Questions/réponses sur les produits Steco powersports

Questions / Answers

How should a battery be maintained?

Good battery maintenance should include the following:

  1. Always keep the acid level between Lower and Upper lines on front side of the container (conventional type batteries).
  2. Do not let the battery stand in a discharged condition.
  3. Charge battery once a month.
  4. When motorcycle is stored over 30 days, plug in an automatic battery charger to maintain a proper storage charge.
  5. Keep battery top clean, dry and free of dirt.
  6. Clean battery terminals to prevent corrosion. Inspect vent tube, ensuring that it is not bent, twisted or clogged.
  7. Protect the battery from strong impacts or shocks.
What can cause a new battery to fail soon after installation?

If a new battery becomes unserviceable within a few days or weeks after its installation it may be due one or more of the following reasons:

  1. A faulty charging system.
  2. A short circuit in the electrical system.
  3. Battery terminals are dirty or not properly connected.
  4. Excessive ignition off drains or high parasitic drains.
  5. Electrical capacity of the battery is insufficient for size of the vehicle.
  6. The battery has been inadequately activated, dissipating its strength from the outset.
  7. The battery, after being filled with acid has been left too long without initial charging, and has been allowed to become sulfated.
Sometimes a battery does not hold a charge. Why?

When a battery is in an excessively discharged state, it does not readily accept a standard charge. The battery may appear to be accepting a charge, but charging is occurring only at the surface of the plates.

With an AGM (sealed lead-acid) battery, higher voltage is required to get the job done. Charge the battery using a charger that can consistently supply between 18 and 20 volts. Typically a charger like this is only found in the service department of a motorcycle shop. The service technician should test the battery prior to charging, and again after charging is complete. Charge time will vary based on how bad the battery is discharged. Final testing will tell you if the battery has been recovered, and to what extent.

With a conventional (flooded) lead-acid battery, slightly higher than normal charging amps are required to recover the battery from an excessively discharged state. This higher rate could be up to 10 amps, but no more. The battery may get warm during charging, but this is a good sign. It means the battery is charging. Make sure the battery's water level is up to the top line before charging, and monitor throughout the charging process to make sure no additional water is lost. If so, replace water as needed. If the battery still does not hold a charge after going through these procedures, best bet is to purchase a new battery. In order to ensure that the new battery does not suffer the same fate, make sure battery is charged properly and frequently enough to keep it from draining to an excessively discharged state. Charging once a month is recommended in most cases. More frequent charging may be required on today's vehicles that tend to have a constant electrical drain. Typically, electrical drain can come from a radio, clock, alarm system, or other computer memory.

How do you determine whether a battery has been charged?

The following characteristics will tell you if a battery has been properly charged:

  1. The specific gravity of the acid is over 1.275 (conventional type batteries only).
  2. Maximum voltage output across battery terminals can be maintained at constant level for two hours.
  3. Open circuit voltage is stablilized @12.7v or higher for 12v batteries, @ 6.3v or higher for 6 volt batteries.
What is the normal charge rate for a battery?

Naturally, batteries of different capacities require different charge rates. Generally, a battery should be charged at a slow charge rate of 1/10 its given 10h. capacity.

What is sulfation?

Discoloration of plates with white lead sulfate crystalline deposits may occur when the battery has been left for a considerable time in a discharged condition. It can also occur as a result of the plates being exposed to air due to low electrolyte level, or when a new battery is filled with acid and stored without being charged.

This phenomenon is called sulfation. Once plates have been sulfated, the activity of the affected area is permanently impaired, and the battery may not be restored to its original capacity.

Why do the winter months seem to bring more battery problems?

The main reason is that batteries have to work so much harder in cold weather. Engine oil is thick, so engine cranking effort is much higher. Also, a battery's charging efficiency decreases in cold temperatures. In addition, gasoline does not vaporize as readily in the cold, which means that even more battery cranking effort is required.

What is the purpose of the battery exhaust vent tube?

When a battery is charged and discharged, water contained in the electrolyte is decomposed, generating hydrogen and oxygen gases. These gases are vented out of the battery through the exhaust vent tube to prevent potentially damaging high pressure gas accumulation. Every exhaust tube comes with a small slit at each end. The reason for this slit is to release the gas, in the event that the bottom of the tube gets clogged by road debris.

For this reason, it is most important to make sure the slit at the top near the battery is functioning properly. As side note, always be sure to remove the small red sealed tube when installing the battery. Never put this red tube back on to the battery after it is activated. Gases built up in a battery that is not allowed to vent can cause serious damage, and possible injury, if the battery burst.

Why should you charge your battery once a month?

When not in use, a battery discharges on a daily basis sometimes up to 0.5-1%. This rate of discharge increases when the climate is warm. To make up for this loss from disuse, a boosting charge should be given once a month.

How do I test my 12 Volt battery and charging system?

Whenever handling your powersports battery, make sure you wear eye protection and take the appropriate safety precautions associated with handling lead acid batteries. Following are three tests you can perform on your battery and charging system.

Static Battery Voltage Test:

  • Prior to conducting this test, make sure the battery has not been recently charged. You must wait at least one hour after charging your battery to conduct this test.
  • Adjust voltmeter to DC volts (20 volt range).
  • Place voltmeter leads to the battery terminals. (positive to positive and negative to negative)
  • Read voltage and refer to the chart below :

Methods of Checking Battery Condition

State of chargeDigital Voltmeter
100% Charged w/Sulfate Stop 12.80V
100% Charged 12.60V
75% Charged 12.40V
50% Charged 12.10V
25% Charged 11.90V
0% Charged Less than 11.80V
Starting Load Test:
  • Adjust voltmeter to DC volts (20 volt range).
  • Place voltmeter leads to the battery terminals. (positive to positive and negative to negative)
  • Watch the voltmeter as you start your motorcycle.
  • If the voltage drops below 9.5 volts, the battery has very low capacity and should be replaced.
Charging System Test :
  • Adjust voltmeter to DC volts (20 volt range).
  • Place voltmeter leads to the battery terminals. (positive to positive and negative to negative)
  • Start your motorcycle.
  • Bring engine RPM's up to approximately 3,000
  • Compare the voltage reading to the specification in your owner's manual.

(Note: the voltage reading should be approx. 14.0 - 14.5 volts to properly charge an AGM battery.)