Why do Batteries Fail?

Why do Batteries Fail?

Batteries have a finite life, determined by the application and the operating conditions. Battery failure can be attributed to various factors, however the causes of failure fall under two distinct categories: manufacturing and non-manufacturing faults.
Manufacturing Faults

Typically occur within the first 3 months.

Short Circuits/Dead Cells

Where one cell will show a dramatically lower Specific Gravity (SG) reading than the other cells.

Internal Break

Usually resulting from physical damage to a battery during transportation. Century’s stringent quality assurance and inspection processes demanded by leading vehicle manufacturers ensure genuine manufacturing faults in Century Batteries are negligible.

Non Manufacturing Faults

These fall outside of the manufacturer's quality control systems and are more likely to occur the longer the battery is in service. They are often attributed to a problem with the vehicle’s electrical system, its operation or the battery application.

Wear and Tear

As a battery ages, grid metal corrodes and active material is lost from the plate. Over time this leads to a point where the battery will no longer be able to start a vehicle. High temperature will accelerate the degradation rates.

Physical Damage

Incorrect fitment, handling and storage often leads to external damage and subsequent battery failure.

Incorrect Application

Fitting a smaller, less powerful battery or a battery designed for another application can lead to early failure.

Negligence

Failure to maintain fluid levels exposes internal components and accelerates battery failure.

Sulphation

Occurs when the battery is allowed to stand in a discharged state for an extended period of time. Battery plates grow and expand so this can result in leakage.

Over-Charging

Often caused if the alternator is incorrectly set or the alternator voltage control fails.

Under-Charging

Short journeys, stop start driving or faulty alternators will not fully recharge a battery.

Discharge

Lights or other accessories left on for extended periods.

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