Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS A BATTERY?

The automotive battery provides starting power for the engine. It also supplies power to accessories such as lights, fans and radio when the engine is not running. Between low engine speeds and when accessory load is greater at higher running speeds, a battery makes up the difference by stabilising the alternator output. This stabilising effect also protects a vehicle’s electrical system by smoothing out sudden high voltages which can damage electrical components.

Batteries produce their power through a chemical reaction which is released when a load such as a globe, starter motor or electric fan is connected to the battery.  Electrical current is generated when two different metals are placed separately in a liquid capable of conducting electricity. When the metals are connected together above the liquid, electrical current flows through the connection. The different metals are referred to as electrodes. Pure lead is used for the negative electrode or plate and a lead dioxide paste is used for the positive electrode.  When a positive and a negative electrode are combined, (but not touching), they are referred to as a cell. Two or more cells connected together are called a battery. The positive and negative plates are always separated by a separator to the plated, they do not make contact and self discharge. The liquid solution is called an electrolyte which consists of a diluted solution of sulphuric acid.

The battery becomes discharged (or flat) when no more current flows through the cell. The cell can be recharged by forcing electrical current back through the cell in the reverse direction. The chemical reaction that takes place during discharge converts both the positive electrode and the negative electrode to lead sulphate. Water is produced and dilutes the strength of the acid. During recharge, the electrodes are converted back to lead dioxide and lead. The water produced during discharge is consumed returning the lead to its original strength. In addition, some electrolysis of the water in the electrolyte occurs breaking it down into its component gases: hydrogen and oxygen.

 

WHY CHOOSE AN EXIDE BATTERY?

Exide Batteries Automotive & Transportation range covers every need from original equipment of vehicles such as Holden, Toyota and Mitsubishi, to batteries designed to suit specialised requirements ranging from  marine and leisure to cycling.

An Exide Battery is the best choice for all battery applications due to its global network and research and development, ensuring the latest technology is applied to its products through best practice manufacture.

 

GENERAL BATTERY INFORMATION

  • What is Reserve Capacity?
    Australian standard test which replicates alternator failure, stated time in minutes which a discharge current of 25 amps is applied until battery voltage falls below 10.5 volts.  Reserve Capacity relates to the capacity of the battery and increases with the amount of active material in the battery.
  • What is Cold Cranking? (CCA)
    Australian standard test indicating the highest discharge current a battery can maintain at a low temperature of -18 C but maintaining a load voltage above 7.20 volts. Higher CCA can be achieved by increasing plate surface area, this relates to number and size of plates used in battery design.  Temperature greatly influences a batteries ability to carry high currents and increases failure rate of worn batteries during winter periods.       
  • What is 20 Hour Capacity?
    Similar to Reserve Capacity but discharge currents are much lower, equal to the C20 rating divided by 20.  This rating is more useful for stand-by applications but is a good indication of capacity.
  • Off Key Load
    Installed batteries in modern vehicles have a small load which can drain enough capacity in a few weeks rendering the battery unable to crank the engine.  Batteries should be isolated by removing the negative terminal clamp if vehicle is not used for long periods.       
  • Battery Acid
    The correct concentration of Sulphuric acid is in the battery when manufactured, there is general no need to top up with acid in normal service life.  Unit measure for concentration is Specific Gravity which is equal to density in grams per cubic centimetre, new batteries are mostly in the range 1.260 to 1.290 S.G  
  • Dry Charged Batteries
    Not as common these days but some imported products are still available as dry charged and are supplied with an acid bottle.  To make dry charged batteries, the plates are fully charged and dried before battery assembly, these can deteriorate if exposed to air so each cell must have air tight seals to store as dry charged.  A dry battery is typically filled with 1.70S.G acid and given a short boast charge before it is ready for service.
      

THE CORRECT WAY TO TEST A BATTERY

Batteries must be subjected to regular testing to ensure their starting capacity is maintained at an optimum performance level.  Visit your nearest Exide stockist for a professional battery check or view our Exide tester 

A battery must also be scrutinised for any physical condition which may reduce battery life and impede starting performance such as broken or damaged posts and leaks to the battery case or lid.

