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Is it safe to use a used car battery?

Is it safe to use a used car battery? />

09/07/2020

Batteries have a life cycle – whether they are used operationally or not.

Once the battery has been actuated its life begins.

At times, due to budget constraints, it may not be possible to buy brand new components for your car.  The car battery is no different and, if the car battery dies unexpectedly, it may be difficult to manage this unexpected expenditure.

The used car battery market is vast and filled with all kinds of options.  Being empathetic to the situation of many consumers, BPZ feels that it is pertinent to come up with a guide on how they can get a good deal when purchasing a used battery. This would also address a common question that whether it is safe to purchase a used battery or not?

We would try to break the discussion down into key considerations and then come up with some sort of consensus on used batteries.

The first key consideration is the age of the battery. If the battery is already 2-3 years old, then it would not be wise to purchase it. This is because, even if the battery is well-maintained, the battery can fail at any time after crossing the 3-year mark.

In other words, the battery would have almost reached the end of its useful life at that point so it would be a huge risk to purchase such a battery even if it is at a great price.

Normally, you would find a date stamp for the battery's date of manufacture. This stamp comprises of two parts, the first is an alphabet and the second is a number. Alphabets indicate the month of manufacture with January denoted by A and December denoted by L.

The number indicates the year so, for example, if the stamp indicates B18 then it implies that the battery was manufactured in February 2018.

The second important consideration is an inspection of the battery itself.  Even if the battery is relatively new, it should be in good condition as well. This means checking the terminals for any dirt or corrosion. The body of the battery should be inspected for any dents or cracks as it could create a potential hazard if the battery fluids leak and catch fire.

The voltage levels of the battery at full charge should also be checked.  If the measured voltages are below 80% of the rated battery voltage, then it could be assumed that the battery is nearing the end of its useful life.

The final consideration regarding the battery is whether it's still under warranty period or not. If the battery appears to be fully functional and it is under warranty, then you get an added protection if the battery turns out to be defective.

It is important to check the brand offering the warranty is reliable and known for honoring claims. One should also look at the warranty's terms and conditions so that it can be checked if the battery's warranty has been voided or not.

The key test of course is to get your trusted service provider like BPZ to conduct an electronic or load test on your battery. One cannot determine the health of the battery simply by its appearance or by the battery voltage.  Voltage is only an indicator that the battery is charged and gives no assurances of the operational ability nor the health of the battery. Further, if a battery has been used in deep discharge applications such as inverter systems, it would not be advisable to waste one’s money on such a purchase.

By following the aforementioned tips, it is up to the individual to make the final choice for his or her investment.