Frequently Asked Questions
Our frequently asked questions page is an ever growing resource for you, the customer. So, if you're question isn't answered here, email us and we'll not only get you the correct information, we'll add you question to FAQ for future reference.
- What makes up a battery and what type do I need?
There are a few different designs when it comes to batteries, but the big three are Flooded, Gel Cell, and AGM. These are all versions of the lead acid battery. Flooded comes in two styles: serviceable and maintenance-free. Both are filled with electrolytes. The downside of a flooded battery is they have a tendency to leak if they are involved in an accident or get turned the wrong way.
AGM and GelCellbatteries are becoming more common, but are still considered a specialty battery and will typically cost more. However, what you give up with the cost you gain back in increased safety. They store extremely well and don’t tend to sulfate or degrade as easily as a flooded battery. There’s little chance of a hydrogen gas explosion or corrosion when using these batteries.
- When do I need: 16-volt or 12-Volt?
The simple fact of the matter is that 16 volts provides a 4 volt cushion to the electrical system over a 12 volt system. Instead of a full charge open circuit of 12.6 (2.1 volts per cell times 6), the 16 volt battery
offers a full charge voltage of 16.8 (2.1 volts per cell times 8). A discharged battery with a specific gravity of 1.175 produces around 1.75 volts per cell. This means that even when totally discharged, a 16
volt battery will produce 14 volts as opposed to a 12 volt discharged battery producing only 10.5 volts. The voltage of a 16 volt battery will exceed the minimum recommended voltages of a racing ignition
even when it is totally discharged! 16V works better than 12V in any race application, whether it is dragracing or dirtrack, when you are not running an alternator on the vehicle.
12V is more recommended for street use when an alternator is being used.
- What does AGM mean?
AGM stands for Absorbent Glass-Mat. The AGM battery is sealed and poses no risk of acid leakage. This allows for teams to mount the battery whichever direction is best and easiest for them without worries of the battery leaking.
- My battery is dead, can it be saved and make it one more week?
Think twice before you recycle a battery that you think is bad. That very same battery might be able to be saved. In many cases, AGM batteries that are assumed to be bad may actually be perfectly fine, just deeply discharged.
To recover an AGM battery it is suggested to slowly trickle charge(1.5-2amp) the battery up to around 10.5V before trying to charge the battery with a 25amp charger. Starting at 25amps could cause the battery to overheat and swell.
- How do I properly charge my battery?
Remember, newer chargers keep up with battery technology. Many newer battery chargers, or Smart Chargers, have microprocessors that collect information from the battery and adjust the current and voltage accordingly. But if you can’t afford a new charger, low and slow is best. A low-amp charger (1 to 15 amps) is always the best choice for charging any lead acid battery. It’s quicker to charge at higher amperage, but it also generates a lot of heat, which reduces the life of a battery, just like the raging heat of summer.
- If my vehicle is in storage or isn’t used everyday, how do I store the battery?
All batteries gradually lose their charge when stored over long periods of time. However, AGM batteries lose their charge much more slowly. This helps to prevent the battery from becoming overly discharged during storage, but it won’t completely protect it from damage. You could take the battery out of the car and store it over the winter but first check the voltage to ensure the battery has a full charge. If it’s not fully charged, give it a boost prior to storage.
Then, you can either loosen the negative terminal and disconnect it from the battery, or take the battery out of the vehicle. Either way, all the electrical draw on the battery will cease and your battery will be protected. In spring, the battery will have drained some but should still have enough power to start your vehicle. Don’t leave it up to the alternator to fully recharge the battery though; that’s not what it’s for. Instead, use a battery charger to top it off. You’ll extend the life of the battery by doing this and it never hurts to just put the battery on a maintainer for the entire time the battery / vehicle is being stored.
- Can I charge my battery at the racetrack?
I would hope you would. This could help eliminate problems at the track. But there are some circumstances that would prevent you from charging the battery in the pits. If you are “bumping” the engine over to adjust the valves, this will cause the charger to surge and can blow out the circuit board in the charger. The charger is constantly sensing the voltage and adjusting it while it charges. When you turn the engine over, this causes the voltage in the battery to drop very quickly, which will in turn signal the charger to increase the amperage immediately and could harm the charger. Also, if you’re warming up the engine, this could lead to the same type of damage from bumping the engine over.
Most battery problems result from someone not taking the time to properly maintain the battery. Yes, batteries will eventually die on you, but if you monitor your charge, and keep a close eye on what is happening to them you can avoid these common and basic problems. And when that battery does finally give up, make sure that you dispose of it properly. Millions of batteries end up in landfills every year, leaching toxic chemicals into the environment. County recycling centers will happily take your dead battery for free, and auto parts retailers will take your old battery when you buy a new one.