3 Indications that it’s Time for a New Snowmobile Battery

Like any other piece of equipment, such as a car or motorcycle, your snowmobile’s battery will eventually lose its power. Fortunately, there are indications that you can look for that signal it’s time for a new one. The helpful staff at Northeast Battery is ready to share some tips to keep your snowmobile going strong.

Inspect the Snowmobile’s Battery

If a snowmobile’s battery is losing power, it most likely has a chemical problem. Sometimes, you can spot a unit that’s gone bad just by performing a physical inspection. If you notice a broken terminal, excessive leaks, a bump or bulge in the battery case, discoloration, or a crack in the plastic, it’s time for a new one. If you notice a melting or burning smell, it’s a sign that there is a short circuit that is likely caused by loose or broken terminals. Call Northeast Battery for repairs right away if you notice these problems, as they can make the battery unsafe to operate. Bulges, cracks, or splits in the case can also indicate a safety hazard and render the battery unfit for use.

Read the Voltage

A voltage reading will help you figure out the battery’s charge. A battery’s health can be determine by using the chart below:

  • 100% charge: 12.7-13.2 volts
  • 75% charge: 12.4 volts
  • 50% charge: 12.2 volts
  • 25% charge: 12.0 volts
  • Discharged: 0 – 11.9 volts

Knowing the battery’s voltage output can help you get a sense for its health, and it can also be a clue to what underlying problems exist, if any. If the battery’s voltage reading is 0, it’s a good indication that the component has been fully discharged and may have suffered from a circuit short. If the battery’s voltage does not rise above 10.5 volts after you charge it, a dead cell is likely to blame for the weak voltage. If the charger indicates a full charge but the voltage is under 12.4, the battery’s most likely problem is sulfation, which is a byproduct that naturally occurs when the unit discharges. Recharging the unit will convert the sulfation crystals back into electrolyte, which in turn allows the battery to carry a charge again, but sulfation can prevent the unit from fully recharging if it has sat for a long period of time, which allows sulfate to accumulate and harden on the plates.

Load Testing

Load testing can be done at a repair shop or home. Using a digital voltmeter, you can test the battery’s strength, but only if it is fully charged. A healthy range is 9.5 – 10.5 volts for a 30-second reading. If the voltage drops during that time, there’s likely an underlying problem that requires a mechanic’s assistance to fix.

Contact us today for help in snowmobile battery diagnostics and repairs.

3 Battery Tips to Keep Your Car Running this Winter

Winter is one of the hardest seasons for a car’s battery. Although batteries aren’t intended to last forever, the freezing cold temperatures that often accompany winter can drain your car’s battery even faster. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help your car’s battery continue to run strong all winter long. Northeast Battery offers these three helpful tips to make your battery run as long as possible.

Get Your Battery Checked

Batteries have an average lifespan of 3-5 years. If they are subject to extreme temperatures or harsh conditions, they generally don’t last as long as batteries that operate in more moderate environments. Ideally, you should have your battery checked before winter arrives. Fortunately, a battery check is one of the quickest car maintenance appointments you can make. When you arrive at the repair shop, a technician will check the battery’s strength to see how much life is left. He or she will recommend replacing the battery if it appears that it won’t last through winter.

Go for a Drive

Even though you might want to stay indoors and at home in winter, batteries want to get moving. Each day, aim to drive your vehicle for at least 10 minutes during the winter months. The engine keeps the battery warm as you drive, which in turn prevents it from getting too cold and losing some of its lifespan. The engine also naturally charges the battery as you drive along, which makes it last longer. Starting up your car each day will also give you an indication of its typical start patterns. If it appears to be starting up more slowly than usual, or if you notice that the lights appear dimmer when you turn the car on, the battery may be dying. If you notice those symptoms or other signs that the battery’s health is not optimal, bring your car in to have a mechanic inspect the battery.

Keep the Car in a Garage

If you have access to a garage, try to park your car in it as often as you can. Along with cold winter temperatures, wind chill can zap the battery’s life. If you’re away from home, parking in a covered garage will help preserve the battery’s life. If neither option is available, look for a parking spot in a frequently trafficked area. The passing cars generate heat, which in turn warms the ambient temperatures around your car. Alternatively, try to park your vehicle near a building that has heat or closed to equipment that is heated and running. If you do need to park the car outside, look for a spot that gets sunlight, which will also warm up the car and protect the battery.

If you have questions or concerns about car batteries, don’t hesitate to contact Northeast Battery today.