It's easier than you think to buy the
wrong battery for your vehicle. Unless your current battery is definitely
the original equipment, you're taking a chance by not double checking
before you purchase the new battery. Ask the experts at Cycle Analysis in
Cleveland Ohio help you with your selection.
Always make sure you have the right battery before you charge and install
it. Save yourself the hassle (and money) of having to buy another battery.
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Junior is much more than a trickle charger. It has a brain. It's
lightweight, compact, and fully automatic; very easy to use, especially in
small spaces. It will keep your battery fully charged so that it is ready
to go when you are!
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Perform Monthly Maintenance
A battery only requires a little monthly maintenance to perform perfectly.
Keep the battery charged to 100%, recharging when the lights dim, the
starter sounds weak, or the battery hasn't been used in more than two
weeks. Other than that, follow this simple check list every month:
Check the electrolyte level
Keep the top free of grime
Check cables, clamps, and case for
obvious damage or loose connections
terminals and connectors as necessary
Check inside for excessive sediment,
sulfation or mossing
Make sure the exhaust tube is free of
kinks and clogs
Replace caps firmly
Finish up by testing the battery with either a hydrometer or voltmeter. To
extend the service life of your battery, make monthly battery maintenance
part of your routine.
Storing Your Battery
If the vehicle is in storage or used infrequently, disconnect the battery
cable to eliminate drain from electrical equipment. Charge the battery
every two weeks.
For extended storage, remove the battery from the vehicle and charge to
100%. Charge the battery every month if stored at temperatures below 60°
F. If stored in a warm area (above 60° F), charge every two weeks. Make
sure batteries are stored out of reach of children.
Storage & Spring Startup Off Season Storage
If at all possible, remove the battery from the vehicle. Clean the battery
and terminals using a solution of baking soda and water if there is any
concern of electrolyte outside of the battery. Make sure that nothing
enters the battery during cleaning. You can also use this same solution to
clean the battery compartment of the vehicle to help neutralize any
electrolyte that may be present. Rinse with clean water and dry
After the battery is cleaned, inspect for any signs of damage or
extraordinary wear that may have occurred while in service. If you have
any concerns about the condition of your battery, you should seek the
advice of a mechanic or a battery specialist.
Upon determining there is no concern of damage, for conventional
batteries, check the electrolyte levels. The level of electrolyte must be
maintained above the minimum and at or below the maximum level line on the
side of the battery. Check only when on a flat level service. If you need
to increase the level, carefully add distilled water avoiding any
overfill. Once the levels are adjusted, charge the battery referring to
the manufacturers instructions.
AGM batteries (also referred to as VLRA or Maintenance Free) do not
require you to maintain the electrolyte levels. AGM batteries must never
be opened once in service or permanent damage and failure will occur. As
with the conventional batteries, once you have cleaned and inspected the
battery, charge it per the manufacturers instructions.
With the batteries in a full state of charge, you may wish to store it in
a cool dry area away from children and pets. You may also choose to
reinstall it in the vehicle. Either way, allow yourself access to the
battery so you can periodically check your state of charge, or simply
attach a battery charger/ maintainer to it.
Maintaining your battery state of charge during extended periods of
storage is essential to insure the maximum service life is delivered.
Storage & Spring Startup Spring Startup
When it's time to inspect the leisure use vehicles you've stored during
the off-season for spring use, you probably inspect the most obvious items
that come to mind such as tires, batteries belts, hoses and fluids.
Typically you check tire pressure and condition, making sure that you have
the necessary fluids, gas, coolant etc. and a charged battery. The battery
inspection is often performed through the most fundamental method; you try
to start the vehicle with the ignition. If the vehicle starts, you may
feel that you are good to go for the upcoming season, but in many cases
you may be headed for trouble. Unless you've maintained the battery during
the storage period, it may not be able to deliver its peak performance and
service life for the upcoming season. To insure that you get the best
performance your battery can deliver, it's recommended that you perform a
few simple checks. Remember, before performing any inspection on your
battery, insure there are no open flames or possibility of sparks around
the battery and absolutely no smoking. Always wear eye protection,
protective gloves and clothing.
