What is the difference between a Hydrometer and a load tester? Can epsom salt recondition a battery with sulfation? Depending on what is the problem and what tools you have, there are different ways to resolve your problem. Some of these may work for you, some won’t, this video will explain to you the “why” part, i.e. what are conditions under which the solution will work for you and what are the limitations.
We propose various steps for you to diagnose your car battery problems, and suggest alternative ways to test if you don’t have the best tools.
Diagnose car battery problems & find proper fix, everything you need to know about a battery
Note, with my old cars, when I did not have a voltage meter, I used the method of disconnecting the battery when the car was running. But now new cars may have more sensitive devices, and since the voltage may spike without battery connected, it may cause some electronics malfunction. So it is safer if you use a voltage meter (if you have one) instead.
We should also remind you that the charge-discharge cycle will shorten the battery life. When your battery passes hydrometer specific gravity test but fails the load test, you have no other option but to perform the charge-discharge cycle. But if it is something other than this condition, don’t cycle unnecessarily.
When you need to replace your battery, if a bigger battery costs the same as the smaller one, you can choose the bigger one even if it is wrong sized, check out my other video on how to replace with the least cost: https://youtu.be/hymGI0ra7gE
A bigger battery may mean either the dimension is bigger or more importantly the weight is higher which means it has more lead.
Another important factor is the price. Big stores such as Costco, Walmart, Home Depot have high volume, and can sell the same quality items at lower price. The smaller stores auto specialty stores such as AutoZone, O’Reilly, Pepboy may give you better service, but higher price for commodity products.
In addition to the weight, sizes, and prices, you should also pay attention to the number of years warranty the battery provides. Note that free replacement is more valuable than the pro-rated “warranty” which may only take about a few bucks off the price of the new one, if you buy it from them again.
Below some samples prices:
$50 ValuePower brand: 12V car battery with 1-year free replacement warranty.
$94 EverStart Maxx brand: An included five-year warranty (three years free replacement and two years prorated) provides peace of mind.
$89 Exide brand. SPRINTER 12 volts Lead Acid 6-Cell 35 Group Size 550 Cold Cranking Amps (BCI) Auto Battery
2-year free replacement
$99 Exide brand. SPRINTER MAX 12 volts Lead Acid 6-Cell 35 Group Size 650 Cold Cranking Amps (BCI) Auto Battery
3-year free replacement
$79 Interstate brand: three years free replacement.