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What is overcharging?

Overcharging is charging beyond the time necessary to fully charge the battery or charging a battery at an excessive rate in amps. It results in corrosion of the positive grids and damage to the positive active material in the battery therefore reducing the battery’s ability to carry the starting current.

Overcharging is usually accompanied by heavy gassing (beware of the risk of explosion) that will accelerate the shedding of the active material from the positive plates.

Overcharging is also usually accompanied by high electrolyte temperatures resulting in rapid deterioration of the plates and separators. Overcharging may cause buckling of the plates leading to perforation of the separators and internal short circuits.

What is the difference between a car battery and a leisure battery?

A car’s battery is designed to provide a very large amount of current for a short period of time – known as micro-cycling (except for stop/start vehicles). This surge of current is needed to turn the engine over during starting. Once the engine starts, the alternator provides all the power that the car needs. Used in this way a car battery can last a number of years. To provide a large amount of starting, a car battery uses thin plates in order to increase the plate surface area.

A leisure battery is designed to provide a steady amount of current over a long period of time. It can provide a surge when needed but less than a car battery can. Leisure batteries are also designed to be discharged over and over again (something that would ruin a car battery very quickly). To accomplish this leisure batteries sometimes use thicker plates and glass mat separators are added to increase the life of the positive plates.

The purpose of a leisure battery is to provide power for trolling motors, uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) and other accessories for marine, recreational vehicle (RV), commercial and stationary applications.

 

Why does my battery start my car sometimes but not other times?

This is probably not a battery problem. If the problem occurs only after the vehicle is not used overnight or for a day or more before starting, then the problem is often a low state of charge.

If the battery starts the vehicle once the vehicle has been started recently, test your battery to determine its state of charge. Also make sure that the alternator is adequately charging and that all the connections are good. If the problem continues, see your local Battery Centre.

How long can I leave my battery unused?

Lack of use is one of the biggest causes of battery failure – especially in automotive batteries that are designed to be charged regularly by an alternator.

Any unused battery, regardless of the type, will self-discharge over time and if allowed to remain discharged, could suffer battery failure. The rate of self-discharge depends on the type of battery and the storage temperature.

Can a battery really explode?

Yes, so when working with or near a battery, or jump starting a vehicle, always:

  • Wear glasses or safety goggles
  • Shield your eyes and face from the battery
  • Keep as much distance as possible from the battery
  • Read warning labels on your battery
  • Do not cause any flames or sparks near a battery
  • Read your vehicle instruction manual before jump starting

If you get acid on your skin or in your eyes, flush with water immediately and seek medical attention.

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RMI Registerred Dealer
RCS Credit accepted for battery purchases
We ACCEPT b-smart cards