Nothing works without it: the battery in the vehicle. It is therefore surprising that so little attention is paid to the energy dispensers under the bench. It’s so easy to maintain. We say how.
It is a tear in my hair. You want to go – and nothing works anymore. Apart from a limp organ, no sign of life can be extracted from the engine. Stupid, because your ATV or quad doesn’t have a kick or pull starter. A look under the bench reveals the disaster: the battery is in a fango pack in its box. Mud and dirt tell the story of the last off-road excursion. The vehicle has stood still for a while. The poles and contacts have become damp, rusty and corroded. A nice mess!
“It is hard to believe what we find on battery statuses during our inspection work,” Marco “BigAirMax” Steines shakes his head and pulls out a few examples as examples. “We show these to our customers in order to raise their awareness of the subject of ‘batteries’. Because in addition to cleaning and lubricating, the component also belongs on the maintenance schedule! ”Especially before the four-wheeler is put back into operation after hibernation. Probably the one who took off the negative terminal in the garage. This is advisable for longer breaks. If the quad or ATV is standing for longer than three months, it is advisable to remove the battery so that it cannot be deeply discharged or sucked empty by hidden consumers such as alarm systems or accessories. Even if they are not used, batteries lose up to one percent of their charge every day.
The battery must be stored in a cool, dry place (but frost-free). In the case of a 12 volt battery, values above 12.7 volts indicate a fully charged battery, 12.4 volts indicate 50 percent discharge, 12 volts indicate a discharged battery. The solution is a regular equalization charge and charge retention, especially for seasonally operated vehicles. “A corresponding device should really not be missing in any workshop or garage,” says Marco Steines. Because inactive batteries discharge. Lead sulphate is deposited on the lead plates and hinders the flow of current. The battery capacity and the cold start performance decrease!
Why does a battery go on strike?
Frequent short journeys, irregular driving profiles in combination with stop-and-go traffic: This lowers the energy level of your battery start after start and drive after drive. Treat yourself to an extra portion of external reloading in between. Short journeys consume more energy than the alternator can produce and recharge. The battery is permanently drained. If possible, drive longer distances to recharge the battery. An external equalization charge is even better.
The battery is usually fed by the charging current of the alternator, which can only be stored if the battery is in perfect condition. This means: The lead plates in the battery must not be sulfated, which ultimately leads to a plate short. There must be a sufficient acid level and the battery poles must not show any signs of oxidation. However, if a new battery does not charge during normal driving, damage to the alternator, rectifier, regulator or leakage currents may be the cause. This is best clarified with the dealer.
What can I do?
You can’t really do much for your battery yourself. But the little is usually enough if you stay on the ball regularly. Especially since our batteries are significantly smaller motorcycle batteries compared to cars. First, keep the surface of the battery clean and dry with an anti-static cloth. Moisture in the battery box creates leakage currents that consume energy. Do not use any other so-called improvers! What you can use is special varnish for the poles or pole grease. If the battery has to be removed, always first disconnect the negative and then the positive cable in order to effectively avoid short circuits! If the battery is recharged on the charger, do not use a high-amperage charger from car accessories or hardware stores. Only use devices specially developed for motorcycle batteries. High-amperage chargers from the automotive industry work faster, but damage the relatively small motorcycle battery if the charging current is too high.
Do you need a new battery? Then check whether it fits your vehicle.
The important thing is the accuracy of fit, the dimensions and the type. Are the plus and minus poles of the battery in the right place and is the venting of the battery (not in the case of maintenance-free batteries) in the right place? Does the battery have the correct voltage (V) and capacity (Ah)? When connecting – also when reinserting the old battery – always connect the positive and then the negative cable. Do not reverse the poles – this would not only damage the battery, it could also destroy the generator and on-board electronics! In any case, a battery – including a new one – must be fully charged before installation. The maintenance schedule shown here should help you take care of the battery. At the same time, we will introduce you to suitable, intelligent chargers. These can also be connected longer and keep your energizer fit through different cycles. This prevents the hair from tearing!
Text: Ralf Wilke, Louis.de, Banner GmbH
Photos: Ralf Wilke, Banner GmbH
ProCharger 4.000 – battery charger, diagnosis and maintenance device
The one for all. And in any case the first choice for vehicles with a CAN bus system. The device automatically recognizes the corresponding system and charges fully automatically via the on-board socket. A charging current of up to 4,000 mA ensures rapid charging of 12V starter batteries for motorcycles, quads, ATVs, scooters and cars. Special Li-Ion and AGM charging programs as well as resuscitation functions round off this ultimate overall charger package.
Price 99.99 euros, available at www.louis.de
SPEEDS BL-150 – Speeds battery charger for two-wheelers
The BL150 is a microprocessor controlled charger. The 4-phase charging program enables gentle, cyclical battery charging with subsequent maintenance charging. All common two-wheel / quad starter batteries with lead or gel technology can be charged. The device enables digital control with a built-in 12-bit AD microprocessor for the best loading results. Price 45.95 euros, available at www.speeds.eu and www.quad-company.de
MOOSE Utility Optimate 3 – battery rescue, charging, testing and maintenance device An all-in-one device for the simple and effective maintenance of 12V batteries. Diagnoses, saves, loads, tests and maintains optimally. And that automatically. The latest version of the Optimate 3 includes all the user-friendly features while being light and efficient. The OptiMate 3 even saves sulfated batteries and tests them after charging. The maintenance program only delivers what the battery needs, never too much or too little. No risk of overloading and suitable for long-term maintenance. Price € 64, available at www.partseurope.eu
CTEK XS 0.8 – Compact, fully automatic 6-stage charger
The XS 0.8 uses the latest technology to charge smaller batteries in motorcycles and quads, charges between 1.2 and 32Ah and maintenance charging up to 100Ah. It is the smallest 12V charger from CTEK and is the perfect charger for all types of lead-acid batteries with 12V (Wet, MF, AGM, Calcium / Calcium and GEL). The display makes it possible to follow the entire charging process. It is also the lightest device in our comparison. Price 69.95 euros, available at www.quad-teile24.de