The first step in evaluating starting capability involves testing a battery's state of charge using a hydrometer or voltmeter. All non-sealed batteries should be checked using a hydrometer. As a cheap and reliable method of determining state of charge, the hydrometer also reveals differences between cells and allows visual inspection of the electrolyte colour.  Where the hydrometer reading shows no significant difference between cells and produces a reading of 1230 or above (at 20-25°C) the battery has sufficient charge for a load test. 

Sealed batteries must produce a voltage of 12.5 or greater before a load test may be performed.  Since the loss/fail criteria varies depending on the make of load tester used, be sure to consult the instruction manual provided with the tester to ensure success.        

See your Exide store for a free battery test and select the filter Testing and Installation.

       

HOW TO INSTALL A BATTERY INTO A PASSENGER VEHICLE

Caravan Battery

Battery installation should only be undertaken by a professional installer and appropriate safety clothing must be worn at all times, including safety glasses.

  • Ensure appropriate safety glasses and clothing are worn at all times before installing or removing your battery
  • Always refer to Vehicles Operating Manual before removing or installing a battery
  • Check bonnet clearance before installing battery.
  • Connect memory minder (to avoid the loss of radio pin codes and key vehicle data).  Keys must be removed from the vehicle.
  • Locate the positive terminal and mark polarity on the cable.
  • Remove the negative cable first.
  • Remove the positive terminal.   Remove battery hold down.
  • Inspect the tray for corrosion.  If necessary, dust off corrosive residue.
  • Place the new battery in the tray and ensure the battery is level and the terminal posts are in the same position as the old battery.
  • Replace the hold down clamp and ensure battery is secure.
  • Replace the positive terminal lead and tighten.
  • Replace the negative terminal lead and tighten. (The negative terminal should always be replaced last)
  • Never tighten or hammer terminal onto the battery as this can damage the posts and battery cover and will void the warranty.

           

Visit our instructional video on battery installation.  

 

BATTERY CHARGING

Before charging begins, provide plenty of ventilation and ensure safety glasses or face shield are worn.  Sparks from loose connections or metal tools making contact between the terminals or the undergrounded terminal and nearby grounded metal parts can also be hazardous.  Do not remove the vent caps (maintainable product only) and do not charge the battery unless you are thouroughly familiar with the step-by-step procedure of recharging a battery.  Ensure you have read the manufacturers instructions for the specific charger you are using prior to commencing the charging procedure.

  • For maintainable battery types only - loosen the vent caps and then place a damp cloth over the vent caps, prior to commencing.  For maintenance free product, continue to step 2.
  • Connect the charger leads to the battery terminals, red postive (+) lead to positive terminal and blak negative (-) lead to the negative terminal.  Rock the charger lead clamps to make certain a good connection has been made. Set the electric timer to the desired charge time
  • Turn on the charger and slowly increase the charging rate until the desired ampere value is reached.  Do not charge in the red zone.  If the battery starts to emit smoke or dense vapour, shut off the charger and reject the battery.  If violent gassing or spewing of electolyte occurs, reduce or temporarily halt the charging. (see your local Exide stockist  for further assistance)

Never touch the charger leads when the charger is ON.  This could break a connection at the battery terminal and create a spark which could ignite the explosive gases in the battery.  Never break a 'live' circuit at the battery terminal for the same reason.  Always turn the charger OFF before removing a charger lead from the battery.

YOUR GUIDE TO BATTERY RECHARGING

The following charging rates and times assume a fully discharged condition. 

