Car batteries are an essential part of any automobile. But although they are part of our daily life, we still have many misconceptions about them. In this article I want reveal some of these myths and misconceptions about car batteries.
Storing a car battery on concrete pavement will discharge it. About one hundred years ago when car battery boxes were made from pieces of wood glued with resin, storing them on a concrete surface accelerate their discharge. Boxes of modern car batteries are made of polypropylene or hard rubber and are fully sealed. External leakage that causes discharge is no longer a problem. However the temperature stratification can accelerate battery discharge if it sits on a cold floor while it is hot in the room.
Driving a car will fully recharge its battery. There are several factors that influence the activity of the alternator to charge a battery: the amount of power transmitted to the battery, the time when it is available and temperature. In general, in case of frequent stops or short trips in cold seasons, driving will not charge the car battery completely.
On very cold days switch on the headlights to “warm up” the battery before starting the engine. While there is no doubt that the ignition of lamps will increase consumption in the intern circuit of battery, the capacity necessary to start a cold engine may not be achieved. Thus, switching on the lamps ahead of starting the engine is NOT recommended.
Lead-acid batteries have memory. The lead acid batteries have no “memory effect”. However, successive discharges will reduce battery capacity. Powerful discharges under 12.0 volt may affect the car battery and could shorten its life.
A higher capacity battery will damage the car. A starter motor will use a fixed amount of battery power, based on its resistance. A higher capacity car battery will increase power only if necessary. It will not affect the car.
Once formed, the car battery can not change its polarity. If a battery is totally discharged but still connected to active applications, it is possible that one or more cells change their polarity, as if the battery was recharged with reversed polarity. To change the polarity, full discharge your battery and then charge it with the correct polarity.
A car battery will not lose power during storage. Depends on battery type and temperature. Batteries have an average rate of self-discharge (1-25% per month). With time, the car battery can totally discharge itself. High temperatures accelerates this process.
Defective car batteries will not affect the loading or starting. A weak or defective battery can affect the charging and the starting. If you replace the battery, alternator, voltage regulator or power, make sure all components are in good condition.
The Ninth myth about car battery is actually a fact: preventive maintenance of a car battery is very easy and should take place once a month in warm periods and every time you change the engine oil during the cold season.