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Warranty Claim Procedure

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· Check batteries for obvious damage such as cracked or broken cases, terminal damage or broken electrical leads.
· Check that the battery is secure in its compartment.  Tighten hold-down clamps if necessary.
· Check that the alternator drive belt is not loose and tighten if necessary.
· Check the vehicle charging system by starting the engine and adjust the engine revs to approximately half the normal throttle opening, then measure the battery voltage after is has stabilised.
· It should read between 14.1 and 14.4 volts to maintain the battery correctly.  If it reads less than 14.0 volts or more than 14.5 volts the regulator is faulty and will cause battery failure in time due to improper charging.  An auto electrician is needed to rectify this problem.
· Make sure that the top of the battery is clean.  Wash with a diluted solution of bicarbonate of soda and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
· Make sure the battery terminals and cable connections are clean and tight.  Coat terminals with Vaseline or petroleum jelly to stop corrosion.
· If the battery has removable vent caps, check the specific gravity of each cell with a hydrometer.  A good battery should have a specific gravity of 1240 or higher in all cells. Ifs the specific gravity is even in all cells but reads below 1220 the battery is probably serviceable but needs to be recharged.  If one or two cells are significantly lower in specific gravity reading than the others, the battery is suspect and could fail at any time.  Recharge the battery and carry out a load test to verify the battery’s condition.
· If the electrolyte level is low, top up each cell with distilled or deionised water to approximately 12mm above the top of the plates, then charge the battery.
· Check the open circuit of the battery with an accurate digital voltmeter.  Conventional low maintenance batteries should read 12.4 volts or higher and sealed maintenance free batteries should read 12.5 volts or higher.  If the reading is below these cut-off levels, the battery needs to be charged and then load tested to confirm whether it is faulty or not.
· Charge rates for various battery types are available from the manufacturer or your nearest battery service agent.
· Carry out load test to see if the battery is serviceable.

HRD testers are available as either fixed or variable load testers.  Operating instructions and procedures may vary from brand to brand.  The following procedures are indicative only.  When available, the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed.

Using a fixed load HRD tester
· Attach tester clamps to battery terminals in correct polarity (usually red to positive [+ve] and black to negative [-ve] ).
· Set selector switches on load tester to appropriate battery range.
· Apply load test for 10 seconds.
· Read load tester.
· If voltage is at or above the minimum voltage specified by the tester manufacturer then the battery is not faulty, and should be recharged and returned to service.
· If the voltage on load is below the minimum voltage specified by the tester manufacturer the battery is fault and should be replaced.

Using a variable load HRD tester
· Attach tester to battery terminals (usually red to positive [+ve] and black to negative [-ve] ).
· Set selector on load tester to 50% SAE cranking current or 3 times the 20 hour rate if SAE current is not known.
· Apply load test for 10 seconds.
· Read load tester.
· If the voltage is at or above 9.6 volts, then the batter is not faulty, should be recharged and returned to service.
· If the voltage on load is 9.5 volts or below, the battery is faulty and should be replaced.
Recommended Equipment

Battery Testers
For repeated operation:
 DURST 2003F
 6V/12V/24V, heavy duty carbon pile resistor, fan cooled, current up to 500 Amps
 DURST 3006
 6V/12V/24V, heavy duty carbon pile resistor, fan cooled, current up to 1000 Amps
 CHRISTIE CT800
 6V/12V, heavy duty carbon pile resistor, fan cooled, current up to 800 Amps
 For individual operation (not repeated tests).
 CHRISTIE BT900
 Fixed load tester 300 Amps for testing 12 volt batteries up to 900 CCA
 (Note: this machine cannot test 6 volt batteries).

Digital Voltmeters
Wattmaster KD567

Hydrometer
Use a good quality unit

 

This article is found in the Virtual mechanic CD Rom
You can download it for the price of a latte, but you will learn not to buy a lemon
By Darren Gow-Brown, Melbourne Australia ©2009

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