Every car requires attention so that it can function properly. This generally includes checking that all the components are operating normally. Every part of the car has its own relevant methods of ensuring its proper functioning. The battery is no different in that regard. We at BPZ believe that the battery inspection process can be broken down into a checklist which can help us identify any issues with the battery. With that in mind, today we are going to formulate a possible battery inspection checklist which includes steps which can be performed by car owners, but it is preferred that they are performed by a battery technician or expert.
- The first step is to check the battery’s state of charge. The state of charge is essentially the battery’s charge level which can range from 0% (fully drained) to 100% (fully charged). There are different ways to measure state of charge. The common method is to use a voltmeter and measure the voltage reading of the battery which can be mapped to a particular charge level. A more accurate method is to use a hydrometer which measures the specific gravity of the electrolyte and then map the reading to a particular charge level.
- The next step is to inspect the battery top for any dirt or residue. Cleaning the battery reduces the possibility of self-discharge.
- After a general inspection of the battery top, have a closer look at different parts present on the battery. This includes checking the terminals, clamps and any cables connected to the battery. They need to be corrosion free and without any damage so that conduction of electricity occurs properly.
- If terminals of the battery are in good condition, apply a thin layer of grease to protect them from corrosion.
- If the battery has removable cell caps then the fluid levels of the electrolyte must be checked as well. If the level is below the recommended mark, then the electrolyte must be topped up using distilled water.
- The battery should also be checked for any physical damage. If the battery appears deformed then it may have experienced overheating or overcharging which has caused permanent damage to the battery.
On the basis of the information collected, one needs to decide the course of action. If everything is in order then no action is needed. Otherwise, there are different actions, such as charging the battery using the correct charger or replacing the battery, that need to be carried out to resolve battery related issues.