7Ways to extend the Life of Your Stop-Start battery
A standard car battery(Stop-Start Battery) – a lead-acid flooded battery known as an LSI (lighting, starting, ignition) battery – is designed to give the engine a decent starting jolt a handful of times a day.
A stop-start battery demands the same task be performed dozens of times a day.
When it comes to charging a battery outside of the vehicle or application, the right treatment can make all the difference. To get the most out of your Brava battery, there are a few tricks to keep in mind.
1. Disconnect the cables
This is very important: Disconnect the cable leading to the negative terminal first! This will prevent a short circuit between the positive terminal and ground. Then proceed to disconnect the red cable from the positive terminal.
2. Check the battery’s state
If you are dealing with a lead-acid battery that is not considered maintenance-free, please visit a professional workshop. Do not check the electrolyte level by yourself. Maintenance-free batteries like VARTA AGM, EFB and SLI typically do not require any acid level checking. Just clean any dirt off the vent pipes.
3. Turn All the Lights Off When You Exit the Car
Remember that time you turned on the interior light to find your wallet on the floorboard? Yes, you forgot to turn it off! When you tried to start the car the next morning, the battery was dead. Make it a habit to check that all the lights are out before getting out of the car every time. It’s a simple habit to build and will save you stress and extend the life of the battery.
4. Learn About Parasitic Drain and Avoid It!
Your child’s bus was late returning from the game, and you sat in the car listening to music on the car radio. The engine was off and could no longer charge the battery while that demand continued. That’s called parasitic drain; keep the bugs away from your battery! Turn off the AC, phone charger, and radio when the engine isn’t running. And don’t let the engine idle for long periods of time, either. The parasites will be back!
5. Protect Your Car–and Its Battery–From Extreme Temperatures
If you live in extreme weather, either hot or cold, give your car and all its systems a break and use your garage to protect it! A car battery is filled with chemicals that need to be at a certain temperature to work. When the weather is frigid or very hot, the chemicals can’t perform as well. And if the car sits there without being driven for a longer time than normal, the chemical reactions stop completely.
If you don’t have a garage, get a portable jump-starter and keep it handy. Another remedy is a battery heater, which can keep your battery from dying in the cold. It’s like a jacket that fits over the battery to keep it warm.
6. Tighten the Battery Mounts and Cables
The battery needs to be locked in place securely so it doesn’t short circuit as it does its job. Traveling on bumpy roads can jar the battery cables or mounting brackets loose. Your battery will begin to act erratically or not at all, so lift the hood once in a while and check the cables and mounts for movement. This is something else you can ask your Tate Boys mechanic to check on a regular basis.
7. Clean the Outside of the Battery
Baking soda and water work well! Mix up a bit and carefully apply it with a brush to get rid of all the dirt or corrosion. Spray the residue off with cold water and then wipe clean and dry with a cloth to remove any remaining soda. Don’t get the battery ports wet; you’re only cleaning the outside of the battery!
Get a terminal spray from your auto shop or auto store to protect the battery terminals from any more corrosion build-up. This process protects the battery from all that gunk getting into the battery cells and wearing down the battery.
3Tips for Stop-Start Battery
1. Vehicles with start-stop
Charging an AGM or EFB battery follows the same principles. However, it is important to use the right device and charging method that is suitable for the technology. For example, some chargers have a special mode for charging gel batteries that is not compatible with AGM technology. In any case, please refer to the information in the operating instructions.
2. The right charging time.
Charging a battery takes time. Typically, 12 to 24 hours is a sufficient charging time. For example, a common 70Ah battery needs approx. 15 hours to fully charge with a 5A charger. A brief two-hour charge will only get the battery to 15%. That will suffice for a quick boost but will not fully charge the battery. To calculate the total charge time for a battery, take the Ah-rating of the battery and divide by the charger rating (A). Then add about 10% for the extra time to totally top off the battery.
3. The perils of float charging.
When using an automatic charger, it will indicate when the battery is fully charged. Most automatic chargers also feature a mode called float charge. Float charge means to keep charging a battery after it is fully charged to compensate for self-discharge the battery is exposed to. The lead acid battery is an electrochemical system, which is never switched off entirely, so some side reactions cause the self-discharge.
The float charge mode should only be used for short periods of time, as it was originally intended to compensate for a battery’s natural self-discharge. Some chargers might charge an amount of Ahs during float charge, which is more than what is needed to compensate self-discharge. The reactions inside a lead acid battery may lead to an early failure.
To ensure a long battery life, avoid extensive float charging. If possible, limit the float charge time by corresponding charger settings. If a battery is not used for a longer time, prefer a full charge before storing it and check its OCV (Open circuit Voltage) regularly (at least every 3 months). Recharge if necessary (latest at 12.4V).
If you bear these few simple things in mind, you will get the most out of your battery and can be sure that it will support you on all your journeys for a long time.
Types of Stop-start batteries
ECM (Enhanced Cyclic Mat) battery:
Also known as an Advanced Flooded Battery (AFB) or Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB) is designed to meet entry-level stop-start technology requirements.
This battery is an improved version of the standard lead-acid flooded technology found in LSI batteries.
It is more durable, allows for a more consistent flow of power, has deep cycle capabilities (meaning it can dip deeper into its capacity without losing performance), faster recharge capabilities and an improved cycle life (the number of times it can be charged and discharged before it expires).
Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery:
The most advanced example of lead-acid technology, with the acid absorbed into a fibreglass material rather than remaining as a free-flowing liquid.
The AGM battery is maintenance-free, fast charging, has a high power output, improved cycle life, excellent deep cycle properties and can continue to deliver high cranking power (the kind of power needed to kickstart the engine) even with a low state of charge.
AGM battery can also be used with regenerative braking systems – a system in electric and hybrid vehicles which allows the energy created through braking with electric motors to be diverted to recharge the battery.
While both of these battery types can be used with stop-start technology, they are not interchangeable. ECM batteries can be replaced with an AGM battery, but vehicles designed to take AGM batteries should only ever use AGM technology. Standard LSI batteries should not even be considered.
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