Proper maintenance is key
From experience: GRANIT tips for battery maintenance
Flat or defective batteries result in expensive downtimes and stress. The most common cause is insufficient charging. Yet all this can be prevented with proper battery maintenance. With our practical tips, you can give your customers the best possible advice when purchasing new batteries in the future.
Maintenance-free doesn’t mean that charging isn’t required
Even maintenance-free batteries must be sufficiently charged. The term maintenance-free simply means that the battery loses so little fluid that refilling is not required. Sufficient charging is essential. At least as much power must be supplied to the battery as is consumed during use.
Watch out for self-discharge
Batteries are subject to continuous self-discharge. During the winter months in particular, failure often occurs because the battery’s performance is reduced due to the slower chemical reactions, and because a cold engine is more difficult to start. But even in summer when temperatures are high, self-discharge is accelerated which results in damage to the battery. Added to this are the comparatively short operating times of some agricultural machines. The engine running time is often insufficient to replenish the power required to start it. In cases such as these, if the battery charge is too low damage caused by sulphation will occur, and the battery’s usable capacity will be reduced.
Take care when carrying out repairs
Once the battery is damaged or insufficiently charged, consumers running when the engine is switched off or frequent starting (for example for test purposes during workshop repairs) can lead to battery failure. Even after jump starting, the alternator alone cannot fully recharge the battery. An external charger must be used.
How to carry out simple battery maintenance. Our top tips for your customers:
- Check the open-circuit voltage at regular intervals. A fully charged battery has a voltage of 12.7 V. Batteries should be recharged before the open-circuit voltage drops below 12.4 V. A simple voltage tester or multimeter is sufficient for this purpose.
- The battery surface should always be clean and dry, otherwise creeping currents may form which will further discharge the battery.
- Check the battery and cable connections for a tight fit at regular intervals and tighten if necessary.
- Cable connections should always be clean and well greased.
- External battery charging at least twice a year will prevent insufficient charging.