For a Conventional style battery (those with the liquid electrolyte) you
should visually inspect the battery for any apparent problems. These can
include dirty or corroded terminal connections, low fluid levels, physical
damage such as broken or missing filler caps or dirt and moisture on the
battery. If you need to service the battery, it's best to remove it from
the vehicle. First insure that the electrolyte levels are properly
adjusted. Using distilled water; fill each cell until the level is above
the minimum level line on the battery case and at or below the maximum
line. Never overfill the battery or leakage will occur. If you discover
that the electrolyte levels have fallen below the minimum level lines,
there is a possibility that permanent damage may have been done to the
internal lead plates in the battery and a new replacement may be required.
After adjusting the levels, make sure the filler plugs are secured and the
battery is free of dirt and corrosion. If you need to clean the battery,
use a mixture of baking soda and water to neutralize any electrolyte that
may be on the outside of the battery. Simply brush this on the battery and
terminals using an old paintbrush or tooth brush and rinse it off with
clean water. Dry the battery using an old soft rag or paper towel and make
sure the terminals are clean and free of corrosion. You can clean the
terminals with a small wire brush if the corrosion is significant or just
brighten them up using a piece of emery cloth.
Now that your battery is clean, it's time to check the state of charge.
When using a voltmeter, the battery terminal voltage should read at least
12.6 volts. If your voltage is below this or you've adjusted the
electrolyte levels, a boost charge is required. Charge the battery in a
well ventilated area away from kids and pets. The variety of chargers you
can use to endless but it is recommended that you use an automatic taper
type charger specifically designed for Powersports batteries. Don't use a
high current or fast charger for the boost charge unless you are familiar
with their operation or permanent damage can occur to the battery.
When servicing an AGM style battery, you obviously don't need to inspect
the electrolyte levels since the battery is permanently sealed and must
never be opened. The cleaning method and charging methods are the same as
for the Conventional style batteries. The one feature to note about the
AGM battery is the battery terminal voltage. The full charge voltage
should read about 12.8 volts. These batteries have a slightly different
electrolyte, which influences the terminal voltage.
After you've performed this maintenance, you still may require additional
help with your battery. While the battery may exhibit good terminal
voltage, it may not be in the best state of health. Deteriorated from
corrosion or sulphation, the battery could be seriously short on capacity.
To check this condition you may choose to reinstall the battery in your
vehicle and perform a very fundamental start test or you could take the
battery to a service center and have a capacity test performed. Most
battery dealers will perform a simple electronic or electrical resistance
test on the battery and be able to tell you the state of health. By
knowing the state of health, you can determine the useful life expectancy
of you battery. With this information you can decide if you should replace
the battery with a new one or reinstall the existing one in the vehicle.
To insure maximum performance and service life for your battery, we
recommended that you use either the Yuasa 1.5 Amp or 900mA Automatic
Battery Charger for battery maintenance. Both chargers deliver
Mistake-Proof Technology to properly charge your battery and both are
designed to switch to a float mode once the battery has reached a full
state of charge and maintain it there. This feature allows you to attach
the charger to your battery for an extended period of time without concern
of an overcharged or discharged battery. Also, both chargers are supplied
with a Quick-Connect ring terminal harness that can be permanently
attached to your battery while installed in the vehicle. This allows you
to instantly connect or disconnect the charger from the battery without
having to access the battery terminals. This can be a great time saver for
those hard to reach battery locations.
It's important to remember, even with the proper care and maintenance of
your battery, they will eventually wear out. As with any of the parts on
your vehicle, it's usually easier and more convenient to replace them
before they fail unexpectedly. With this in mind, you may want to simply
replace the battery every few years with a new one.