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First, take a look at these Points to Remember to get you started out with a full charge, then read on for more highlights:
The battery is the heart of the electrical system
Always start troubleshooting at the battery
Never store a battery in a discharged state
Never add anything except distilled water to a battery
BIGGER IS BETTER! The battery you are replacing does not have to be the same size as the original. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO HAVE EXTRA BATTERY CAPACITY.
Dry Charged Batteries must be charged before using:
Many small batteries are supplied with electrolyte in a separate container. If you have to fill a new battery with electrolyte, YOU MUST PLACE THE BATTERY ON A QUICK CHARGER. The charging system will never bring the battery to a fully charged state. THE BATTERY CAPACITY WILL NEVER BE ABOVE 80%. Pulling the battery out later and trying to charge it will not work. THE BATTERY'S CAPACITY HAS BEEN PERMANENTLY CUT BY 20% AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.
Electrolyte becomes water in a discharged battery
As a battery becomes discharged, the percentage of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte becomes less. The sulfuric acid combines with the lead plates producing lead sulfate. As this happens, the electrolyte solution becomes pure water. A discharged battery will freeze in cold climates, which will destroy the insulators and plates inside it.
Loose Battery Terminal ends can destroy a battery.
Loose or corroded battery cable lugs can cause all sorts of problems. When the starter is engaged the loose or corroded connection can cause a heavy arc which will melt the post right out of the battery. If the batter is gassing, the arc can cause the battery to explode. Never use the temporary type battery ends. These are only good for emergency use and will become corroded in a short period of time. ALWAYS USE A CRIMPED AND SEALED BATTERY CABLE END OR REPLACE THE BATTERY CABLE.
Check the battery for loose connections on the battery post. Clean the battery - top, post, all of it.
Check the water level. If the level is low, refill with distilled water only.
Protect the battery. Spray or wipe on protective sealants.
Charge the battery - batteries discharge while stored.
View the full Tech Tips Here: "Important Battery Facts" with "Battery Testing Procedures" on Page 2, "Battery Isolator Circuits", or view our full list of Tech Tips HERE. You may also be interested in a related blog HERE for Spring Boat TLC Tips.
You can also visit our YouTube Channel for helpful videos!