Frequently Asked Questions About
Size: The dimensions of your original battery.
Power: The Ampere hour required to power your vehicle
Warranty: Automotive batteries are backed by a warranty package. Choose the one that is right for your vehicle's needs.
Before you start, always check the type of grounding system the vehicle has. If you remove the positive connector first in a negative ground system, a spark may be created in the process. It could happen if the metal tool you're using to remove the positive terminal connector comes in contact with any piece of metal in the car. If you are working near the battery when this occurs, it might create fire source causing the battery to explode. It's extremely important to remove the ground source first.
Heat can deteriorate a battery's life quicker by evaporating the water from the electrolyte, and corroding and weakening the positive grids.
Many other problems can keep a car from starting. It is advisable to do some troubleshooting. Cell force authorised dealers test batteries free of charge, so as a good first step visit your nearest cell force Dealer to be sure of your battery.
Acid: Refers to sulphuric acid (H2SO4), or a mixture of sulphuric acid and water - the active component of the electrolyte.
Active Material: Indicates the active portion of the battery plates; peroxide of lead on the positives and spongy metallic lead on the negative.
Alternating Current: Electric current, which unlike direct current, rapidly reverses its direction or "alternates" in polarity so that it doesn't charge a battery.
Ampere: The unit that measures the rate of flow of electric current.
Ampere Hour: It is the amount of energy charge in a battery that will allow one ampere of current to flow for one hour.
Battery: A device that comprises a group of electric cells that converts chemical energy into electrical energy to act as a source of direct current.
Buckling: Warping or bending of the battery plates.
Capacity: The number of ampere-hours that a battery can supply at a given rate of current flow after being fully charged. e.g., a battery may be capable of supplying 8 amperes of current for 10 hours before it is exhausted. Its capacity is 80-ampere hours at the 10 hours rate of current flow. It is necessary to state the rate of flow, since same battery if discharged at 20 amperes would not last for 4 hours but for a shorter period, say 3 hours. Hence, its capacity at the 3 hour rate would be 3x20=60 ampere hours.
Case: The container that holds the battery cells.
Cell: The battery unit that comprises an element complete with electrolyte.
Charge: Passing direct current through a battery in the direction opposite to that of discharge, in order to restore the energy used on discharge.
Charge Rate: The rate of current that is required for charging a battery from an external source. The rate is measured in amperes and varies for cells of different size.
Corrosion: It is the erosion of metal parts on exposure by acid from the electrolyte.
Cycle: One discharge and charge.
Density: Specific gravity
Discharge: The flow of current from a battery through a circuit, opposite of "charge."
Dry: Term frequently applied to cell containing insufficient electrolyte. Also applied to certain conditions of shipment of batteries (i.e. without electrolyte)
Electrolyte: The conducting fluid of electro-chemical devices (for lead-acid storage batteries electrolyte comprises about two parts of water to one part of chemically pure sulphuric acid, by weight)
Element: Positive group, negative group and separators.
Evaporation: Loss of water from electrolyte due to heat or charging.
Filling Plug: The plug that fits in and closes the orifice of the filling hollow in the cell cover.
Freshening Charge: A charge given to an idle battery to keep it fully charged.
Gassing: Emission of oxygen at the positive plates and hydrogen at negatives, which begins when charge is nearing completion.
Gravity: A contraction of the term "specific gravity," which means the density compared to water as a standard.
Grid: The metal framework of a plate that supports the active material and is provided with a lug for conducting the current.
Group: A set of plates, either positive or negative, joined to a strap. Groups do not include separators.
Hold-Down: Device to keep separators in place.
Hold-Down Clips: Brackets for the attachment of bolts for holding the battery securely in position within the car.
Hydrometer: An instrument for measuring the specific gravity of the electrolyte.
Hydrometer Syringe: A glass barrel enclosing a hydrometer and provided with a rubber bulb for drawing up electrolyte.
Lug: The extension from the top frame of each plate, connecting the plate to the strap.
Maximum Gravity: The highest specific gravity to which the electrolyte will reach by continued charging, indicating that no acid remains in the plates.
Negative: The terminal of a source of electrical energy as a cell, battery or generator through which current returns to complete circuit. Generally marked "Neg."
Over-Discharge: The carrying of discharge beyond proper cell voltage; this activity shortens battery life, if carried far beyond proper cell voltage and done frequently.
Paste: The mixture of lead oxide or spongy lead and other substances, which is put into grids.
Plate: The combination of properly "formed" grid and paste. Positive are reddish brown and negatives slate gray.
Polarity: A battery has two poles with opposing attributes. The positive terminal (or pole) of a cell or battery or electrical circuit is said to have positive polarity; the negative terminal has negative polarity.
