The performance and life of car & motorcycle batteries can seriously be compromised when exposed to dramatic changes in seasonal temperatures whether hot, or more critically cold. As a result, effective car & motorcycle battery management during the winter months is essential for the well-being of the battery and of course avoids frustrating break downs and subsequent costly call outs.
Of course you really shouldn’t be waiting for the winter months to arrive before thinking about charging your battery, you should be doing it now.
Here are some little known but interesting facts about your battery:
- Dependant on the age and the condition of the battery, it will lose at least 20% of its capacity at 0°C (freezing) and a massive 50% of its capacity at -30°C. This dramatic and potentially costly reduction in capacity is caused by a slow down in the chemical reaction process, resulting in vastly reduced power output.
- Even when your vehicle is running, low temperatures reduce the batteries ability to accept a charge and it therefore the alternator does not charge the battery as quickly or as effectively.
- If your battery is in a low state of charge during cold weather the electrolyte within the battery is reduced, taking on water like properties and can therefore very easily freeze. This can be extremely dangerous if attempting to jump-start the vehicle.
- A low state of charge during cold weather causes a build up (sulphation) on the battery plates further reducing the batteries power output. 85% of all battery failures are due to this sulphation (reduced active surface area of the battery plates).
Sulphation: If lead acid batteries are left uncharged for any period of time the harmful sulphation process begins – the biggest battery killer. The sulphuric acid electrolyte attaches to the electrode plates and forms a compound of lead sulphate, thus preventing the current flowing between the plates and if left untreated, will render the battery useless.
Desulphation: During the de-sulphation stage, all CTEK battery chargers send in a series of high current, high voltage ‘pulses’ which not only removes the lead sulphate from the batteries plates, but also puts life back into the electrolyte which in turn causes them the move around and mix the acid back together, and in doing so, reversing the stratification process.
We can all be lulled into a false sense of security during the warmer months. If the battery remains undercharged during the summer months, it may just be able to start the vehicle, as it only requires a small amount of energy to turn the engine over. The majority of motorists don’t realise that their battery is slowly becoming discharged over time and when autumn arrives and ambient temperatures begin to drop, the battery will not have enough charge to start the engine i.e. an unwanted flat battery.
Ultimate Finish stock the complete range of award winning CTEK Battery Chargers & Conditioners suitable for all battery sizes from 1.2ah to 500ah and everything in between, and with our current best price guarantee there has never been a better time to invest in a CTEK Battery Charger and Conditioner.
Not sure which CTEK Charger to choose – View the CTEK Battery Charger Guide here