1. Driver’s carelessness
With the engine off, power consumers remained on for a long period of time: low beam, tail lights, defroster lines on windows and mirrors, seat heater, interior lighting, trunk or glovebox lighting, etc.
2. Generator actuator malfunction
Generator belt tension required mandatory assessment, since its slipping results in reduced generator power and fast discharge of the battery. Tightening is required if the belt gives by more than 15 mm when pressed with a finger.
3. Generator malfunction
while idling, with low beam and interior heating fan on, a fault-free generator produces voltage of 13.9–14.3 V. Voltage deviation is a sign of generator malfunction: broken regulator, rotor winding break, burnt diode bridge, broken fuses in the mounting block, worn generator brushes, decayed starter winding.
4. Leakage in the automobile electric power circuit
With serviceable electrical equipment, leakage currents should not exceed 10 mА. Such leakage does not have a negative effect even when the car is parked up to 3 months. Large leakage currents occur as a result of unqualified connection of electrical equipment: alarm, car stereo, radio, etc. Make sure that the car wiring is in good working condition, check the integrity of the insulation, all contacts and connections should be securely attached.
5. Excessive load on vehicle network
Use of additional power consumers that were not intended by the automobile manufacturer: additional lights, high power low and high beams, powerful audio equipment, etc.
6. Late maintenance of the battery
Always check that the battery contacts pieces are tightened, wires are not loose, and terminals are clean. If terminals are covered with oxide, it would be good to clean them with emery paper. Disconnect contacts from the negative and positive poles of the battery, clean the terminals with fine abrasive. The battery surface should also be free of oxide. If necessary, wipe it with cloth.
7. Short trips. Engine operation at low gears
If you normally make many short trips, most of which occur in the city in traffic jams, the battery will not have the time to charge sufficiently. Remember that many car generators are designed to start charging the battery only when the engine rpm value reaches one and a half thousand. The more powerful electricity consumers you switch on (rear window defroster, phone charging, music, amplifier, etc.), the less voltage remains for your battery.
1. Driver’s carelessness
There are two basic criteria determining the service life of the battery in a serviceable car. Those are automobile mileage over 70–100 thousand km and operating period exceeding 2–3 years. These criteria indicate the design and technology potential of an average battery with standard electrical characteristics. Low-budget options of batteries correspond to lower values of these indicators, therefore it is always useful to pay attention to the warranty obligations of the manufacturers.
What is the electrolyte acceptable minimum level? What to do if the electrolyte level is too low?
• The electrolyte level above the upper edge of the plates should be within 18 to 45 mm (depending on the battery model). The electrolyte acceptable minimum level is 10 mm. Remember that when the electrolyte level decreases during operation, you should add only distilled water and not electrolyte to the battery.
Sooner or later, every car owner faces the problem of choosing a battery best suited to their vehicle. At a first glance, most car batteries manufactured today are sold as “zero maintenance” and, as such, do not require from its owner any special knowledge or skills. However, it’s not that simple.
The frequency of this operation depends on the correlation between the automobile generator power and consumer power, and on the driving conditions. In the summer, almost any car can do without battery recharge. The engine starts easily, permanent consumers are ignited, electric petrol pump (about 8–10 А), car stereo (3–4 А), headlights with tail lamps (13 А). Even when idling, a well-functioning generator provides 40–45 А, which is almost enough to power the minimum number of consumers. When driving, e.g. on the highway, 60–70 А produced by the generator are sufficient to power the consumers and to charge the battery.
Probably every driver has been in a situation when on a frosty day, the engine just wouldn’t start. In order to prevent reoccurrence of such an event, one has to learn the “Driver’s Code of Rules.”
Negative temperatures reduce battery capacity, deteriorate the ability to accept a charge, and a cold engine start requires more energy. New powerful consumers are activated on board: heater, rear window anti-frost heater. Headlights and windshield wipers operate practically all the time. The total current consumption constitutes approximately 40 А. When idling, the generator can no longer handle powering of the consumers, most of the energy is provided by the battery. When driving. the possibility of the generator recharging the battery appears to be very modest as well. Eventually, the battery becomes chronically undercharged. The user may fail to notice it, since even a partial charge is normally enough for starting the engine. However, chronic undercharging results in plate sulphation, which reduces the capacitance and increases internal resistance. In turn, this leads to reduced working lifespan of the battery and deteriorated starting characteristics. Therefore, in winter systematic recharging of the battery is required.
The Internet is full of all sorts of advice for the future owner of a new domestically manufactured car. All details are described: from document preparation to registration, risk insurance, future costs of scheduled maintenance in service centres. The advice seems to imply that you are buying a car that has undergone pre-sales inspection in the showroom and your problems are not to be expected anytime soon.