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Questions and Answers on Better Care and Maintenance!

Why Should you charge your battery once a month?
When not in use,a battery discharges on a daily basic sometimes up to 0.5-1%. This rate of discharge increases when the climate is warm. To make up for this loss from disuse, connect your battery to GP´s 12V Automatic Charger to maintain a constant float charge during the extended time between uses.

Sometimes a battery does not hold a charge. Why?
When a battery is in an excessively discharged state, it does not readily accept a high current charge, but charging is occurring only at the surface of the plates. In such a case, the battery must be charged at a low current flow for an extended period of time.

What is the normal charge rate for a battery?
Naturally, batteries of different capacities require different charge rates. Generally, a battery should be charged at a slow charge rate for 1/10 its rate capacity in amps.

How do you determine whether a conventional or AGM battery has been charged properly?
After the battery has undergone charging(as per battery manufacturer´s specifications), the following characteristics will tell you if a conventional or AGM battery has been charged properly:
- For conventional batteries, specific gravity for the acid must be 1.265 or higher(4 balls or more floating), or the terminal voltage must read 12.5 volts or higher.
- For AGM(Absorbed Glass Mat, also referred to as maintenance free) batteries, the terminal voltage must read 12.8 volts or higher(check with voltmeter).

What is sulfaction?
Sulfaction is the crystal formation of lead sulfate on the battery plates or cells and one of the biggest battery killers. This happens two ways:
i) When discharging continues uninterrupted, the crystals grow and blossom into sulfaction.?
ii) When the battery plates are exposed to air due to low electrolyte level, the activity of the affected area is severely impaired, and the battery will begin to lose life.

What is the purpose of the battery exhaust vent tube on conventional batteries?
When a conventional battery is charged and discharged,water contained in the electrolyte is decomposed, generating hydrogen and oxygen gases. These gases are vented out of the battery through the exhaust vented tube to prevent potentially damaging high-pressure gas accumulation. Be sure to remove the red sealing cap before charging and installing.AGM batteries(maintenance free batteries) do not have an exhaust vent tube. They have a built-in safety valve that vents gases.

How should a battery be maintained?
Good battery maintenance should include the following:
- Always keep the acid level between LOWER and UPPER lines on conventional batteries.
- Never allow the battery to stand in a discharged condition.
- If necessary, charge battery once a month with 12V Automatic Charger.
- Keep battery clean, dry and free of dirt.Clean battery terminals to prevent corrosion.
- Inspect vent tube, ensuring that it is not bent, twisted or clogged.
- Check cables, terminals and case for obvious damage or loose connections.

How do I determine the right battery for my car?
The best way is to consult the vehicle owner´s manual for the correct group size and minimum rating.If this is not available,you can look up the vehicle make,model and year in a battery application guide and note the recommended group size and rating given.You should not use a battery with a rating lower than which the vehicle manufacturer recommends.There is no problem using a higher rated battery than that specified for the vehicle.In fact,moving to a higher rating will improve starting in the case for older vehicles and,in general, provide longer battery life.

How do I know when I need to replace my battery?
Warnings that a battery may need replacing or that the electrical system needs checking include:
- Slow or interrupted turnover of the starter motor.
- The instrument panel indicates battery "discharge" for extended period after the engine is already running.
- The battery seems to lose power quickly in cold or extended starts.
- The headlights dim at idle.?Unfortunately,many times there is little if any warning. If you suspect your battery is failing, the prudent thing to do is to have it load tested to replaced.

How do you determine whether a battery has been charged?
The following characteristics will tell you if a battery has been properly charged:
- The specific gravity of the acid is over 1.275(conventional type batteries only).
- Maximum voltage output across battery terminals can be maintained at constant level for two hours.
- Open circuit voltage is stablized @ 12.7v or higher @ 6.3v or higher for 6 volt batteries.

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