Having a vehicle that relies on a battery to start requires that the battery must be in top condition at all times for easy starting. However, there are instances where the battery does not perform as it is supposed to, making starting a vehicle a hard task.
Having a vehicle that relies on a battery to start requires that the battery must be in top condition at all times for easy starting. However, there are instances where the battery does not perform as it is supposed to, making starting a vehicle a hard task. A faulty battery, faulty charging system, faulty alternator and other problems will certainly make it impossible for a vehicle to start. Such a scenario necessitates a vehicle to be jumpstarted, which you can do through various ways including using jumper cables with another battery.
There are instances where your vehicle’s battery is dead, meaning that it cannot charge at all even if it is charged using another battery. Just before you conclude that you have a dead battery, it is very important to make sure that it is indeed dead. You can do this in two ways:
Ø Using a charger – With the vehicle’s engine switched off, remove the dead battery (Har din bil et dødt batteri) and place it at an appropriate location from where you can work on it freely. Your first task should be to ensure that the battery terminals are clean. Note that the white powder that usually forms between a terminal and attached cable can prevent current from flowing to the starter or prevent power produced by the alternator from reaching the battery for re-charging purposes.
The best way to clean the terminals is to make use of a wet rag. Using baking soda together with a rag provides perfect cleaning. Proceed to connect the charger cables with the cables corresponding to each other. Give the dead battery some time to charge. If your battery has a charging indicator, the indicator will show “green” when charging is complete. Remove the charger and give the battery some time before measuring the voltage using a multimeter. A fully charged battery will normally show a reading of 12.6 volts. A reading below this will be a clear indication that the battery loses current because of some fault within. One thing to note is that using a powerful charger can seriously damage your battery. You therefore need to use a standard charger.
Ø Using a Voltmeter – With the dead battery still attached to the vehicle, get the vehicle’s engine in any way that you can. Set the Voltmeter on the DC voltage range. Attaching Voltmeter probes to the terminals should yield a volt reading of 14 volts or slightly above. A reading below this is an indication that the vehicle’s charging system is faulty. You need to get the alternator checked and repaired if necessary.
Regardless of which type of method you use in determining where the problem lies, it is very important that you take safety precautions, especially when your vehicle’s engine is running. Although the current within is relatively minimal and cannot shock you, a dangerous current can flow and actually give you shock. It is therefore important to cover the terminals when testing. Another important thing you need to watch out for is the engine’s moving parts. Such parts can seriously hurt you if you do not take necessary precautions.