Posted: Dec 11, 2014
Time To Check Your Battery Voltage!
Remember the Dunkin' Donuts guy, who would drag himself out of bed well before the crack of dawn, regardless of the time of year, to make donuts? He probably needed a reliable battery to get his car started in the wintertime and you do too! Whether you have a year-round daily driver or a seasonally-used car, truck, boat, lawnmower or ATV, now is a good time to check your battery voltage.
While measuring battery voltage isn't the definitive assessment of a battery's health, it can help alert you to potential issues before they become a real problem. Fully-charged, most 12-volt lead-acid batteries (including AGM products like OPTIMA batteries), should measure at least 12.6 volts. In fact, we indicate our REDTOP (and 34M BLUETOP) batteries are fully-charged at about 12.6-12.8 volts, while our YELLOWTOP and BLUETOP (except the 34M) batteries are fully-charged at about 13.0-13.2 volts.
Whenever any lead-acid battery is discharged below 12.4 volts and is allowed to sit in that state, sulfation begins to form in the battery, which can diminish both capacity and lifespan and it is not unheard of at all for batteries to be able to start vehicles, even if their voltage level is well below 12.4 volts. With colder weather ahead of us, now is a great time to measure the voltage on your daily driver's battery and make sure your battery is ready to provide all the cranking amps it can, when you need it. If your battery doesn't measure at least 12.6 volts, fully-recharge the battery with a quality battery charger. If you needed to charge your battery, check it again in another week to ten days, to make sure it is holding voltage and nothing in your vehicle is discharging your battery.
If you have a boat, RV, ATV, lawnmower or other vehicle that only sees use for a few months out of the year, make sure the battery in that vehicle is fully-charged when you put it into storage (preferably with a quality battery maintainer connected). Batteries can actually freeze if exposed to cold enough temperatures and the more deeply a battery is discharged, the more vulnerable it is to freezing.
Whether you have a battery in a daily driver or a summer fun vehicle, make sure the battery in that vehicle is always fully-charged, so it is ready to go whenever you are!