Consumers value warranties. That’s why almost every product you buy comes with a warranty. Most of these warranties cover defects in material or workmanship of a product; a situation where the product, because of a faulty part or poor assembly, fails to live up to its promise. In most cases, nothing is required from the consumer to sustain the warranty in effect.
That’s not the case with lead acid batteries. To achieve the life expectancy manufacturers design into the battery, the battery must be properly maintained. This includes keeping them at a high, or full, State of Charge (SOC), either by driving on a regular basis, or by charging with an approved battery charger/maintainer.
It is a good idea to read the warranty that comes with your battery to understand exactly what is expected of you to keep your battery manufacturer’s warranty in effect. The ODYSSEY® Battery General Product Limited Warranty states:
Trickle chargers that do not have a regulated trickle charge voltage between 13.5V and 13.8V (no lower than 13.5V and no higher than 13.8V) will cause early failure of the Battery. Use of such chargers with the Battery will also void the Battery’s warranty.
For applications where an alternator is present, the alternator must deliver between 14.0V and 14.4V when measured at the Battery’s terminals. Consult the ODYSSEY® battery technical manual or owner’s manual for any necessary temperature compensation. Alternators that do not have a regulated charge between 14.0V and 14.4V (no lower than 14.0V and no higher than 14.4V) will cause early failure of the Battery. Use of such alternators with the Battery will also void the Battery’s warranty.
As the battery voltage drops below 12.2 volts, the sulfate crystals begin to bond, reducing the ability of the sulfuric acid to interact with the lead oxide. As a charge is applied to the battery, it cannot totally be accepted and the battery gets hot, and in extreme situations, the case begins to swell.
If a battery is left unattended, or if there is a parasitic drain on the battery, the battery open circuit voltage can fall to a point – below 10 volts – where the chemistry is actually removed. In this case, there is no possibility for recovering the battery.
Again, from the ODYSSEY® battery warranty:
Prolonged storage of vehicles with fuel injection computers, alarms, GPS and other electrical devices that require continuous battery power to support active memories; this power drain must be offset with a maintenance-float charger, periodic charging or disconnecting the Battery to prevent irreversible damage. A Battery with an open circuit voltage (OCV) of equal to or less than 10.0V will be deemed as over discharged and void warranty due to misuse and/or neglect.
Properly maintained, an ODYSSEY® AGM battery should deliver many years of trouble-free performance. We have actually heard of users getting over 10 years of service from their ODYSSEY® battery. However, to keep your warranty against defects in materials and workmanship in full effect, owners need to make sure they adhere to proper care and maintenance. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for battery care and handling, and direct any questions to your battery professional.
For more information on EnerSys and its full line of products, systems, and support, visit www.enersys.com.
EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, manufactures and distributes reserve power and motive power batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide. Motive power batteries and chargers are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other commercial electric powered vehicles. Reserve power batteries are used in the telecommunication and utility industries, uninterruptible power supplies, and numerous applications requiring stored energy solutions including medical, aerospace and defense systems. Outdoor equipment enclosure products are utilized in the telecommunication, cable, utility, transportation industries and by government and defense customers. The company also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers from over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world.