Deep cycle batteries are a type of battery that’s used to power things like vehicles, homes, and businesses for long periods. These batteries are also referred to as sealed lead-acid batteries because the electrolyte offers a degree of protection from the outside world. This means you can store your car in an outdoor garage without losing power or moisture, although it may lose some strength. Deep cycle batteries are designed for continuous use over weeks, months, and even years. However, if you find that your battery isn’t lasting its entire lifetime, you may need to upgrade it sooner rather than later.
Below are some ways to tell if your battery needs an upgrade.
There’s a Buildup on the Terminal Ends
If the terminals on your battery have a buildup of corrosion, it is time to get a new one. Once you charge a lithium ion deep cycle battery, it should be kept clean. The acid inside the battery will corrode any metal it comes into contact with. If the terminals are corroded or the posts are loose, your battery will not deliver electricity as efficiently as it once did. You can clean them with a wire brush and distilled water. However, you should avoid using harsh solvents, such as gas or brake cleaner, as they may damage the terminals.
The Batteries Not Being Fully Charged When Stored
If you’ve ever left your batteries sitting on a shelf for an extended period, you’ve probably noticed that they only charge halfway once you plug them in. That’s because the battery has lost some of its charges when you’ve been unplugging it and not using it. Once that happens, your battery can’t be charged as well. This is a sign that you need to get a new battery. If your battery is charged when you put it in storage, it’s not receiving the full charge it needs, so it’s more likely to fail while you’re not using it.
You’re Getting Multiple Failure Warnings
If your battery is constantly failing, the chances are that it needs an upgrade. If you get multiple failure warnings on your battery, it’s either not being fully charged or not strong enough to last. You can only charge a battery so many times before it no longer receives the same charge each time.
Extended Charging Time
You don’t want to end up with a battery that takes forever to charge up. If it’s taking more to charge, you may want to look at upgrading to a new one. Ideally, you should be able to charge it in three to six hours. If your battery is taking longer than that, it’s either not getting enough current or not going to charge appropriately.
You Keep Hearing Noise From the Battery
The sound of your deep cycle battery making a buzzing or humming noise is a clear sign that it’s not performing at its optimum level. Dirty battery terminals can cause the excessive voltage to flow through the wires and contribute to noise. Charge the battery as frequently as possible. Excessive charging can lead to a buildup of fine crystals on the battery’s plates that can lead to noise.
The Appearance of Fluid On the Top of the Battery
This is a sign that your deep cycle battery is low on power. The electrolyte inside the battery should be evenly distributed between the storm plates, with no signs of leakage. If you notice that the electrolyte appears to be spilling out of the battery or leaking down the sides, the battery is getting low on power and may need to be replaced.
Dry Cell Discoloration
Deep cycle batteries are expected to look a little cruddy after prolonged use. However, if the battery is completely dried out, you will see a change in the color of the electrolyte. Dry cell discoloration can signify low electrolyte and high-temperature conditions damaging the battery. Dry cell discoloration can also be a sign of a weak battery. If the electrolyte level is down, you should be able to see the liquid under the plates. If the electrolyte turns clear, the battery is weak, and you should consider upgrading.
Check Voltage Between Cells
If you own a deep cycle battery, you should regularly check the voltage between each cell. A healthy battery’s voltage will be reasonably identical between cells. If one cell reads a few volts lower than the other cells, this indicates a potential weak point in the system.
Deep cycle batteries are intended to be used, charged, and used again. Once they start to break down, they need to be replaced. It’s important to know when to replace your battery, so you don’t have to wait until your old one is completely worn down.