 

RESERVE CAPACITY (RC) 
Expressed in minuted and found on battery type label

 SLOW CHARGE

 Up to 75 mins

15 hrs @ 3 amps

 75 mins to 130 mins

21 hrs @ 4 amps

 130 mins to 180 mins

22 hrs @ 5 amps

 180 mins to 250 mins

23 hrs @ 6 amps

 Above 250 mins

24 hrs @ 10 amps


Many chargers available will automatically adjust to discharged condition and commence ith a boost charge gradually changing to suit the battery condition and then switching off at the fully charged rate.  If not an automatic switch mode charger use the above as a guide.  Vew the range of Exide chargers available

  

BATTERY MAINTAINANCE

  • Visually inspect battery terminals, clean or replace as necessary.
  • Check hold down clamp and replace if necessary. (Battery must be secured to avoid unnecessary vibration).
  • Remove battery vent caps if fitted and check battery fluid level which should be 12mm above plates. Top up using deionised water.
  • Check vehicle for current drain using Electronic Tester.
  • Check vehicle charging system. For 12 volt vehicles, reading should be between 13.8 volts and 14.6 volts.
  • As a final check, check terminals, earth lead, and hold down clamp for tightness.   

       

Maintaining Good State of Charge

A common problem found with batteries is damaged caused due to undercharging, even new batteries can can start to suffer from sulfation from self discharge.  Batteries which have self discharged over longer periods can only be recharged at low currents due to sulphated materials inability to chemically convert.  Regular top up charge for batteries in storage is highly recommended.  Vehicle electrical and charging systems are becoming more complex and we recommend fitting by professional installers only.  For more Help and advice (visit your nearest Exide store)        

 

WHY DO BATTERIES FAIL?

Australia has some of the harshest conditions in the world.  Our extreme temperatures and varied landscape can seriously affect the life of a battery.  Not all batteries are created equal.   Exide’s range of batteries have been designed to withstand the high under-bonnet temperatures and excessive vibration experienced by motorists; and our full product range of automotive, marine, deep cycle and industrial batteries, provides consumers with the best solution for every application.

To help maximise the life of your battery, follow these helpful tips:

  • Keep batteries topped up
    Maintaining a sufficient electrolyte level ensures the electrolyte is neither too high or too low. Use distilled or deionised water and never over fill. Maintenance free batteries will usually not require topping up. Low maintenance batteries require the addition of water only once or twice per year depending on conditions.
  • Check electrical connections
    Make sure battery terminals and cable connections are clean and tight. The application of a thin layer of petroleum jelly can help reduce corrosion.
  • Avoid overcharging
    Overcharging produces rapid deterioration and corrosion which shortens battery life. A battery needing to be topped up continually with water is a sure sign that the car's electrical system requires careful checking. This may also affect a maintenance free battery.
    Keep batteries clean and dry.  Dirt on a battery's surface leads to discharge and corrosion. Avoid spilling oil or grease onto the top of the battery. To remove dirt or moisture, wash with a solution of bicarbonate of soda and water. Rinse afterwards with clean water. Ensure vent plugs are in place at all times.
  • Precautions
    To avoid shorting, metallic objects should not be placed on top of the battery. Batteries contain hydrogen gas and air in a volatile mixture which is easily ignited. Keep flames or sparks away from the battery at all times.
    Batteries contain sulphuric acid. Never add acid to cells and keep acid away from eyes, skin, clothing or any other material which may become damaged. If contamination occurs, use large amounts of water to neutralise and flush acid away. Batteries are also heavy - ensure correct lifting procedures are used when moving batteries.
  • Sulphation
    An undercharged battery or underutilised battery will slowly discharge (go flat) over time and reduce its life. This is common in boats (over winter) or vehicles left unused for long periods of time. Always keep a battery fully charged to ensure maximum life.  You don't have to wait until you break down to change your battery. Avoid breakdowns by getting your battery tested on a regular basis.  Exide stockists can provide you with a battery check to determine the state of your vehicles battery system. Vehicle electrical systems are becoming more complex and its vital you purchase the right battery for your vehicle, so leave it to the experts. 

           

Visit your nearest Exide stockist today.

     

EXIDE MANUFACTURERS WARRANTY

Our batteries are warranted against any manufacturing fault for the stated period or kilometres, whichever occurs first,  for the period stated on the batteries top label.   Should it not pass a standard battery test for any reason other than after-sale damage, neglect or misuse, it will be replaced free of charge by the dealer or the dealer's agents. You may claim under the warranty by returning the battery to the place of purchase with the original purchase receipt and completed warranty card for the warranty adjudication procedure. You must bear any expense you may incur in making the claim. This express warranty is given by MP Australia Pty Limited, 1-5 Winterton Road, Clayton 3168, Victoria Australia, Phone: in Australia, 1800 800 811; in New Zealand 0800 651 611. The benefits under this express warranty are additional to other rights and remedies under applicable laws in force in Australia and New Zealand.

