Frequently Asked Questions...
do I need to replace my battery?
can cause battery failure?
I charge my battery?
do I maintain my automobile battery?
do heat and excessive cold affect my battery?
are CA's(Cranking amps) & CCA's (Cold Cranking
different size batteries have the same capacity?
I need to add water or additives to my battery?
do I store my battery ? Is concrete O.K.?
Can I my
battery be recycled?
is the difference between automotive and marine batteries?
When do I need to replace my
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
What can cause of battery
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
How do I charge my
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
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
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.
How do I maintain my
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
How 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
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
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
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.
Since 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).
words, CCA/cold cranking amps determine how much power you have to start
your car on cold winter mornings.
What is Reserve
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.
Put 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.
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 same.
New technology enables
a great deal of power to be put into smaller cases with today's new high
capacity output design.
Do I need to add
water or additives to my battery?
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.
additives: 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!
How do I
store my automobile battery? Is concrete O.K.?
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 pets.
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
Can I recycle my
Conscientious battery distributors and
manufacturers play an important role in the success of recycling programs.
ACME Battery Co. Ltd. (retail) and Great Northern Battery Systems
(wholesale) both accept spent batteries and channel them into the
recycling process. Automotive lead acid batteries are up to 99%
is the difference between automotive and marine
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