What is battery testing?
Battery testing involves testing the state of electric batteries. The spectrum of battery testing can range from very simple, such as measuring a battery’s voltage output, to highly complex, like testing the battery’s ability to accumulate charge.
Electronic devices known as battery testers are commonly used within the auto mechanics industry to take important measurements. A common and simple type of battery tester is the DC ammeter, which indicates a battery’s rate of charge. Similarly, DC voltmeters are used to estimate a battery’s charge rate.
Why do auto mechanics need battery testers?
In the auto mechanics industry, digital battery testers from reliable distributors such as RS Components, are the preferable choice. They’re safe, efficient and easy to use, allowing for a swift diagnosis of a battery’s condition.
Some auto mechanics also use other battery testing equipment, such as hydrometres, adjustable load testers and constant rate discharge testers. These devices are somewhat complex compared to digital battery testers and should be used only after undertaking proper training.
To protect your auto mechanics business from problems like premature battery failure, it’s well worth investing in quality battery testers. Digital battery testers can detect early battery failure by transmitting signals through the battery and measuring its conductance or resistance.
Thorough and accurate testing of car batteries will help your auto business maintain a positive reputation and avoid unexpected costs caused by battery failures or misidentification of battery issues.
Read on to learn some of our top tips for effective battery testing.
1. Take the battery’s voltage reading
By testing a battery’s voltage, you can determine its state of charge. Different voltage readings will indicate varying states of charge.
For example, if your battery reads zero volts, it’s likely the battery has short-circuited. If the voltage cannot rise above 10.5 volts while charging, a dead cell is the problem. And if a fully charged battery has a voltage of 12.4 or below, it is sulphated (meaning sulphate crystals have built-up). Sulphation is the number one cause of premature battery failure.
Have your workers regularly test the voltage of all batteries to ensure they are in good working condition.
2. Use a battery clamp to reduce vibration
A battery’s life can be reduced by vibrations while driving. By using a high-quality battery clamp, you can ensure the car’s battery is held in place. Batteries that are not secured properly can fall victim to excessive vibration, leading to internal damage and reduced battery life.
Battery clamps should be tightened just enough to hold the battery in place, but without risking damage to the battery. Tighten the nuts only until you feel some resistance, and continue for a single half-turn.
3. Check if batteries are truly ‘dead’
Many drivers leave their lights on overnight or have batteries with damaged voltage regulators. This leads to flat batteries often being misidentified as ‘dead’.
Before replacing a battery, make sure to measure its voltage with a quality testing device to check if it is truly ‘dead’. If the battery has been left flat for a considerable amount of time, or is quite old, it may be worth replacing regardless.