2Battery Testing & Service Objective: After studying this chapter, you will be able to summarize the most common methods for testing and servicing batteries.
3Battery MaintenanceThe five (5) primary steps in maintaining an automotive battery are:Checking the electrolyte levelCleaning the battery terminal connectionsCleaning the battery topChecking the battery hold down and trayInspecting for physical damage to the case and terminals
4Battery MaintenanceSafety Glasses must be worn at all times
5Battery MaintenanceThe best solution to correctly wash an automobile battery is baking soda and water.
6Battery MaintenanceA battery-terminal test 1. Hold (-) lead to cable near clamp 2. Hold (+) lead to negative battery post 3. Disable ignition or injection system 4. Crank engine while watching voltmeter
7Battery MaintenanceA battery-terminal test RESULTS Voltmeter shows over .5 volts = FAIL Means high resistance is present at cable connection and cable end needs cleaning or replacement. Voltmeter shows less than .5 volts = PASS
8Battery Maintenance Preventing Terminal Corrosion Coat the connection with petroleum jelly or white grease, this will help prevent corrosion from battery gasses.
9Battery Maintenance The automotive memory saver is designed to maintain the memory of your on-boardvehicle computer when your battery isdisconnected.Not to mention the radio stations and clock!
10Battery MaintenanceIf the cells of a maintenance-type battery are low, the correct refill liquid is distilled water.
11Battery SafetyHydrogen gas is both colorless and odorless, but it is also extremely flammable and explosive!
12Specific Gravity indicates the state of charge of the battery Battery TestingThe density of a liquid can be checked by using a Hydrometer or Specific Gravity Tester.Specific Gravity indicates the state of charge of the battery
13Battery TestingA battery with a specific gravity of has a higher state of charge than a battery with a specific gravity of 1.250
14Battery Testingthe battery’s condition is defective if the hydrometer readings vary 25 or more points between cells
15Battery Testing Battery Voltage Test To check the open-circuit voltage of your battery, first disconnect the battery cables so that no power is coming in or going out. Set your multimeter to read “DC volts” (for meters without auto ranging, set the scale to 20 volts), and touch the red (positive) probe to the positive battery terminal and the black (negative) probe to the negative terminal as shown here.
17Battery TestingCELL VOLTAGE TEST.—The cell voltage test will let you know if the battery is discharged or defective. Like a hydrometer cell test, if the voltage reading on one or more cells is .2 volts or more lower than the other cells, the battery must be replaced.
18Battery Testing battery drain test - looking for a parasitic drain. A parasitic drain is when an electrical device is using battery power when the car is closed, and the ignition key removed. Therefore, when doing this test make sure that the dome light, under hood light, trunk light, etc. are off. This normally is less than milliamps. More than that indicates a battery drain problem and should be repaired.
19Battery ChargingA battery charger transforms AC voltage into DC voltage.It is NEVER safe to charge a frozen battery because it WILL explode!
20Battery Jump Starting NOW START THE DEAD VEHICLE! STEP 1: Connect one end of the Positive(+) cable to the Positive(+) post of the dead battery.STEP 2: Connect the other end of the Positive(+) cable to the Positive(+) post of the good battery.STEP 3: Connect one end of the Negative(-) cable to the Negative(-) post of the good battery.STEP 4: Connect the other end of the Negative(-) cable to a good solid SHINY, NON PAINTED metal part of the engine on the dead car. Usually a giant shiny nut on the engine block will do. A painted, dirty, or oily nut will not work. You usually want to avoid placing the Negative(-) cable directly on the dead battery to minimize the chance for explosions. You should only use the ground post on the dead battery as a last resort. On this step you'll get a normal spark as you connect the ground and complete the circuit.NOW START THE DEAD VEHICLE!
21Battery Jump Starting CAUTION! Remove cables in reverse order If polarity is reversed when attaching jumper cables, serious damage to the charging or computer systems can occur to either vehicle. Watch what you are doing!
22Battery Jump StartingA portable battery-pack is a safer and easier method to jump-starting a vehicle if the directions are closely followed.Failure to follow directions can cause the same consequences as incorrect jump starting, such as explosion or damage to onboard computer systems.
23Battery Load TestA battery load test checks the battery under full current load.Most modern load testers have inductive type ammeter connection leads.During load testing, the automatic testers subject the battery to three times the battery’s amp-hour rating.For Example: A 110 amp-hour battery would be loaded to 330 amps.Modern battery’s use the S.A.E. rating of Cold-Cranking-AmpsIf a 12 volt automotive battery shows 9.6 volts or more during load testing, the battery is in good condition.
24More Battery TestsA 3 minute quick test will determine if a battery is defective and no longer serviceable.A three-minute battery charge test checks for a sulfated battery. This battery test requires charging the battery at 40 amps for three minutes, then checking the voltage across the terminals with the charger on. If the voltage is above 15.5 volts, the battery is not accepting a charge and should be replaced.
25Other Battery Problems If all the battery tests are good, some other areas to inspect for charging system problems are:Defective charging systemBattery drainLoose alternator beltCorroded, loose, or defective battery cablesDefective starting system
26Battery ReplacementTo remove a battery, first disconnect the cables. Then loosen the battery hold-down. Using a battery strap or battery carrier, carefully lift the battery out of the vehicle. Warning! Always wear Safety Glasses!
27Selecting a Replacement Battery CCA rating must be at least equal to OEMSize of battery should fit into its trayHold down should secure battery in placeTerminals should be in correct location and of same design as original battery.
28Questions? Car Battery Myths & Facts Refer to chapter 30 in the Duffy text.Or see on-line:Car Battery Myths & Facts