction types are flooded (wet), gelled, and sealed AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat). All AGM & gelled are sealed and are "valve regulated", which means that a tiny valve keeps a slight positive pressure.