Tips for Classic Collector Car Battery Maintenance.
Until the moment they have to rely on jump starting the car because it won't start, a typical classic car owner usually overlooks the battery it's currently hooked up to. For the most part, this is because car batterie maintenance today is almost redundant.Plus a normal person usually doesn't have a full understanding of how batteries work or the problems that can come from them.
Basic car battery maintenance.
I have to admit, until recently, I was one of those people that never thought about my classic car battery maintenance.Of course I would do the basic maintenance to make sure the water levels are up there, maybe even wire-brush the built up corrosion on and around the terminals, other than that, it wasn't even a thought in my mind. What a lot of people don't know, but you're going to find out, is there is a lot we depend on from our car batteries, than you can begin to imagine, so let's get started talking about car battery maintenance. The most important thing the battery does, which we all know, is start our car engine by providing as much current as 600 amps for 10 seconds, which is a lot of current in a short time. Even though the starter wouldn't be able to handle it, a new or a battery in good condition will run the starter for a very long time.
The electrical system might experience some voltage spikes, but the classic car battery is designed to filter these out. As an example, when the starter shuts off, a volt spike of -200 can occur, but so can large positive spikes. The battery acts as a large capacitor to absorbs the spikes and does a fantastic job as far as a filter goes.(if you have done your car battery maintenance)
The alternator takes on the job of supplying power as soon as the battery provided the necessary power for the starter to get the engine running, which will keep the engine running on top of powering up everything else like a radio or lights, as well as charging your battery back up,(this is also part of the car battery maintenance)
|Bad car battery maintenance!
#1 Reason for Battery Failure.
For the most part, the car battery is discharged and recharged constantly during it's life time. What a lot of people don't realize is, while the discharging and recharging is taking place, there are sulfate crystals that are naturally occurring and building up on the battery plates Another thing most people aren't aware of is most premature or unexpected battery failures are caused by neglected car battery maintenance and the build-up of sulfate crystals. The electricity produced is a result of a chemical reaction that also forms lead sulfate crystals. The crystals will corrupt the electricity flow in and out of the car battery, and the fact is, approximately 80% of the car batteries people throw away every year could be salvaged by proper car battery maintenance,and cleaning off the sulfate crystal deposits from off the plates.
Sulfate crystal build-up is the number one reason for battery failure, and as I mentioned earlier, it can't be stopped, and the sad truth is there are other factors that speed up the process.
* Hight Temperatures of 70°F plus.
* Battery discharging below 10.5 volts.
*Storing for long periods of time without charging.
* Not charging enough - To maintain the correct car battery maintenance charge rate, there should be a constant 13.6 to 14.6 volts being put out when the engine is running.
#2 Reason for Battery Failure.
The loss of electrolytes, which is the liquid that makes electricity flow, will be lost due to overcharging or heating which is second common reason for car battery failure. This is very easy to control and prevent by simply taking care of the car battery maintenance, keeping an eye on your electrolyte level and adding battery water when necessary.
So,What Do You Do About it?
What do you do about the sulfite crystal build-up on the plates? What are you suppose to do about that?
The Battery Life Save and the Battery Minder Plus are just 2 of the different car battery maintenance de-sulfator, or as some people and manufacturers may spell them as desulphator, devices available today. You would attach the Battery Life Save to your battery and leave it there as it will perform desulfatizing continuously, but the BLS-12/24-B, another version of the Batter Life Saver, will bring old batteries back to life when used in conjunction with a charger. The Battery Minder Plus, which will also de-sulfator fulltime, is a combination battery charger/maintainer. Sulfarid's Desulfators work consistently with your car battery maintenance, and are permanently attached to the battery. The claims from the manufactures, that these products work, are backed up with guarantees.
|Car battery maintenance needed!
The plate surface availability, in the battery, is measured for chemical reaction which determines the ability to supply power, is called Conductance. You will get reliable evidence clearly indicating the health of your battery in relation to battery capacity. To find cell defects,when doing your car battery maintenance, you can use conductance, as well as finding shorts, and natural deterioration and exposed circuits which could cause battery failure. For battery warranty decisions, a conductance test is typically required at almost all automotive dealerships in the world. With a new, fully charged battery, the high conductance reading should be from 110% to 140% of it's rating when it comes to Cold Crank Amps, or CCA, which is the measurement of the amount of amps a battery is able to deliver at 0°F(-18°C) for 30 seconds and doesn't go below 7.2 volts. This means in cold weather, a battery with a high CCA is suitable. When a battery gets older and is used, cranking performance can be decreased as well as as conductance as the surface of the plate sulfates or loses active material. The life of a battery doesn't last as long and its measured conductance can degenerate quicker if these conditions are significant,thus making car battery maintenance even more critical.
Your test results will recommend replacing the classic car battery with a new one if a battery loses a dramatic amount of it's ability and the conductance reading produces a low rating. A benefit of proper car battery maintenance and for conduction measurements, and tracking the life of your battery, is you will be able to determine when you need to replace it before it fails. Below is a sample of the life cycle of a typical battery.
* New Battery with a Rating of 500 and CCA Measured at 650 CCA.
