From practice: Determine warranty cases for batteries step by step.
When batteries give up the ghost, at first glance it often looks like a manufacturing defect. However, this is only true in about 1% of cases. These mainly occur in the first twelve weeks after purchase. Deep discharge due to insufficient charging is the most frequent cause of defects (in 90% of cases).
But how do you deal with a claim and find out whether it’s a warranty issue?
Check the age of the battery/invoice
Is the battery still under warranty?
The age of the battery provides information about whether it has been stored for too long.
YES: Continue to step 2
NO: Reject claim
Check the battery application
Has the customer selected the correct size and technology?
The size and technology must match the application, otherwise the battery life will be drastically reduced.
YES: Continue to step 3
NO: Reject claim
Is there any visible external damage?
During the visual inspection, look for evidence of damage such as stress whitening, leaking acid, fractures, damaged terminals and deformed battery boxes.
NO: Continue to step 4
YES: Reject claim
Charging and testing
1. Charge the battery at 10% of the Ah rating for eight hours. Modern chargers do this automatically.
2. Then switch on the full beam for one minute without starting the engine or leave the battery for six hours. This removes surface voltage.
3. Then test the battery using a battery tester. You need the voltage (V) and the cold cranking current (CCA).
A: Does the voltage drop back below 12 V soon after charging?
The voltage should now be at least 12.6 V. If the voltage drops to 10.5 V before the battery is used, it is likely that a cell has short-circuited and that there is a manufacturing defect.
YES: Accept claim
NO: Continue to B: Testing the cold cranking current
B: Is the cold cranking current below 60%?
The cold cranking current should now be at least 60% of the value indicated on the battery. If this isn’t the case (even if the battery has a voltage of at least 12.6 V), this indicates that the battery is worn out as a result of sulphation caused by deep discharge or numerous charging cycles.
YES: Reject claim and replace battery at the customer’s expense. The battery is dead.
NO: Reject claim. The battery was not fully charged and is working.
Even if your battery tester reads ‘Replace battery’, it does not necessarily mean that it’s a warranty issue. Most of the time the battery is just dead.