frequently asked... 

Do I need to add water or additives to my battery? 

We recommend against adding any additives not authorised by manufacturer or distributor to your battery as they may cause issues, or have impurities that could be detrimental to your battery. You should, add water only to accessible battery types, which require regular topping up. Use distilled water only and be careful not to overfill. 

 

Can I recycle or dispose batteries in general waste bin?

Automotive lead-acid batteries are recyclable and should not be disposed of in a general waste bin. You can hand over your old batteries to any battery recycle centre or battery outlet affiliated with abria 

 

https://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Living/Waste-and-recycling/Problem-wastes/Batteries

 

Are all lead-acid batteries alike?  

No, what’s inside the battery makes a difference. Batteries are built with plates made of lead, alloys and lead oxide, calcium lead alloys. Demineralised electrolyte, and durable separator materials are just a few of the internal components that distinguish the quality of batteries 

 

What is the difference between a starting and deep cycle battery? 

A starting battery is designed to deliver power to the starter motor within a few seconds. A battery with more plate surface and less resistance will deliver more instant power. Alternatively, a deep cycle battery is called upon to deliver a long, slow discharge of fewer amperes, for several minutes or hours. Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and are designed for discharge cycles.  

Can a battery explode? 

Yes, when a battery is charging it produces hydrogen and oxygen gas. Most wet batteries have spark retarding cover/vent caps which help to prevent external explosions. Sparks can occur when jump starting, connecting or disconnecting a charger or cables and igniting the gas. Poor ventilation, bad connections and batteries not properly maintained could cause an explosion. 

 

When do I need to replace my battery? 

Battery replacement may be necessary if you experience any of the following:  

  • loss of power in cold or extended starts 

  • slow or interrupted turnover of the starting motor  

  • if the battery discharge light on the vehicle instrument panel is lit.  

If experiencing any of these symptoms have your battery and/or electrical system checked.  

 

How do I charge my battery? 

If a battery was discharged quickly then it should be recharged quickly, and a slowly discharged battery should be recharged slowly. The main concern is to not overheat nor overcharge the battery. 

All batteries contain sulfuric acid and can generate explosive gases. Follow all warning labels before charging a battery. Charge batteries in a well-ventilated area.  AGM and gel batteries require lower charging rates compared to regular flooded lead-acid varieties and are usually charged at constant voltage. 

Warning: once a battery has been fully charged, it should be disconnected from the charger immediately. Continuing to charge a fully charged battery will severely damage the internal plates and shorten battery life. 

Is a car battery ok to run a fridge in caravans? 

No, using a car battery to run a fridge will reduce the life of the battery and it will eventually fail. If you are running a fridge, the best option to use is a ‘deep cycle’ battery. These are designed to produce a small amount of power over a long period of time. Usually rated in amp hours, deep cycle batteries are designed to be drained and then recharged. Ideally you should run with two batteries; the main battery (automotive) for starting the car and an auxiliary battery (deep cycle) for the accessories. 

Is a life cycle test an accurate measure of battery life? 

A life cycle test, is conducted in a laboratory under a controlled environment with discharge and re-charge cycles set at a certain rate. It does not reflect the different situations that the car battery is subjected to in real life situations. Warranty is the measure of the manufacturer’s belief on the service life of its batteries. 

What causes batteries to fail? 

Heat and vibration are the most common harmful effects to a battery. Other factors can cause failure, such as: corrosion on cables and terminals, lack of fluid, sulphation, faulty alternator or regulator and electric shorts. 

premature failures are generally related to one or more of the following causes: 

  • overcharging or high heat under the car’s hood, resulting in loss of water (50% of cases), increased positive grid corrosion or plate-to-strap shorts. 

  • sulfation resulting from loss of water, undercharging or extended periods of non-use 

  • deep discharges 

  • incorrect application/wrong size battery 

  • excessive vibration caused by a loose hold down clamp 

  • using tap water, as opposed to distilled water, leading to impurities 

  • freezing due to a discharged battery