Part 2 of 6 – Identifying Starting & Charging Systems
Choosing a Battery to Purchase
So what kind of battery should you purchase? If the battery is used regularly for starting, lighting, and ignition needs, a wet cell battery is a good choice. However, for street rod applications where the vehicle may be stored for extended periods, a deep cycle battery is preferable.
Charging and Maintaining Batteries
One of the problems with AGM and Gel batteries is that some chargers may not work with them. Basically these batteries have such low internal resistance that older chargers react as though the battery is shortened internally and simply won’t charge. Another issue can be that older chargers may overcharge an AGM or Gel battery causing permanent damage.
If you’ve ever jumped into your classic car only to find the battery dead, you understand the necessity of keeping the battery charged. One of the best methods to do that is with the use of a battery maintainer. It will monitor the battery and keep it at full capacity during storage.
Battery Safety Tips
Disconnect the ground first! Batteries pose a hazard due to the hydrogen gas that may be present during and after charging that can be ignited by a spark. For that reason when a battery is removed always disconnect the ground cable first – if a wrench hits the ground, there won’t be a spark because the battery is already grounded. If you remove the positive cable first, the wrench may hit a grounded surface and cause a possible dangerous situation with sparks that can ignite these hydrogen gases. With the ground removed, if the wrench hits metal while removing the positive cable there won’t be a spark because there isn’t a complete circuit with the ground removed.
How To Use Jumper Cables Properly
When connecting jumpers, first connect the positive cable on both batteries. Connect the second cable to the negative on the good battery, and then make the final connection away from the dead battery on a good metal ground. By doing this any spark created will be away from the battery and any explosive hydrogen fumes.
Next Week: Identifying Starting & Charging Systems – Part 3 of 6