All About Car Batteries

Q&A about Car batteries

Every make and model of a car has its own battery requirement.

The requirement is based on physical dimension of the car battery tray as well as the AH (or Reserve Capacity) and CCA required. You can find out exact requirements of your car either by inspecting the existing car battery or in the owner’s manual.  As car battery specialists, FastFix will be able to advise the exact battery requirements if you tell us the make/model (and year) of your car.

The AH of a car battery is a unit of measure which states how long the battery can power a certain load and still retain a usable charge for car starting.

The higher the number, the better, and more expensive the battery.

However, this does not mean that you should use the highest AH battery available. This is because every car is engineered to support car batteries of a certain AH. If you attempt to go above or beyond the AH recommended, you may harm your car’s electrical system by either shorting the electrical system or putting a strain on the electrical equipment

Cold Cranking Amps is the amount of power, in Amps, that the car’s battery is able to supply in order to start the car’s engine. The technical definition of CCA is the maximum amount of Amps that a battery is capable of delivering at an ambient temperature of zero degree Fahrenheit for 30 seconds before the battery is no longer able to supply a usable amount of power. When you start your car, the battery has to supply enough power to the starter to run the motor over with enough speed to start. It must also supply enough power to the ignition system to provide a hot enough spark to make the engine start. Additionally, with newer cars, you will have fuel pumps, injector systems, computers and dash instruments which will all pull power while starting. If your battery is not capable of supplying a large enough current punch when starting, it won’t start the car.

Car batteries

are designed to supply anywhere from 400 cold cranking amps on the smaller batteries all the way up to over 1,500 for some of the larger and more expensive batteries.

You will need to conduct a car battery test using either a special battery meter (or a multimeter).

A fully 100% charged battery should register 12.66V or higher on your voltmeter.  If the voltmeter reading is below 12V, your battery is no longer good and it would be wise to replace your car battery.  If the reading is <11V, your car battery is about to die and you should change your car battery right away.

13.8 to 14.5V or more while idling.

If your alternator gives a output reading of less than 13.8V, it is considered weak and may not be able to properly charge your car battery.  This may result in the dreaded “car can’t start” situation and you should visit your car workshop as soon as possible to service/replace your alternator.  If you replace your car battery with FastFix, we will test your alternator and will advise you if servicing/replacement is recommended. We know of workshops who specialize in alternators and can provide recommendations – available on request.

These are new generation of car battery

designed so that they do not require any special maintenance by owners.  Unlike older batteries, there is no need to top these up with distilled water. These batteries are also sometimes known as VRLA (valve regulated lead-acid), sealed batteries and sometimes “dry cell”. FastFix supplies only maintenance-free car batteries.

EFB Batteries

EFB batteries are an enhanced version of standard wet-flooded technology. They are designed to meet the latest OEM vehicle demands and factory fitted into vehicles with Start Stop systems. The primary benefits of EFB technology are improved charge acceptance and greater cyclic durability when operating in a reduced state of charge (typical of Stop Start applications). As an approximation, EFB batteries will provide 85,000 engine starts, compared to 30,000 starts from standard flooded product.

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Tips On Maintaining Car Batteries

Corroded Bosch S5 car battery

1.    What Can I Do As A Car Owner? Maintenance-free car batteries (most common these days) do not require any special maintenance.  There is no need to top up distilled water and a general visual inspection once a month should be sufficient.  If you find corrosion on the battery terminal heads, you can brush it away using a metal brush with mixture of baking-soda and water (1″5). This happens sometimes in our hot, humid climate due to imperfect sealing and is not uncommon and certainly not unique to Amaron. 2.    What About DVRs and Other Gadgets in Cars? Please consider a different power source. With the popularity of DVR (digital video recorders) and other electronic gadgets installed in cars, the battery is very often made to work overtime (and continuously) even when the car engine is turned off. This forces the car battery to continually discharge even when the car is parked. If you have DVRs or items like that, it is recommended that you either power them using another source of power or to adjust the power setting so that they do not drain your car battery below a certain threshold (recommended 12v). 3.    Is it True That Car Batteries Must be Kept Fully Charged All The TIme?  Yes, ideally. Car batteries are not designed for deep cycle discharge and their voltage should ideally be maintained in the “Green Zone” in chart below (ie. >12.4v). They should never be allowed to go to “Red Zone” (ie. 11.9v and below) because the lifespan of the battery will be severely shortened. 4.    Why is My Battery Terminal Head Corroded? What is the Bluish Substance? Battery terminal head corrosion happens when the electrolyte (sulphuric acid) in the battery makes it way out of the battery due to leaks or joints over extended time (years). This is not something uncommon and affects car batteries from all brands.  Luckily it can be easily fixed (before battery fails). To clean up the substance, spray a baking soda mix (1 part baking soda, 5 parts water) on the terminal head. The copper sulphate will dissolve and you can brush it away with a metal brush. The bluish substance is actually copper sulphate which is formed when sulphuric acid comes in contact with lower grade copper battery terminal rings that are not alloy plated

—– “Corroded terminal” is common amongst all car battery brands.  This is caused by leakage of the electrolyte (sulphuric acid) out of the battery due to leaks or joints over time (years).  Unfortunately no brand is immune to this. You can easily clean this DIY using steps outlined above.

Corroded Globatt car battery

Corroded Bosch S5 car battery

Corroded Motolite car battery

Car batteries are not designed for deep cycle discharge and their voltage should ideally be maintained in the “Green Zone” in chart here. They should never be allowed to go to “Red Zone” (ie. 11.9v and below) because the lifespan of the battery will be severely shortened.
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