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Car batteries require periodic maintenance. We plug all our Hondas every week for one overnight 8-12 hour CTEK MUS cycle. Each Honda (Ridgeline,CRV,Passport,Accord,Fit) has an AGM battery installed since new. Each car also has a backup jump starter / lithium battery pack.
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Ok we can all agree to disagree. Some folks have good luck with modern batteries while others don't. So what are the proper steps we can follow to determine whether its time to change our battery before they go dead and strand the wife at the shopping mall. I've been to the big box auto places and they can load test the battery but never paid too much attention to what the numbers mean. Is this a good way to judge when to replace the battery. Ie if the battery is 10% below CCA is it time or is it 90% etc. What do the numbers really tells us besides relying on the dealership to tell us its time to fork over $100 when we really have 2-3-4 more years before the thing dies. Can anyone shed some light on the correct time to make a preventative battery change so we don't get stuck calling a tow truck??? Thanks Mark
Personally, I use one of these.. and run a check once each month. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M0ARG3X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Saves me the hassle of driving down to the local auto parts store and asking them to check it for me. Nothing magic about the one I use, they all work pretty much on the same approach and methods to test. I like that I can also run a check with this on the alternator ripple (ie: detecting a bad diode), as well as test the actual charging system on the vehicle as well.

When I test my battery, which is rated at 410 CCA, it typically tests a little over 500 (which is pretty normal for a good battery to test higher then spec). When CCA tests begin to decline and approach the spec limit (in this case 410) I replace the battery.. because I know it is weakening.. but there is no way to tell how much life it has left in it before it gives up and fails to start the vehicle. I'm sure you could push it until CCA is only 80% of spec rating.. but I personally would never continue with a battery that tests lower then this.
 

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Car batteries require periodic maintenance. We plug all our Hondas every week for one overnight 8-12 hour CTEK MUS cycle. Each Honda (Ridgeline,CRV,Passport,Accord,Fit) has an AGM battery installed since new. Each car also has a backup jump starter / lithium battery pack.
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A prudent step to take to insure maximum battery life. :)

The reason being.... vehicle batteries live longer when they are not allowed to reach a discharge state of less than 12.2 vdc. If you do a lot of short trip in town driving... typically your battery is never fully recharged before parking.. and that accumulates over time to where your battery can be in an undercharged state low enough to cause sulfation inside the battery if it continues without topping up the battery with a smart trickle charger.

I'm not sure how it differs for AGM batteries (which apparently do recharge slower then flooded cell batteries) in terms of sulfation effects, but in a flooded cell battery.... sulfation devastates the life of a battery and is often not recoverable.. no matter what some trickle charger companies claim.
 

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Personally, I use one of these.. and run a check once each month. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M0ARG3X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Saves me the hassle of driving down to the local auto parts store and asking them to check it for me. Nothing magic about the one I use, they all work pretty much on the same approach and methods to test. I like that I can also run a check with this on the alternator ripple (ie: detecting a bad diode), as well as test the actual charging system on the vehicle as well.

When I test my battery, which is rated at 410 CCA, it typically tests a little over 500 (which is pretty normal for a good battery to test higher then spec). When CCA tests begin to decline and approach the spec limit (in this case 410) I replace the battery.. because I know it is weakening.. but there is no way to tell how much life it has left in it before it gives up and fails to start the vehicle. I'm sure you could push it until CCA is only 80% of spec rating.. but I personally would never continue with a battery that tests lower then this.
Thank you williamsji. Just placed an order for a tester. Taking matters into my own hands.
Mark
 
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