12 Signs of Motorcycle Battery, you need new one
Every motorcycle enthusiast knows, a good motorcycle battery is essential for keeping your bike on the road.
However, even the best batteries will eventually die. When that happens, it’s necessary to recognize the signs so you can replace the battery before it leaves you stranded.
Plus, you can keep your motorcycle running strong for years with just a little care. To make things easy, this article will review these warning signs in-depth so that you can stay safe.
Read on to learn about 12 signs that you need a new battery for your motorcycle.
Motorcycle Battery Types
More accurately called storage batteries, these indispensable parts store all the electrical power generated by your bike’s charging system, which, in turn, is powered by the bike’s engine.
Batteries convert chemical energy into electrical energy using a series of plates, or electrodes, submerged in an electrolyte. Many gasoline-fueled bikes use one of three lead-acid batteries–wet cells, gel or absorbed glass mat (AGM).
Flooded batteries, or wet cells, are the oldest type of lead-acid battery, and you need to keep the electrolyte in the water at all times. If the battery goes dry, it fails, which is the most common reason wet cells stop working.
Flooded or wet cells are not sealed and can be dangerous. The electrolyte is very acidic and burns clothes, paint and skin.
The introduction of gel batteries, or gel cells, was the next evolutionary step in battery technology. Gel batteries are sealed and use a thick electrolyte fluid that holds up better to the trials of riding.
These batteries have individual vents that allow only the gas to escape if it’s overcharged, keeping you and the rest of your ride dry. They require a lower charging voltage–printed on the side of each battery.
Absorbed glass mat cells, or AGMs, are the very latest in lead-acid battery technology. They have a fiberglass-like barrier to hold the electrolyte gel and are spill-proof. They last longer than wet or gel batteries, offsetting their higher cost.
If you’re starting up your ride and hear that fateful “click-click-click,” or worse, you’re out riding in a group when your electrical system starts to flicker, these are signs that you may need to replace your motorcycle battery.
1. Motorcycle Battery Is Old
Like any vehicle, a motorcycle needs a reliable source of power to keep it running smoothly. The battery is one of the most important components of a motorcycle, and it is essential to make sure that it is in good condition. If your battery is outdated or old, it’s time for a new one.
How can you tell if the battery is past it’s prime? Find out it’s issue date.
Most batteries will last for around five years before they need to be replaced. However, after five years, the battery may start to show signs of wear and tear. It may not hold a charge as well as it used to, and it may be more susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures.
As a result, it is important to replace the bike battery every five years to ensure that your motorcycle remains in good working order. Not only will this extend the life of your bike, but it will also help to keep you safe on the road.
2. Motorcycle Battery Leaks
Severe oxidation is the only reason behind a leaking battery. The leaking acid may come out through the terminals or cracks. These cracks develop after a build-up of chemical gases in the battery, which usually leads to bulging and cracking of the battery’s case.
A battery in this condition is not only a near-death stage but also unsafe to drive with.
Extremely cold weathers are also main causes of leakages in motorcycle batteries. In such weather, the battery acid may freeze up and lead to expansion of the body of the battery. If water pipes burst in cold weather conditions, you can as well know what can happen next with such conditions for your battery.
The viable solution for cold weather could be storing your motorcycle in a warmer room when you’re not riding it. You can as well remove the battery and keep it separately away from the cold garage.
Using an old battery and overcharging your battery may also cause your battery to leak. Keep an eye on your battery’s age and how long you charge it to avoid accidents.
3. Dim Headlight Bulbs
Having trouble seeing the road at night? That’s a sign.
One of the most common signs of a drying battery is dim headlight bulbs. This is because the electrical current from the battery is not strong enough to power the headlight bulbs at full brightness. As a result, the bulbs will appear dim when they are turned on.
To put it simply, if your motorcycle’s headlight bulbs are dim, it is a sign that the battery is not providing enough power. This can be dangerous, making it harder for you to see at night or in low-light conditions. As a result, replacing the battery as soon as you notice this problem is important.
4. Slow Engine Cranking
Another sign that your motorcycle battery is dying is slow engine cranking. This means that it takes longer than usual for the engine to turn over when you try to start the bike. In some cases, the engine may not start at all.
If you notice that your engine is cranking slowly, it is important to check the condition of your battery. If the battery looks dated, it may be time to replace it. However, if the battery is new, you may just need to clean the terminals.
When you understand how a battery works, it’ll be clear why cleaning the terminals is so important. The best way to clean battery terminals on a battery is to remove the battery and clean the terminals with a wire brush. You can also use a solution of baking soda and water to clean the terminals.
You can also use a commercial battery terminal cleaner but follow the instructions carefully. Some cleaners can damage the battery if used incorrectly.
Once the terminals are clean, you should apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to prevent corrosion. Finally, reattach the battery and tighten the terminals, so they are secure.
