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How do you diagnose a car battery failure?

Le monde automobile 31/07/2021 52

How do you diagnose a car battery failure?

SummaryWhat is the car battery for? How to test your car battery? When to change the car battery? How to recharge the car battery?

What is the car battery for?

Like the alternator, the battery is an essential part of your vehicle. It is this which, when starting your car, gives the starter motor the necessary impetus to get the engine running and running. Likewise, when you switch off the ignition and leave the radio or headlights on, the car battery will supply them with electricity.

Most car batteries have a lifespan. between 4 and 5 years. In hot climates their longevity is often shortened to around 3 years.

How to test your car battery?

1. Testing the battery charge

If your car starts up, you will need to connect the positive and negative signs of a multimeter respectively to those of the battery, always taking care to follow the safety instructions. The red wire of the voltmeter corresponds to the "+" while the black corresponds to the "-". You will have to plug in and start the vehicle before accelerating until reaching 2000 rpm.

If your car still does not start, you will have to use another car in addition to boost your battery. This consists of recharging the faulty battery using the emergency battery. The use of a battery cable is necessary for this recharge. Once this is done, you will have to check the battery voltage again.

2. Testing the battery voltage

To carry out the maintenance of your battery, it is necessary to know the voltage of the latter. There are several ways to do this. In order to test the voltage of your battery, you will need to use a multimeter connected to the battery terminals using crocodile clips. You should know that the alligator clips only give a boost to the battery to start the vehicle. In any case, they are not used to recharge your vehicle.

The battery is correctly charged if the measured voltage is 12.6V; When the measured voltage is between 12V and 12.3V, the battery is discharged ; If the voltage exceeds 13V, your battery is overloaded and the charging circuit is the cause; If your battery voltage is below 10.6V, it is probably out of service and will need to be replaced with a new battery. p> Be sure to switch off the engine to check your battery. As the battery is permanently charged, this allows it to emit a voltage even when the engine is off.

3. Check the color of the plugs

The plugs of a battery are a good indicator of its condition. Remove the plugs using a screwdriver then check their color.

If you notice a black plug, an element is short-circuited and your battery is out of order If all the plugs are black, the battery is overload and the problem then comes from the charging circuit If the plugs have their original color, the battery is good. It is then possible that it is simply discharged

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When to change the car battery?

The battery life of a car is about five years old. However, if signs appear earlier, it may be best to change the battery before it reaches the end of its life. In this case, you risk breaking down. This is why, in the best case, this change should be made as soon as a warning sign of a failure appears, and therefore of a weakening of the electrical power of your battery. Indeed, the latter can wear out prematurely, which can cause the vehicle to no longer start, because the batteries in your battery are too low.It is also possible to check that the engine does not have other faults by using software connected to the OBD socket.

How to choose and buy the right battery for your car?

Start by finding the location of the battery in the engine compartment and note the information on the label:

the nominal voltage expressed in volts (eg: 12 V); the capacity expressed in ampere-hours (eg: 75 Ah); the starting power expressed in amps (eg: 400 A).

But also:

the location of the "+" and "-", the model of your car, the energy mode of your engine (diesel, gasoline, LPG).

Go to an auto parts store or on the internet with this information in order to choose the right battery for your car.

How to change your battery?

For replacement your car battery, if your battery is not rechargeable, or if it is out of order, you must:

1 - Disconnect the battery terminals starting with the - terminal, then the terminal +2 - Do not hesitate to label the terminals so that you can find your way in the future 3 - Remove the bolts and screws securing the old battery 4 - Take the battery out of its location while avoiding tilting it, as this could cause the sulfuric acid inside to leak 5 - Check the new battery and sand the terminals gently with a fine grit abrasive 6 - Install the new replacement battery and replace all screws and bolts fixing 7 - Connect and secure the + terminal, then finish with the terminal -

How to recharge the car battery?

1. With two vehicles

Attention! You will need jumper cables. However, gasoline and diesel vehicles do not have the same jumper cables! The vehicle used to charge the battery must be started. After opening the hoods of the two vehicles, connect the two batteries using starter cables. The red cable should be placed on the positive terminal of the battery first and the black cable should be placed on the negative terminal.

2. With a battery charger

Another solution is possible if you do not have the possibility of using a second vehicle. You can indeed use a battery charger, also called the starter charger for your car, which is very easy to use. In fact, you only need to use exactly the same method as when recharging with a second vehicle, regardless of the car model used.

3. Using a starter booster

A final solution to recharge your battery is the starter booster, it is necessary to check the charge level of your booster which must be half full to be able to operate. The connections are the same again, when starting the booster, if your car starts, let the engine run for 30 seconds and then unplug it. If your vehicle does not start, you can retry the manipulation but always waiting 30 seconds between each attempt to prevent your engine from "drowning".

Your car battery does not no longer works at all? Do you want to change your vehicle? Take a look at our used car catalog.

CapCar's technical tip: Selling a used car is not easy. To be as insured as possible during the sale, it is better to know about it or to call upon a trusted intermediary like CapCar.fr!

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