CALL US: 0800 322 783  |   208 Lichfield Street, Christchurch, NZ
FAQ's

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What is a Cranking Amp? (CCA)

Cranking Amps determine how much power you have to start your car in most climates. They are the number of amperes a lead-acid battery at 0 degrees Celsius can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12 volt battery).


What is reserve capacity?

This is the batteries ability to sustain a minimum vehicle electrical load in the event of a charging system failure. Under the worst conditions, (for example, winter driving at night) this minimum could require current for ignition, low-beam headlamps, windshield wipers and defroster whilst driving at low speed.


What is the correct size battery for my car?

To find this out, consult the owner's manual for your car first. This should tell you proper size and cranking amps. You can also look up the make, model and year of your car on a battery application guide to determine the battery size to suit your vehicle. While using a battery with a higher capacity is recommended for older cars to improve starting, never use a battery with a lower capacity rating.


How does excessive cold affect my battery?

Automobiles demand more from a battery in freezing temperatures as the oil in the motor thickens and makes the engine harder to crank. Extreme cold reduces the speed at which a chemical reaction can occur, while increasing electrolyte resistance. Batteries must be kept at full charge during extremely cold periods.


How does heat affect my battery?

Heat is the no.1 killer of a battery. Although over the short term it increases the performance of the battery, over the long term battery life is drastically reduced.


How do I maintain my battery?

Check the battery terminals for signs of corrosion - the terminals and the attached cables need to be cleaned to ensure a good connection and proper starting. Removing any oil and dirt from the battery casing also reduces the risk of short circuiting.


What is the proper way to charge my battery?

Read and follow all warning labels prior to charging a battery, as a battery can generate explosive gasses. These instructions vary by manufacturer, and it is important to follow them to ensure the battery is returned to full charge. To ensure the best results, recharge the battery as soon as it has discharged. To charge an average fully-discharged battery using a 10-amp automotive charger, it will take approximately 8-10 hours at 80 degrees Fahrenheit to reach full charge. Warning: Once a battery has been fully charged, it should be disconnected from the charger immediately, as continuing to charge will severely damage the internal plates and shorten battery life.


When should I replace my battery?

Your battery may need replacement if you experience any of the following:

  • Battery loses power in cold or extended starts and/or
  • Turnover of the starting motor is slow or interrupted and/or
  • Battery discharge light on the vehicle instrument panel is lit.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should have your battery and/or electrical system checked.


Are automobile batteries recyclable?

Yes they are 95% recyclable. We make a conscious effort to collect old batteries and ensure they are safely disposed of to keep NZ clean and green.


What is the proper way to store an automobile battery?

When storing an automobile battery, it is important to make sure it is at a full charge and the electrolyte level is full. A battery stored in a discharged state is susceptible to freezing sulfation and an increased rate of further discharge. The battery should be placed in a cool dry area, the cooler the better without going below 0 Celsius, that is well ventilated and out of reach of children and pets. If the OCV (Open Circuit Voltage) drops below 12.4 volts recharge.


How often should I replace my battery?

There are a number of factors to consider when determining how often a battery needs to be replaced. These include vehicle type, region or climate, and driving habits. If your current battery performance is unsatisfactory, you may need to upgrade your battery to suit your particular situation and needs.

 


What are the causes of battery failure?

The most harmful elements to an automobile battery are heat and vibration. However, there are numerous other factors that can cause battery failure, such as: corroded cables and terminals, lack of electrolyte maintenance, sulfation, alternator/regulator malfunction, and electric shorts.


How does a charging system work?

A car charging system is comprised of three major components.

  • Alternator – the mechanical device driven by one of the engine belts. It produces a steady flow of electrical current while the engine is running.
     
  • Voltage regulator – monitors the state-of-charge in the battery to determine when and if more current should flow from the alternator into the battery to replace used electricity. When the battery is at full capacity, the regulator shuts off the flow of current from the alternator.
     
  • Battery - an electrical reservoir used to store current until it is needed to power the engines starter motor. It provides sufficient electrical power, so the engine can reach starting RPMs. Once the engine is running, the electrical demand is supplied by the alternator alone to the coil, which continues to supply fire to the spark plugs. 



A simple analogy for a charging system is to compare it to a garden hose with a spray nozzle and a bucket/receptacle. Water flows through a garden hose as does the electrical current to the alternator. As long as the water/current is flowing, the hose/alternator is producing electrical current to charge the battery. 

 

The regulator, compared to the spray nozzle at the end of the hose, determines the amount of the electrical current released into the battery. The battery becomes the bucket/receptacle already filled with water. When water is removed from the bucket, the spray nozzle/regulator will open to allow water/electrical current to refill the bucket, or recharge the battery. Once the battery is completely recharged, the regulator will shut off the flow.


How do I jump start my battery?

When jump starting a car it is important to make sure you shield your eyes and face from the battery at all times and follow these steps:

 

  • Connect the positive [+] cable to positive post of discharged battery.
  • Connect other end of the same cable to same marked post (positive).
  • Connect second cable (negative [-] ) to other post of booster battery.
  • Make the final connection on the engine block of the stalled vehicle away from the batter. Stand back.
  • Start vehicle and remove cables in reverse order.


Are deep cycle batteries constructed differently?

Yes! Deep cycle batteries are specially designed with denser active material and thicker plates to withstand deep discharge-recharge service. They are also reinforced by envelope and glass mat separators to reduce shedding of the active material and damage from the jolting vibration of a boat on choppy water.

 

Car batteries, on the other hand, use porous active material and thin plates so that high-amp energy can be quickly delivered for maximum starting power. Repeated cycling weakens the positive plates and makes the active material shed from the grids. Thus, in repeated deep discharge-recharge applications, the capacity of the car battery drops below desired levels in about 50 cycles. They are not built to withstand the heavy buffeting experienced by marine batteries. They are simply designed to do a different job.

 

A starting Battery can be likened to a “sprinter” and a deep cycle battery more like a “marathon” runner.


What are Deep Cycle Batteries?

These batteries are designed to provide "deep cycle" power - making them very different from ordinary car batteries. Starting a car requires a high amount of energy for a short period of time (about 5 seconds). Only a small amount of the battery's capacity is used. Once the engine starts running, the battery is recharged quickly by the alternator, which carries the basic electrical load.

 

On the other hand, deep cycle batteries supply a relatively low amount of current for a long period of time. They are specially designed to power electric trolling motors and other electrical accessories in boats and RVs. Unlike ordinary car starting batteries, they can be run down and recharged (deep cycled) repeatedly with minimum loss of capacity.

 

When a car starting battery is deep cycled, it loses capacity very rapidly and in some cases has lost its useful capacity in 50 cycles (discharges and recharges) or less. These limitations make car batteries a poor investment when used for marine and RV deep cycle applications. A single deep cycle marine/RV battery will outlast 2-4 car batteries.


Faast Fitt Christchurch Call 0800 322 783

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208 Lichfield Street
          Christchurch, New Zealand

0800 322 783

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