In Australia our goods come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. You are entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage (including but not limited to expenses you may incur in making a claim under the guarantees). You are also entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure
 
Exide Battery products can be warranted at any location that sells Exide Batteries products around Australia and New Zealand. It is important that the consumer keeps their receipt. The warranty period is not renewed or extended as a result of this replacement subject to your rights under the Australian Consumer Law.

Warranty Periods:

Product Category

Tier

Base Warranty

Extended Warranty

Passenger Vehicle

Extreme

36 month / 60,000 kms

42 month / 70,000 kms

Passenger Vehicle

Heavy Duty

24 month / 40,000 kms

30 month / 50,000 kms

Passenger Vehicle

Economy

12 month / 20,000 kms

18 month / 30,000 kms

SUV/4WD/Light Commercial

Extreme

24 month / 100,000 kms

30 month / 125,000 kms

SUV/4WD/Light Commercial

Heavy Duty

18 month / 100,000 kms

24 month / 100,000 kms

SUV/4WD/Light Commercial

Economy

12 month / 50,000 kms

18 month / 75,000 kms

Heavy Commercial

Extreme

18 month / 75,000 kms

24 month / 100,000 kms

Heavy Commercial

Heavy Duty

18 month / 75,000 kms

24 month / 100,000 kms

Heavy Commercial

Economy

6 month / 25,000 kms

12 month / 50,000 kms

Evolution

 

12 month / 20,000 kms

18 month / 30,000 kms

Orbital

 

12 month

N/A

Powerrider

 

12 month

N/A

Stowaway Leisure Cycle

Silver

12 month

18 month

Stowaway Leisure Cycle

Gold

18 month

24 month

Stowaway Marine Starting

 

12 month

18 month

Stowaway Marine Dual Purpose

 

18 month

24 month

Stowaway Marine Cycling

 

18 month

24 month

Semi-Industrial Cycling

 

6 month

N/A

Heavy Industrial Cycling

 

12 month

N/A

GEL Cycling

 

12 month

N/A

AGM GEL Cycling

 

12 month

N/A

Pro-Series VRLA

 

12 months

 N/A

Powerider Bike

 

12 months

 N/A


       
Other factors that can cause premature failure of a battery include:

  • Charge Rates   
  • Excessive Vibration
  • High Loads             
  • Electrical System Faults
  • Faulty Terminals
  • Stop/Start Motoring 
  • Sulphation              
  • Other
       
For further advice, please contact Exide by phoning 1800 800 811 for Australia or 0800 651 611 for New Zealand or by completing the online contact us form on this website.

Date Code Explanations

  • Step 1 - Locate the Date stamp in the battery using the location column below (some batteries may have more than one code engraved or stamped)
  • Step 2 - Record the correct code using the Digits column from the table below.  Look up the product code and country of origin.
  • Step 3 - Interpret code using the table below
                       

COUNTRY 

DIGITS 

LOCATIONS 

REGIME 

EXPLANATION

Australia

Top 

DDMMMYYTTTT

D=Day of Month (02=2nd) 

Philippines

Top 

YMMDDPS

M=Month (A-L > E=May) 

Korea

Top

FPYMD

MM=Month (07=July) 

USA

10 

Back side

FPSMMMDDYY

MMM=Month(Oct=October) 

Portugal

Top

YMMDDPS

Y=Year (14=2014)

                       

CORRECT HANDLING OF BATTERIES

  • To avoid shorting, metallic objects should not be placed on top of the battery. Batteries contain hydrogen gas and air in a volatile mixture which is easily ignited.
  • Keep flames or sparks away from the battery at all times.
  • Batteries contain sulphuric acid. Never add acid to cells and keep acid away from eyes, skin, clothing or any other material which may become damaged.
  • If contamination occurs, use large amounts of water to neutralise and flush acid away.
  • Batteries are heavy ensure correct lifting procedures are used when moving batteries.

