Car battery life is essential for the vehicle’s electrical system. So maintaining the battery life of the car is necessary. In this article, I will discuss the car battery life and the 6 factors that affect your car battery life.
Car Battery Life
Battery life has been defined as the period in which it lasts for service without any damage. Battery life is reduced by overcharging which causes overheating and excessive gas bubbling.
In a car, the battery can be overcharged due to a faulty generator control which causes the generator to continue to charge the battery after it is fully charged. Too concentrated electrolyte also causes overcharging. Lack of water not only makes the electrolyte concentrated but, it reduces electrolyte levels in the cell, thus causing disintegration of the exposed plates.
If a battery is continuously undercharged, it becomes Sulphated, which causes a loss of active material. It also causes the plates to buckle and break. Excessive loads, such as those produced by propelling the car with the starting motor, are detrimental to the battery.
The battery is completely damaged if the electrolyte freezes in it. The freezing points of various solutions depending on the state of charge are given in the following table:
|Freezing point^ 0 F.
To compensate for loss, distilled water must be added to the battery to prevent the dissolved materials. In freezing weather, it should be added just before the car is avoided by having it freeze before combining with the acid.
6 Factors that Affect Your Car Battery Life
The car battery life and health depend on how we treat that battery from time to time. If a driver is aware of what to do with the battery plats and the other parts then the life of a lead-acid battery can increase in time. Here, I have discussed the 6 problems that can affect the battery life of your car. These are-
- Lack of Water.
- Loose hold-downs.
- Excessive load.
- Freezing Electrolyte.
Charging a battery greatly an excess of what is required is harmful in several ways, as follows –
1. Decompose water of electrolyte into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Gas bubbles tend to wash active materials from the plates and carry moister and acid from the cells as a fine mist.
2. Decomposition of water leaves acid more concentrated. Concentrated acid is harmful to separators and negative plate material at high temperatures over a prolonged period of time, charging the separators and making the negative material sandy and granular.
3. High internal heat is created, which accelerates the corrosion of positive plate grids and damages separators. Also, containers may be softened and distorted and the sealing compound displaced.
4. Overcharging alone or in combination with a previous condition of undercharging may cause severe buckling and wrapping of positive plates with accompanying preformation of separators.
5. May cause damage by corrosion to the cradle, cables, and other vital electrical and engine parts by forcing liquid from the cell if charging rates are excessive.
A battery operated with insufficient charge over a long period of time may develop a type of Sulphate in the plates which is dense, hard, and crystalline and which cannot be electrochemically converted to normal active material again. Such lead Sulphate is less dense than the active material from which it was formed and will set up strains in the positive plates so that distortion or bowing of plates, called bucking, may result.
A severely buckled plate will pinch the separators at the plate corners or chafe the center of the separators. This may result in the center of the separators. This may result in perforations of an unprotected separator and develop a short circuit of the cell.
1. A battery operated in an overcharged condition is not only unable to deliver full power but is liable to freeze during severe winter weather.
2. Lead Sulphate formed on the plates during discharging is relatively insoluble as long as the specific gravity of the electrolyte is kept above 1.125. Subsequent charging may convert these crystalline deposits to filamentous metallic lead which may short the positive and negative plates through the areas of the separators affected. These small shorts may cause a condition of low cell voltage when the battery is charging. For this reason, the battery should not be allowed to stand idle in a more than 75% discharged condition for long periods of time.
3. Lack of Water
Water is one of the four essential chemicals of a lead-acid storage battery and under normal conditions of operation is the only component of the battery which is lost as the result of charging. It should not be replaced as soon as the liquid levels fall to the top of the separators. If water is not replaced and the plates are soon exposed, the acid will reach a dangerously high concentration that may charge and disintegrate the separators and may permanently Sulfate impairing the performance of the plates. Plates can’t take full part in the battery action unless they are completely covered by the electrolyte.
Sulphuric acid needs never be added to a cell unless it has been lost due to spillage. Then it should be replaced only. No satisfactory substitute electrolyte has been found for the simple mixture of Sulphuric acid in water. Do not use any substitutes.
4. Loose Hold Downs
Hold-downs, if not properly adjusted may allow the battery to bounce around in the cradle. This may cause the bridges, on which the elements rest, to notch the bottoms of the separators and may cause the plates to notch the bridge tops, causing a severe disarrangement of the element. The bouncing of the battery may also crack or wear the container badly and cause the sealing compound to open up and leak acid. Leaking acid corrodes terminals and cables, and makes high-resistance battery connections, thereby tweaking the battery’s power and shortening its life.
Hold down, on the other hand, can be too tight, distort or crack the container and loosen the sealing compound, allowing loss of acid from the cells, and this may cause loss of battery capacity.
Read more – Engine overcooling problem and solutions.
5. Excessive loads
a battery should never be used to propel the car by the use of the starting motor with a clutch engaged except in a great emergency. This may produce extremely high internal battery temperature and damage the starting motor.
6. Freezing of Electrolyte
The electrolyte of a battery in various stages of charge will start to freeze at temperatures indicate below. The given temperatures indicate the approximate points at which the first ice crystals begin to appear in the solution. The solution does not freeze solid until a lower temperature is reached, solid freezing of the electrolyte may crack the container and damage the positive plates.
A 3/4 charged battery is in no danger of damage from freezing. Therefore, keep batteries better than 3/4 charged, especially during winter.
|Specific Gravity at 27^0C.
Ending up with
The car battery life greatly depends on the material and workmanship used in making it and on the care it receives in service.