The reason that lead-acid batteries wear out is different than why Ni-Cd batteries do. This battery should never be deeply discharged and will remain fully charged because when you are driving you are recharging the battery. This constant charge doesn’t hurt it because these batteries do not suffer at all from digital memory effect.
In fact, keeping this battery type charged will only help increase its life because it will go through less discharge cycles. What actually causes the dwindling of these batteries are the destructive chemical reactions that take place within, over time. Many times, this battery type can be reanimated to function fully using the methods covered here.
Types of Lead Acid Batteries
- Starting Batteries: are used to start and run engines and can deliver a very large current for a short amount of time discharging by about 2 – 5%. If deeply discharged, these batteries will quickly degenerate and will fail after only 30 – 150 cycles. However, they should last for a very long time when used correctly.
- Deep Cycle Batteries: are used to store electricity in autonomous power systems (such as solar and mini-hydro), for emergency back-up and electric vehicles. They are different in that they are designed to discharge by as much as 80% of their capacity over thousands of discharge cycles. True deep cycle batteries have solid lead plates and those that do not are referred to as semi-deep cycle.
- Marine Batteries: a marine battery is usually a hybrid that falls between the description of deep cycle and starting batteries, although some are true deep cycle batteries. They are never meant to be discharged below 50%.
- Starting Lighting and Ignition (SLI) batteries: are the type typically used in cars. They are designed to be fully charged when starting the car. About 2% to 5% of the charge is used in starting the car, and is then replaced by the alternator, so that the battery remains fully charged. This type of battery should not be discharged below 50% . Discharging them below the 50% level can damage the plates and shorten the battery life.
Maintaining and Reconditioning Lead-Acid Batteries
Most of the time, we only think about our lead-acid batteries when they fail to start our automobile engines. However, your vehicle’s battery is not high maintenance. Just a small amount of care and attention will help insure that you get the most of your car batteries sometimes even adding years of use.
This VIDEO shows a proven method that works 100% of the time:
Lack of general care and maintenance combined with cold weather will expose borderline batteries that worked fine in the summer, but don’t possess the power for starting in the cold. It’s a great idea to catch a bad battery before you discover this later on during one of the coldest days of the year. If however you do only consider your car once a year, fall would be a good time to do some required maintenance.
Car battery testing and maintenance is fairly simple and only requires a few basic tools. With the infinite number of lead acid batteries in use, many are discarded or taken out of use every day. It is not uncommon for a discarded lead-acid battery to still possess a good amount of useful battery life. Now you can take advantage of these batteries that are good to go once they’re tested, reconditioned, and taken care of using the following methods.
Reconditioning Lead Acid Batteries
There are several ways used for lead acid battery reconditioning:
- Equalizing charge: consists of charging at a higher voltage for a short period of time.
- Chemical addition: This procedure uses a common chemical that you can buy at almost any drug store. The chemical is magnesium sulfate, but it is better recognized by the name Epsom salt.
- Desulfating method: Special Desulfating Equipment can be used. There are quite a few devices on the market for desulfating lead acid batteries.