5. Electrical Issues
The final sign that your battery is dying is electrical issues. This can manifest in several ways, such as problems with the horn or turn signals.
Another common electrical issue we mentioned earlier is a dim headlight. This is usually caused by a dying battery, as the battery is not providing enough power to the headlight bulb.
If you notice any electrical issues with your motorcycle, it is important to check the condition of your battery. Visually inspect it for any signs of damage, and don’t be afraid to ask a mechanic for their opinion.
After a visual inspection of the battery, go for a test drive. Take note of the bike’s acceleration. If it’s not as responsive as it used to be, the battery might die.
6. Built-up Sulfation
Mostly, Sulfation occurs when you deprive your battery of full charge. When your battery is discharging, the lead active materials on the plates will corrode with the sulfate from the electrolyte to form lead sulfate on the plates.
This built-up is easy to counter. All you need to do is fully charge the battery to help reconvert the lead sulfate into material that contains lead and the sulfate separately. The sulfate returns to the electrolyte. This frees your battery terminals from the clogs of sulfation.
Failure to counter this sulfation problem leads to battery failure in the long run. Your battery could die within a short time, pushing you into buying a new one if you fail to take any actions early.
7. Can’t Ignite Your Motorbike
A completely dead battery will not get your motorcycle started at all. Any time you try igniting your bike, and it fails the first place to run to is your battery.
Since other factors are likely to cause ignition failures, you should ensure you check your battery first to count it out of the equation.
If the battery is weak or dead, it will fail to start the starter motor which ignites the motorcycle. If the problem is with the battery, the only viable solution to this problem is replacing the old battery with a new one.
8. Deformed Motorcycle Battery
Any time you want to check your battery’s condition, you may want to have a close look at its physical appearance. It is easy to detect physical deformations such as discolouration, leakage, broken terminals, bulges, cracks or bumps.
You should rarely ignore any of these signs upon spotting them. A bumpy or swollen battery would be potentially dangerous to continue using. The swelling up and expansion happens because of the construction of the lead-acid battery.
The batteries are constructed to allow the absorption of gases released during the chemical reactions in the battery. If you don’t solve this early, your battery can end up cracking at various points leading to complete physical battery damage.
9. Alternating Multi-meter Reading
Inconsistent voltmeter reading is something you should worry about if you try taking readings from your battery.
You should be able to read accurate measurements from your voltmeter when you use it correctly. But if every attempt you make to read the voltage gives you inconsistent readings every time you attach the voltmeter, you should worry about your battery.
The worst-case scenario would be when you test your battery after charging, and it fails to record any measurements. That would mean your battery is bad and needs a replacement as soon as possible.
Sometimes, recording nothing on the voltmeter means the battery is just flat, and it needs a recharge. But if the same reading persists even after charging, congratulations—you are going to buy a new battery soon.
10. Fading Horn
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. When your battery is in its last moments of life, its deteriorating power will directly affect the parts of your motorcycle it powers.
If you sense your headlights are becoming dimmer by the time and the horn sounding less loud, then you may want to check your battery status. These are common indications that the battery is losing charge and needs to be recharged.
Charging is only an option if the battery is still new and useful. Otherwise, you might be heading to the shops any-time sooner than you had planned for.
11. Corroded and Broken Battery Terminals
The battery terminals are some of the key physical indicators that will alert you when your battery is in its last days of service. When your battery’s terminals are badly corroded, the resultant effect may cause your battery not to function well. But all hope is not gone as the battery might still work if you clean the terminals.
Corrosion does not necessarily mean the terminals are broken. But if by any chance they are broken, you may have to get a new battery for your motorcycle.
Also, you must prevent corrosion from happening. You should maintain regular wiping and cleaning of the terminals to minimise the effects of sulfation on the terminals.
12. Motorcycle Battery Won’t Hold a Charge
Another sign that it is time for a new motorcycle battery is if the battery won’t hold a charge. This can be frustrating, as you may find yourself having to frequently jump-start your bike or replace the battery entirely.
If you notice that your battery is dying more quickly than it used to, it is probably time for a new one. A battery that won’t hold a charge is more likely to fail completely, leaving you stuck on the side of the road. As a result, replacing the battery as soon as you notice this problem is important.
If you wait to replace a dead battery, it could lead to some serious consequences. Your bike may not start, or it may randomly stall while you’re riding. This can be extremely dangerous, especially if you’re on the highway.
Not only that, but a dead battery can also damage your bike’s electrical system. The sooner you can replace it, the better.
Enjoy Your Ride
If you’re wondering, “is my motorcycle battery dead?” it’s probably time to replace it. An old battery isn’t safe for the roadways, and your bike could sustain damage. Whereas a new battery will help prolong the life of your motorcycle while also protecting you!
Has your bike battery seen better days? We can help!
Brava Battery is proud to offer customers high-quality solutions so they can enjoy their ride. No matter what you need, we have something for you. Check out our selection of motorcycle batteries now.
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