 

Download the Material Safety Data Sheet for VRLA 

         
       

CORRECT STORING OF BATTERIES

Batteries have a limited shelf life and when stored gradually lose their power to perform. On average, a fully-charged battery takes about 13 weeks to gradually discharge to less than its optimum operating level.  The rate of charge loss depends on battery type (low maintenance or maintenance free) and temperature conditions.  Charge loss becomes more evident when temperatures increase. At 20°C low maintenance batteries lose approximately one half of one per cent of charge per day (30 percent in 60 days). At 30°C charge loss is usually double the rate for 20°C.

Under similar temperature conditions, maintenance free batteries lose there charge more slowly than low maintenance batteries. Excessive humidity will also accelerate charge loss.  A battery stored upright in cool and dry conditions is ideal.  Whilst in storage batteries that have not been recharged and allowed to go flat, may be permanently damaged. Recharging every four to eight weeks, depending on storage conditions, will restore batteries to "as new" condition.  It is best to trust Exide Batteries and its National network of reputable stores to deliver the optimal product that is professionally managed.



DO'S AND DONT'S

  • Do store in cool dry conditions
  • Do use Exide’s professional network of stores
  • Do trickle charge your stored batteries at regular intervals, using an Exide approved charger
  • Do use correct lifting procedures when moving batteries
  • Don’t place metal objects on top of the battery
  • Don’t allow sparks or flames near any batteries
               
       

DEEP CYCLE BATTERIES

Why are they different
Sealed Lead Acid BatteryA Deep Cycle type battery is designed so that repeated cycling will not affect the battery's life or performance. Unlike the "SLI" battery which provides concentrated starting power, the deep cycle type battery supplies a constant but relatively low amount of current for a long period of time when an extended power supply is preferred. Exide provides a range of batteries that are considered hybrid where they provide characteristics across both starting and cycling applications.

Choosing the right Deep Cycle battery

It is easy to decide which deep cycle battery is required and how long it will operate your equipment before recharging is necessary. First you need to establish:

  • The Loading of each piece equipment. This is expressed in watts and is stamped into the compliance plate attached to the electrical item.
  • The length of time (in hours) that it is intended to operate each piece of equipment between recharges.
  • The system voltage (6v, 12v or 24v).
       

  • STEP 1 The first step is to determine the total number of "Watt Hours" involved. Calculate this by multiplying the loading of each piece of equipment (watts) by the number of hours you intend to use it between recharges and then add them up. Follow this example of a boat owner who is operating a winch, fridge, communication equipment and uses the interior lights for extended periods.
  • STEP 2  The next step is to determine "Ampere Hour" (AH) requirement that the battery must accommodate. You calculate this by dividing the watt hours by the system voltage. Continuing the boat example:
    500 Watt Hours/12 volts(system voltage)=42 Ampere Hours
  • STEP 3  Battery cables are not perfect so it pays to make allowances for loss of power. A cable loss margins of 10% is usually appropriate.
    In addition, it's nice to have a little more capacity than you will need. Therefore, we recommend you build in an over-capacity margin of about 25%  D
    eep cycle batteries can be used for engine starting purpose; but only as a backup of the existing starting battery. If it is used, you will need to increase the Ampere Hour estimate by 50% to ensure you have starting power when the battery has been partly discharged.
  • STEP 4  Having established the number of Ampere Hours required, refer to the Deep Cycle Battery Specification listing to choose the correct battery for your needs. There is one further consideration. Battery capacity varies according to speed of discharge. The faster the battery is discharged, the fewer Ampere Hours it will deliver before requiring a recharge. Therefore, EXIDE Deep Cycle batteries are capacity rated for three lengths of discharge time. You will need to determine the length of time your battery will be discharged over and match to the closest rated discharge time quoted.

If in doubt then please contact our professional store network or Exide Australia or New Zealand.

              

OTHER QUESTIONS

Back to top