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 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.