do I need to replace my battery?
Battery replacement may be necessary if you experience
any of the following: loss of power in cold or extended
starts, slow or interrupted turnover of the starting motor,
or battery discharge light on the vehicle instrument panel
is lit. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms,
you should have your battery and/or electrical system
can cause of battery failure?
Heat and vibration are the most harmful elements to an
automobile battery. However, many other factors can cause
battery failure, such as: corroded cables and terminals,
lack of electrolyte maintenance, sulfating, alternator/regulator
malfunction, and electric shorts.
do I charge my battery?
If a battery was discharged quickly then it should be
recharged quickly, and a slowly discharged battery should
be recharged slowly. The main concern is to not overheat
nor overcharge the battery.
All batteries contain sulfuric acid and can generate explosive
gases. Read and follow all warning labels before charging
a battery. Be sure to charge in a well-ventilated area.
It is important to follow the charging instructions to
ensure that the battery is returned to a full charge as
battery chargers vary by manufacturer. For best results,
charge the battery as soon as you know it is discharged.
For charging an average fully discharged automotive battery
using a 10-amp automotive charger, it will take approximately
8-10 hours at 80 degrees F temperature to reach full charge.
Warning: Once a battery has been fully charged, it should
be disconnected from the charger immediately. Continuing
to charge a fully charged battery will severely damage
the internal plates and shorten battery life.
do I maintain my automobile battery?
Many automobile batteries come with 2 removable vent caps
at the top of the battery. These caps can be removed to
check the electrolyte level in the battery. If the level
appears low, add distilled or good quality drinking water
to the fill wells. DO NOT OVERFILL! Overfilling can cause
acid to be discharged from the battery during operation.
The fluid level should be checked at least once a year
in cold or mild climates and more often in hot climates.
checking the electrolyte, you should also check the battery
terminals for signs of corrosion. Clean the terminals
and attached cables of any dirt and corrosion to ensure
a good connection and proper starting. By removing any
oil and dirt from the battery's casing, you will reduce
the risk of short circuiting.
do heat and excessive cold affect my battery?
Heat increases the rate of evaporation, which causes a
loss of water from the electrolyte. Extreme heat also
increases the rate of self-discharge and promotes the
corrosion of the positive plate grids. Extreme
cold dramatically reduces the speed at which chemical
reaction can occur, while increasing electrolyte resistance.
It is important to keep batteries at a full charge during
periods of extreme cold. Batteries in a discharged state
are susceptible to freezing, which can cause damage to
the plates and battery container. Automobiles
demand more from a battery in freezing temperatures as
the motor oil thickens and makes the engine harder to
Heat is the number one killer of a battery; although it
increases the performance of the battery short-term, life
is drastically reduced over time.
are CA's (cranking amps) & CCA's(Cold Cranking Amps)?
Cranking amps are the numbers of amperes a lead-acid battery
at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) can deliver for 30 seconds
and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for
a 12 volt battery).
other words, CA/cranking amps determine how much power
you have to start your car in most climates. The
basic job of a battery is to start an engine; it must
crank, or rotate the crankshaft while at the same time
maintain sufficient voltage to activate the ignition system
until the engine fires and maintains rotation. This requirement
involves a high discharge rate in amperes for a short
period of time.
it is more difficult for a battery to deliver power when
it is cold, and since the engine requires more power to
turn over when it is cold, the Cold Cranking rating is
defined as: The
number of amperes a lead-acid battery at 0 degrees F (-17.8
degrees C) can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at
least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12-volt battery).
other words, CCA/cold cranking amps determine how much
power you have to start your car on cold winter mornings.
is Reserve Capacity?
Reserve capacity is the time in minutes that a new, fully
charged battery will deliver 25 amperes at 80 degrees
F and maintain a terminal voltage equal to, or greater
than, 1.75 volts per cell. This rating represents the
time the battery will continue to operate essential accessories
if the alternator or generator of a vehicle fails.
another way, reserve capacity is a battery's ability to
sustain a minimum vehicle electrical load in the event
of a charging system failure. Under the worst conditions
(winter driving at night), this minimum could require
current for ignition, low beam head lamps, windshield
wipers, and defroster while driving at low speeds.
different size batteries have the same capacity?
Batteries come in many different group sizes. A battery's
group size simply determines it's length, width, height,
and terminal configuration; this has nothing to do with
a battery's capacity. Regardless of the group size, two
batteries are equal in power if the CCA ratings are the
technology enables a great deal of power to be put into
smaller cases with today's new high capacity output design.
I need to add water or additives to my battery?
Most automobile batteries are maintenance accessible.
Remove the vent caps which will expose 6 holes or fill
wells, add distilled or good drinking-quality water. BE
CAREFUL NOT TO OVERFILL. The electrolyte should not go
past the end of the fill well. Overfilling can cause acid
to be discharged during operation. The electrolyte level
should be checked at least once a year in cold or mild
climates and more often in hot climates.
Under normal conditions, a battery fails due to the deterioration
of the positive grids and active material. Additives will
not restore the integrity of the metal grid nor replenish
the active material onto the plate. Simply stated...DO
NOT add additives!
do I store my automobile battery?
Is concrete O.K.?
When storing an automobile battery, it is important to
make sure it is at a full charge and the electrolyte level
is full. A battery stored in a discharged state is susceptible
to freezing sulfation and an increased rate of further
discharge. The battery should be placed in a cool dry
area, the cooler the better without going below 32°F,
that is well ventilated and out of reach of children and
A battery will not lose its state-of-charge strictly from
placing it on a concrete surface, but will discharge it
over a period of time, due simply to neglect.
I recycle my battery?
Conscientious battery distributors and manufacturers play
an important role in the success of recycling programs.
Great Northern Battery Systems accepts spent batteries
and channel them into the recycling process. Automotive
lead acid batteries are up to 99% recyclable.
is the difference between automotive and marine batteries?
Nothing..... a marine starting battery is essentially
the same as an automotive battery with a handle and marine
Marine/RV Deep Cycle Batteries have thicker plates, a
lower cranking ability, however they have a lot more reserve
capacity. Deep Cycle Batteries endure a lot more discharge/recharge
cycles than starting batteries.