[Fabio M Costa] Battery testers and starting aids – Apply and keep your battery in top condition!

Your car will not start because of a dead battery? We will give you tips!

Has it already happened to you? You step out the door, walk to the car and press the central locking, and nothing happens? At first, you still think that your best car batteries has run out and do your good spirits open the car with the key. You get in the car and notice that the interior also has not been dropped. Will it not? You put the key in the ignition, turn him around and nothing happens! Battery empty! In most cases, this is because you unknowingly let something like the radio or lights.

It can also happen that you have to be the just battery is broken and replaced. This is particularly extreme (weather) conditions, such as a severe winter. There are also battery packs which gradually deflated and can not be recharged more maximum. This causes problems especially in diesel engines because they have peak current necessary to start at the first time. We try to give you helpful tips on how to avoid an empty battery and what to do if you still need to be fast at work.

Tip 1: Avoid an empty battery with a battery tester

Knowledge is power, and prevention is better than cure! With a battery tester can check the status of your battery, so you can intervene before it is too late. Today there are battery testers in all price ranges, from a few tens to hundreds of euros. What you need, you decide for yourself.

The cheaper versions often come in the form of cigarette lighter plug. These measure the battery voltage when the ignition is switched on, simple! The meter about 12.7 volts then your batteries full and you have no problems. Is the voltage below 12.5 volts then you have to worry. You’ll probably leave something like an interior light. Whether your battery is not charging more for 100% and needs to be replaced. Always make sure your engine is turned off once you do a reading. If the engine is turned on, the meter anyway a voltage of about 14 volts because the alternator charges the battery when running the motor.

With the more expensive battery testers can get a complete analysis (starting power, cold start current, alternator test, etc.) making your battery, but this is not profitable for private use. These testers are particularly interesting for companies because you can also check the truck’s battery.

Another way to ensure that you are faced with an empty battery is testing the acidity of your battery acid. This can be done easily with a battery tester. Watch out, because you’re dealing with corrosive acid.
Again, this works very directly. You turn one of the caps from the battery and plug the meter into the acid of the battery. Then squeeze the suction ball and the meter will tell you by color in what state is your battery. Red means charging directly, blue is half full and yellow in order.

Tip 2: Do you have a dead battery? Use jumper cables or a starting aid

It’s probably happened to you once; you want to drive to work, but the car will not start. Shit, a dead battery? What now? Well, there are two options:

  • You grab the jumper cables in your trunk and start your car using the car of the neighbor.
  • You use a starting aid (jump starter) to boost your battery.

The significant advantage of jumper cables is that they are relatively inexpensive. For two bucks you already have a good set of wires. The downside is that you always need an extra car to talk to get your battery. With a starting aid that is not necessary, so this also slightly more pricey. The big advantage is that you are not dependent on a 2nd car.

If you start a car using jumper cables

Set the 2nd car nearby and check on which side of the 2nd session of the battery. This i.v.m. the length of the jumper cables. Run the engine of the 2nd car and grab the red jump lead. Put the clamp of the red jumper cable to the + of the 2nd car then the + of your dead battery. If you can not find the plus on the battery, you can recognize a red mark on cables or batteries.

Now do the same now with the black jumper wire. First, set the clamp to the negative terminal of the 2nd car battery and then to the negative terminal on the dead battery. Note: this may cause a spark, try to do one good.
Wait a few minutes to start the dead battery. Start him and then let the engine run for a few moments to connect jumper cables.

Remove the clip of the red booster cable which is on the charged battery; then you get the red terminal of the battery. Repeat step 5, but for the black jumper wire. Now you can start the car again, but make sure you’re not slow to turn. Then you will do over again throughout the tune, and no one is waiting. It takes half an hour to an hour before you can start again independently of the battery. Do not forget this!

If you start a car with a starting aid/jump starter

A starting aid is also called a mobile battery. This just provides enough power to start your (almost empty) battery. The big advantage is that you do not need an extra car, and you do not depend on others. The connection operates in the same way as for jumper cables as we have described above. Note here also good that you put the clamps on the right poles. A starting aid often has a built-in compressor, an LED lamp, USB and a 12V socket. You can also inflate your tires, and you can see in the dark what you’re doing. With the USB connection, you can even charge your smartphone. Handy!

Where have you to be careful when buying jumper cables or a starting aid?

The capacity of a car battery depends on upon the size of the engine, and whether it is a diesel or petrol engine. The latter is of significant influence on the thickness of the jumper cables and the capacity of your starting aid. A diesel engine needs a lot more power than a gasoline engine. Namely, a diesel engine starts with a glow plug and an engine with a spark plug. A glow plug consists of small incandescent spirals, but these consume, like an electric heater, a lot of power. For a diesel engine, you can use a wire thickness of from 25 mm2, depending on the size of the engine and is therefore of your battery. Tip: check the car battery capacity and purchase on that basis starting cables.

For a start aid course applies the same. Again, it is the power to be supplied to initiate the car or truck. It is important that you not only pay attention to the thickness of the cables, but also on the capacity of the starting aid. The amps of starting aids range from 8 up to 1,500 amperes. Before purchasing a starting aid, first, check your battery, so you know which one to buy.