· High temperatures: Heat is the No. 1 cause of battery failure. Heat accelerates grid corrosion and grid growth in the positive plate. As heat corrodes the positive grid, the battery loses capacity and starting power, which weakens its ability to start an engine – particularly in colder weather.
· High vibration: Vibration can damage and separate internal components, which ultimately lead to reduced starting performance or even battery failure.
· Deep drains/failure to recharge after drops in voltage: When a battery is discharged, the active materials produce lead sulfate crystals inside the plate that are called discharged material. If these crystals are not recharged, they eventually combine to form larger crystals. These bigger crystals are harder to dissolve and recharge, and eventually they lead to battery failure by disrupting the plate structure.
· A faulty alternator: A faulty alternator will lead to an undercharged or completely discharged battery. An undercharged battery has reduced capacity and starting power. If the battery is continuously undercharged because of a weak alternator, the battery will become deeply discharged and sulfation will occur.
Other Possible Causes of Failure:
· Battery application and installation
· The battery is not being used in the application for which it was designed. A common mistake, for example, is using an SLI (starting-lighting-ignition) battery in a vehicle that requires a deep-cycle battery.
· The battery is not sized properly for the application.
· The vehicle has too many electrical accessories.
· The battery is not properly installed.
· Service and maintenance
· The battery cables have not been cleaned and properly adjusted to fit the battery terminals.
· The vehicle’s electrical system has been repaired or altered.
· The vehicle has been in long-term storage.
Q: How do I store my automobile battery? Is concrete O.K.?
A: When storing an automobile battery, it is important to make sure it is at a full charge and the electrolyte level is full. A battery stored in a discharged state is susceptible to freezing sulfation and an increased rate of further discharge. The battery should be placed in a cool dry area, the cooler the better without going below 32°F, that is well ventilated and out of reach of children and pets.
A battery will not lose its state-of-charge strictly from placing it on a concrete surface, but will discharge it over a period of time, due simply to neglect.