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Andy’s new gadget for testing car batteries! - A Solar BA7 Battery and System Tester for 12 volt batteries

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Yes, I have been experiencing car troubles again, well to be honest, the issue has never really gone away, and I’ve done nothing about it, other than keep charging my car battery!

The Problem

The issue has been, if I do not use my car for 24 hours, when starting the car, it does not turn over. So I have to ensure, I start and run my car 7 days a week. Lately, however this period of time, has been decreasing to less than 10 hours, so if I park up overnight, the car will not start the next morning.

The Temporary Solution

If I connect the battery to a battery charger, and charge for less than 5 minutes, it allows me to start the car. This is odd, because the battery is not going to charge much in 5 minutes.

This temporary solution to the issue, was becoming problematic, and delaying me getting off to work in the morning, unrolling the 50m extension lead, plugging in the battery charger, charging the battery, driving to work, and the car was always able to start after parking up in the car park, until Tuesday, when it refused to start, requiring me to get a jump start, with my special jump leads from my Boss! (I think Lindsey was probably getting p***** off as well, because my car is parked behind hers, on the drive!)

Discuss with “The Specialist”

I spoke to Paul from JLB Electronics, pop by their website, and purchase some electronics bits and bobs… about the issue with my car, I took some voltage readings with a voltmeter, before and after charging, and current draw from the battery at idle. The voltage of the battery was 12.4/12.5 volts, and current draw was 0.77A at idle (which could be high!), but not really enough to flatten a car battery overnight.

The Fix

So I decided to purchase a Solar BA7 Battery and System Tester for 12 volt batteries from Amazon.co.uk, this is not just a voltmeter, which can test starting minimum and maximum voltages, battery under load, battery at idle, to check your alternator is working correctly, but also checks the car battery conductance, and compares with the stated value on the battery e.g. the CCA (cold cranking amperes - this is the current which can be delivered for 30 seconds), the value is stamped on the battery!

Amazon parcel

Amazon parcel

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

As I had suspected the battery was at fault, I also purchased a new battery from Halfords - a Yuasa YBX5096, this brand in the UK, commonly associated with batteries in alarms, but very common in Japan and Japanese cars!

Old Car battery CCA 300 - FAIL

Old Car battery CCA 300 - FAIL

After connecting the tester, the CCA value tested is 300, the battery has a stated CCA of 680, so therefore it’s a fail, you cannot make out the numbers on the LED, but the fail light is lit! So it was nice to technically know, after testing the battery is duff!

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

Checking the new Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - it passes with a CCA value of 900, and 860. So good to know, my new battery is perfect!

So, before I removed the old battery, I tested, starting minimum and maximum voltages, and charging at idle and load and both these tests pass, so clearly it points to a duff battery, so it was quickly removed and changed.

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New battery installed and connected…..sorry about the fuzzy photograph, excited!!!)

New battery installed....

New battery installed....

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