Have you ever tried to start your automobile only to hear a clicking sound? That likely means your battery was not sufficiently charged to start your vehicle, but does this suggest it is defective? No, it may not be the usual case. In fact, it may mean the battery has been discharged and must be fully charged with a battery charger. The same is true when monitoring its voltage to determine if a battery has failed.
What is the lowest car battery charge?
Most car batteries will read at least 12.6 volts if it is fully charged, although low voltage does not always indicate a faulty battery. Even when not in use, modern automobiles are entirely electrically demanding.
If these modern vehicles are idle for an extended period, the battery voltage will likely fall considerably below the 12.6V threshold. While voltmeters are inexpensive and can provide some insight into what’s going on with your battery, they are not definitive tests for determining battery health.
Monitoring voltage is an excellent place to start if you fear your battery has failed. If the battery voltage is less than 12.6 volts, you should try to charge it with a battery charger. You should be aware, however, that some chargers will not detect or charge any battery that has been depleted below a minimum voltage level, which can be as high as 10.5 volts. Good Chargers can give current to drained batteries as low as 1.25 volts.
After attempting to charge your battery fully, get it load-tested by a battery specialist. Most auto parts retailers provide this service and will gladly test it for free. The most accurate technique to determine the health of your automobile battery is to perform a load test rather than a voltage measurement. Here you may locate a battery store that can load-test your battery.
What Happens When the Charge on Your Battery Becomes Too Low?
The most important thing to remember about your battery is that you must maintain it charged. If you allow the charge to get too low, your battery may be irrevocably damaged. So, how low can we go?
A standard 12-volt vehicle battery will have roughly 12.6 volts when fully charged. It simply has to fall below 10.5 volts to be deemed fully discharged. The battery will be damaged due to sulfation if it falls below that level.
The growth of lead sulfate crystals on the surface of the battery’s lead plates is referred to as sulfation. This crystal buildup is only transient during a typical cycle and is reversed when the battery is recharged.
However, over-draining a battery leads the soft lead sulfate to solidify. If this occurs, any crystallized lead sulfate on the battery’s plates will disrupt the battery’s chemical equilibrium. As a result, it decreases the battery’s overall electrical output and shortens its life. If sufficient crystallization occurs, the battery will no longer be able to produce the amperage required to start your engine and will need to be replaced.
Believe it or not, driving your vehicle is the best thing you can do for it. This is because when you start your automobile, your battery expends a lot of energy, and the alternator replaces the lost energy while you are driving.
When traveling at highway speeds, this recharging procedure takes about 30 minutes. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to drive for an extra half hour every time you start your car, but you should attempt to get in at least one 30-minute drive per week. It is especially critical if you frequently take short journeys to start and stop your vehicle.