* 440-650 CCA During Life
* 495 CCA Towards The End of Life
* 350 CCA, I replaced battery.
There you have it, a car battery maintenance health indicator is really conductance. You won't get any sort of conductance information from a digital multi-meter, which is used for voltage information from your battery. You will need a meter such as a Midtronics PBT-300 in order to check and measure conductance. This is a very affordable tool, even though it may cost a little more than a multi-meter, it's well worth it to have in your garage. It does more than just test your battery, it also can test the condition of your alternator and starter. Here are a few pointers you want in order care for your battery properly and get the most life from it.
Battery chargers should be in every garage's car battery maintenance repertoar so that batteries in vehicles used once every so often can stay charged, or to bring back a lifeless battery. A battery charger cost could range from $30 up into hundreds of dollars depending on the size and power. If you have a lot of vehicles, a heavy duty charger with a fast-change cycle on it would be well worth the investment, but for the most part, a typical charger in the range of $100 will usually get the job done. You don't want to just settle for what's available, shop around and find one that includes a over-load protection feature so that both the battery and the charger are protected. If you park your car for several months at a time, or have a car you use periodically, a trickle charger will be a good choice for it will maintain a full charge without overcharging your vehicle's battery and uses very little power to run. You can find a variety of trickle chargers available, and for those readers who have a few cars, there are chargers that can maintain the charge of several batteries at once. These chargers are easily found and usually sell for under $100, but mostly are a great investment for maintaining your battery's charge as well as prolonging it's life.
|Good car battery maintenance!
Battery load testers are not very expensive, usually in the range of $70, and are a handy to have even though they aren't necessary. Like the name reads, a battery load tester will send the battery a fabricated load, and within just a few minutes, report the battery's condition. When you do car battery maintenance and recharge a battery, it's a temporary, or "surface power", so it's good to be able to know the condition before relying on it. What it comes down to is you still might not have the the power you need to crank over an engine even if you just charged the battery and it's holding. You'll know if it's time to replace the battery when you use a battery load tester.
I'm going to give you sound advice in the matter of shopping for booster cables, don't be cheap about it or you'll pay more for it later. It's a good idea to invest in a good set of booster cables with multi-stranded conductors, shielded, at the minimum length of 15 feet. You want insulated spring clamps on the ends and the "teeth" on the clamps must have good mating for a secure grip on the battery terminals. There usually isn't enough electricity conducted to actually jump a battery in a cheap set of cables, and the cables get hot, which signifies they aren't efficient conductors. You have a sort of peace of mind when buying a good set of booster cables, because they offer reliability and will last for many years. Take this into consideration, why would you waste your money on a set of booster cables that are not cut out to do the job they were meant to do? Something to remember: cheap equipment isn't good, and good equipment isn't cheap.
HotBox / Jumper Box.
A "Hot Box" or jumper box is a self-contained battery that has terminal clamps already attached, and is used to jump-start weak or dead batteries. Like I mentioned with the other tools to purchase, you don't want a cheap jumper box, instead, make the right decision and spend a little more to get a good amount of cranking amperage because the last thing you need is a jumper box that can't turn your engine over. There are all kinds of manufactures that have jumper boxes available and all will vary in price, cold cranking amps (CCA), plus all sorts of features that you might find interesting. Charge gauges and built-in lights are a few features on some of the better jump boxes, plus some have an air compressor that can pump up a slow leak. I highly recommend to find a jump box that has a 12V "cigarette lighter" outlet because you can avoid draining your battery if you have to power items such as a 12V impact wrench, battery operated vacuum, and more.
When it comes to classic car battery maintenance, there are a few 'garage essentials' that are small but not to be overlooked. A decent terminal brush is the first thing. To remove corrosion, oxidation, slag, and other built up materials from battery posts and the terminal clamps, which prevent a good connection, a good brush is about $10 or less and perfect for the job. If you have a side-terminal battery, the next essential item you need is a battery terminal wrench. A ratcheting side-terminal wrench makes tightening and loosening the battery terminals much faster and easier, even though, if you have the room, you can use a typical 5/16" wrench or socket. Usually priced around $15, you'll get your money's worth.
And this can't be stressed enough, make sure your battery's electrolyte is at the proper level and simply add water when necessary. Evaporation increases during the warmer months, so it's especially important to keep up with electrolytes when it's hot. Even though purists claim distilled water is better for your battery's life span, if your only resort is tap water, it's still better than none at all. Bottled spring water is not recommended what so ever because it could contain minerals that can be certain death to a battery.
Although I rather keep my opinion about whether or not storing a battery on cement is better or worse than storing it on wood, when it comes to car battery maintenance,to myself, I will state that making sure your battery doesn't freeze is one of the most important things to make sure of, and with that said, a charged battery won't freeze but a discharged battery will. If the cells in the battery happen to freeze, no matter what you do, even if it seems like it's holding a charge, it's never going to be enough to crank your engine. (What I mean is a regular car battery, not a marine or deep-cycle battery which happen to be designed different)
Now, when it comes to classic collector's car battery maintenance, you know a whole lot more than you did when you started and possess the knowledge it takes to maintain,care and keep a battery alive.
Now keep it crankin!