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Why batteries fail—and how to keep them running longer.
Using a standard car battery could mean risking your productivity this harvest. But to understand the importance of premium batteries, it’s important to understand why they fail in the first place:
- Vibration. Vibration is the number-one killer of batteries—and it’s particularly detrimental in the tough, off-road conditions your equipment endures. Extended and repeated heavy vibration can crack a battery’s welds and plates, causing an electrical short.
- Temperature. When it’s hot, batteries discharge more and sulfation is more likely to occur. In cold temperatures, the chemical process slows within the batteries, restricting power production when it is needed most.
- Equipment use habits and sulfation. When a battery discharges, sulfate from the electrolyte combines with lead to create lead sulfate. This chemical reaction provides a battery’s power. When a battery recharges, the process is reversed. If a battery is not recharged for more than a few weeks, the lead sulfate hardens on the battery’s plates, which can shorten battery life over time. Frequent starts and stops mean that a battery is never given the chance to fully recharge.
- Batteries not built for your equipment. Your equipment’s starting and charging system can affect battery life, so take this into consideration when choosing a battery.
Batteries from your Case IH dealer were chosen specifically with your equipment in mind—and built to take a beating in the fields. Here are some tips to keep them in tip-top shape:
- Keeping your batteries at a full state of charge during dormant periods is the key to fighting sulfation.
- Starting your equipment and letting it run for 30 minutes does not adequately recharge a discharged battery. The best way to keep your battery fresh is to disconnect the negative cable and use a quality battery charger/maintainer that will keep your battery at a full charge.
- When your equipment is in use, your battery requires maintenance: Over time, a hybrid alloy battery will lose water from gassing. Adding distilled water back into your battery will extend its life.
- If you can’t commit to adding water during the season, a maintenance-free battery may be a better option. A maintenance-free battery will also lose water over time, but not as much.