Hydrometer: The terminal of a source of electrical energy as a cell, battery or generator from which the current flows. It is generally marked "Pos.".
Post: The portion of the strap extending through the cell cover, by means of which connection is made to the adjoining cell or to the car circuit.
Potential Difference: Abbreviated P. D. and found on test curves. The term is synonymous with voltage.
Rate: Number of amperes (rate of flow of electricity) for charge or discharge. Also used to express time for either.
Reversal: Reversal of polarity of cell or battery, due to excessive discharge, or charging in the wrong direction.
Separator: An insulator between plates of opposite polarity; usually of wood, rubber or a combination of both. Separators are generally corrugated or ribbed to insure proper distance between plates and to avoid too much displacement of electrolyte.
Short Circuit: A low-resistance connection between two points in an electric circuit. Short circuit happens when the current tends to flow through the area of low resistance, bypassing the rest of the circuit.
Specific Gravity: The density of the electrolyte compared to water as a standard. It indicates the strength of the electrolyte and is measured by the hydrometer.
Strap: The leaden casting to which the plates of a group are joined.
Sulphate: Common term for lead sulphate (PbSO4.)
Sulphated: Term used to describe cells in an under-charged condition, from either over- discharging without corresponding long charges or from remaining idle for a specific time and being self-discharged.
Terminal: It is the electrical connection from the battery to the external circuit. Each terminal is connected to either the positive (first strap) or negative (last strap) in the series connection of cells in a battery.
Vent Plug or Vent-Cap: Hard or soft rubber/ plastic part inserted in cover to retain atmospheric pressure within the cell, while preventing loss of electrolyte from spray. It allows gases formed in the cell to escape, prevents electrolyte from spilling, and keeps dirt out of the cell.
Volt: It is the electrical unit of pressure in an electric circuit. Voltage is measured by a voltmeter. It is analogous to pressure or head of water flow through pipes. NOTE. - Just as increase of pressure causes more volume of water to flow through a given pipe, so increase of voltage (by putting more cells in circuit) will cause more amperes of current to flow in the same circuit. Decreasing size of pipes increases resistance and decreases flow of water. Introduction of resistance in an electrical circuit decreases current flow with a given voltage or pressure.
Check your battery every now and then to make sure its terminal connections are clean, snug and protected from the elements. Signs of corrosion or leakage could mean that your battery is no longer operating as well as it should.
Always unplug accessories and turn off lights when your car is turned off.
Keep the battery in cooler places whenever possible. Heat damages batteries.
Scrub corrosion from the terminals with a solution of water and baking soda.
Secure the hold-down bar. This ensures that your battery is snugly seated and will help minimize vibration which can be detrimental to certain types of batteries.
Routinely test your battery to make sure it is correctly charged. This allows you to recharge your battery, if needed, to maintain its peak performance. It's important for your battery's health to get it tested twice a year to keep it at its optimal performance level.
Consult your vehicle and battery owner’s manuals for instructions and safety precautions.
Wear approved safety glasses or goggles and/or a face shield.
Wear proper clothing to protect your face, hands and body.
Make sure work area is well-ventilated.
Never lean over the battery while boosting, testing or charging.
Keep away from cigarettes, flames, sparks and other ignition sources – they could cause the battery to catch fire or even explode.
Do not charge or use booster cables or adjust post connections without proper instructions and training.
Exercise caution when working with metallic tools or conductors to prevent short circuits and sparks.
Keep vent caps tight.
Should you have direct contact with the battery fluids, flush the area with water and call a physician immediately.
Keep out of the reach of children.
An elaborate electrical system of circuits within an automobile is needed just to produce, store, and distribute all the electricity that it requires for its daily operations. The battery is the first major component in a car's power system. It is used for storing power for ignition, and for running auxiliary devices such as onboard computers, clocks, radios and alarms when the engine is off.
When a car's ignition is turned "ON", a signal is sent to the car's battery. Upon receiving this signal, the battery releases the energy (stored in the form of chemical energy) as electricity, which in turn is used to crank the engine. The battery also releases energy to ignite the fuel and meet other demands not met by the alternator.
When you attempt to start your car, you may be faced with two fold problems -
- The car engine turns well but does not start
- The engine itself does not turn or turns very slowly.
- In case of
- (1) you need to check the engine, carburetor, ignition system etc.
- (2) if the weather is cold, the engine may take time to warm up.
Recycling old batteries reduces waste, and since up to 99 percent of a lead-acid battery is recyclable, it also reduces the need to use new raw materials and components. Instead of keeping your old battery, be sure it gets recycled by leaving it with the counterperson when you purchase a replacement, or by dropping it off at any local battery retailer. Automotive retailers will usually provide a credit for your used battery when you purchase a new one. Follow all safety precautions when handling your old battery.