If the new battery did not need to be charged, no one would ask this question. You should have skipped this article. And no one would have written it. But the question is, as well as the exact answer to it. The new battery needs to be charged. Necessarily. But why, how to do it right, and what will happen if you do not charge it - now you will find out. But let's start with common misconceptions.
Misconception 1. New batteries are charged at the factory
In part, this is true. But from the moment the manufacturer charged the battery to the time you bought it time passes. Month. Six months. And then a year. A brand new battery has been gathering dust all this time somewhere in a warehouse or shelf. No matter how technologically advanced it is, no one has yet solved the problem with self-discharge by 100%. As a result, you buy a new battery, but it is partially discharged.
Misconception 2. New batteries are recharged by the seller
But this is far from a fact. You cannot check the seller. Take him at his word? Well, it's like that. Once in a while, as they say ... In fact, the only thing you can do is pay attention to the factory packaging of the battery. Typically, manufacturers pack them in a heat-shrink film. Closed are, including, and battery terminals. So, if you bought a battery with an intact film, then this clearly indicates that no one after the manufacturer recharged it.
Misconception 3. New batteries - brand new
Remember the last time you bought a new battery did you pay attention to the date of its manufacture? Approximately 70% of motorists do not even think about it. For them, only one thing is important - that the car finally starts. And of the remaining 30% of the “thought out” ones, a good half do not know how to decipher the production date stamped on the case in an unusual form for a person.
To find out this information, special tables are needed. They are freely available on the Internet. But who takes them with a car shop? And if the battery is ordered in an online store? In general, it is unrealistic to choose the most “fresh product”. As a result, the likelihood that you will buy, to put it mildly, a slightly discharged battery is very high.
Misconception 4. The new battery will charge on the car
It will certainly be so, but only on the condition that:
- The battery will be "out of the box" charged at least 70-80%.
- The voltage of the on-board network is not lower than 14.4V.
- After installing the battery, you will drive the car without stopping for at least two hours.
- All consumers that cause a voltage drop - light, stove, air conditioning, music - will be turned off.
- There is no frost outside.
If all these conditions (without exception) are met in your case, it is really not necessary to charge a new battery. But this happens extremely rarely. And all because batteries are usually changed in winter. This is a period when it is impossible to drive for a long time without light and a stove, and the ambient temperature is low.
How to determine the charge level of a new battery?
The easiest and most reliable way is to measure the voltage at the battery terminals with no load. That is, before installation on a car and connection to the port network. A 100 percent charge can be judged if the voltage is 12.7V. If the voltmeter showed 12.6V, then this is already 90%, and so on. Every tenth of a volt is minus 10% of the charge. Naturally, this method cannot be called jewelry accurate. But for a preliminary assessment of the charge of a new battery, it is more than enough.
A very good sign if the voltage measurements at the terminals gave a result in excess of 12.7V. For example, the voltmeter showed 13.1V. Such a voltage indicates that the battery was recently recharged by the seller, and it has not yet passed into a state of rest. Naturally, there is absolutely no point in additionally charging such a battery before installing it on a car.
So why charge a new battery?
Firstly, so that the battery is operated correctly from the very beginning. Secondly, to be safe. You never know what kind of seller you got. Thirdly, if the conditions listed above are not met, pre-charging the battery will increase the chances of not being in a car the next morning that does not want to start again.
How to charge a new battery?
There is nothing easier. If the battery is a serviceable type, then first unscrew the plugs and check the electrolyte level. Rarely, but it happens that you have to add a little distilled water to a new battery. If there is a hydrometer, then it will not be superfluous to check the density of the electrolyte in all cells. The scatter of readings is an additional signal that the battery needs to be charged.
The charging process itself is carried out in exactly the same way as in the case of a used battery. You only need to take into account the fact that the new battery is most likely not discharged to zero, and therefore it should not be charged with high currents. Otherwise, it all depends on what kind of charger you have available.
If the charger provides the ability to limit the charging current, set it within 2-3A. If you are charging with a voltage regulated device, set to 14.4V and charge the new battery until the current drops to 0.1A. With automatic memory, everything is quite simple. Such devices themselves will determine how charged your new battery is, and how best to “finish off” it to 100%.
What happens if you do not charge a new battery?
If a new battery from the very beginning of operation is in a semi-discharged state, then from the first day it will begin, at least, sulfation of lead plates. Later, this will negatively affect the capacity and strength of the starting current. If even by car it cannot recover to 100%, which is very possible in winter, then in a couple of years get ready to buy a new battery.
VIDEO: new car battery fully chrged?
What we have as a result - do I need to charge a new battery? If the voltage at the terminals is below 12.7V, then definitely yes. Also charge a new battery if all of the above conditions cannot be met after installation on the machine. If, by all indications, it is charged out of the box, and this state will be maintained on the car, then you can not charge it. Also, you may need material on why a new battery is discharged.