How to Maintain you motorcycle battery?
Use the following as a guide when examining your battery:
- Check the battery’s state of charge. Most batteries have a State of Charge Indicator on top of the battery that will give you an on the spot diagnosis of the battery condition. However, a more reliable way to check is with a voltmeter to determine the stabilised voltage or if the vent caps are removable a hydrometer to determine the specific gravity (SG) of the electrolyte. A charged Century battery will have a stabilised voltage above 12.5 volts and an SG reading above 1.240.
- Ensure the battery top is clean, dry, free of dirt and grime. A dirty battery can discharge across the grime on top of the battery casing.
- Inspect the terminals, screws, clamps and cables for breakage, damage or loose connections. These should be clean, tight and free of corrosion.
- Apply a thin coating of high temperature grease to posts and cable connections for added protection.
- Inspect the battery case for obvious signs of physical damage or warpage. This usually indicates the battery has been overheated or has been overcharged.
- If you have a maintainable battery, it is important to check if the battery has sufficient electrolyte covering the battery plates. If topping up is required, do not over fill as the fluid levels will rise when the battery is fully charged and may overflow. Top up using distilled or demineralised water and never fill with sulphuric acid.
- When servicing a sealed maintenance free (SMF) battery, check the State of Charge Indicator. This gives you a snap shot of the battery’s condition and whether the battery needs to be charged or replaced. The vehicle may still start the engine although the indicator outlines to replace the battery. If the State of Charge Indicator advises ‘Replace Battery’ it is important that the battery is replaced as the electrolyte levels may be below the plates which can lead to an internal explosion.
- For batteries used in seasonal applications and stored long term, fully recharge the battery prior to storing. Check the state of charge or voltage regularly. Should the voltage drop below 12.5V, recharge the battery. It is important to check the battery completely before reconnecting to electrical devices.