With Riding Season Coming Up, Now Is The Time To Check Your Battery
Motorcycle batteries have a finite lifespan. Even those that came highly recommended will show signs of deterioration and need to be changed after three or four years. However, if a motorcycle’s battery starts to fail way before this time frame, something could be seriously wrong with it.
While some motorcycle problems are an easy fix, others would warrant a motor battery replacement. If your motorcycle is showing any of these signs, it might be time for you to purchase a new motorcycle battery.
1. Your motorcycle is taking longer to start
The fact that it takes your motorcycle longer to start than it used to is one of the clearest indications that you need to change your battery. If you had to turn the key in the ignition a few times before your motorcycle comes to life, there could be a problem with the electricity supply due to some form of damage in the battery.
If it has become increasingly difficult to start your motorcycle, have it checked as soon as possible. A bad battery is a huge safety risk and may even cause your motorcycle to suddenly stop in the middle of the road.
2. The battery is unable to hold a charge
If you charge your battery after it has drained and it runs out of power almost immediately, it’s likely that your battery can no longer hold power and needs to be replaced.
Before replacing your motorcycle battery, though, do a thorough check of your vehicle to ensure that it’s not some other issue that’s causing the problem. Issues like a bad alternator can also affect your battery’s ability to hold a charge.
3. The battery terminals are badly corroded
One of the most common indicators that a motorcycle battery is nearing the end of its usable life is physical degradation of the battery terminals. Heavily corroded battery terminals lead to battery malfunction, but they may work properly again after the cleaning.
If the terminals are broken or damaged in some way, however, you will have to replace your motorcycle battery.
4. The battery is deformed
When checking your battery, always take a close inspection of how it looks. Changes in its physical appearance – such as discoloration, bulges, cracks, or lumps – could mean that there is a problem within.
A bulging or bloated battery is potentially harmful to use because the deformity could have something to do with its lead-acid construction. If you’re not able to address this problem promptly, it will damage your battery’s physical structure completely and render it unusable.
5. The horn and headlights are failing
The horn and light are two of the most critical components of a motorcycle. These instruments allow you to send signals and communicate with other drivers on the road, so any time they’re not in good working condition is a huge safety risk.
Your lights and horn fading are warning signs of a dying battery. You will notice that your headlights are not as brilliant as they used to and the level of sound coming from your horn has become significantly lower. When you experience this, have your battery tested and replaced, if necessary.
6. You’re getting inconsistent multimeter readings
The multimeter is a tool used to test the voltage and electric current of a battery. Every motorcycle owner should have one so they can check the state of their batteries any time and won’t have to take their bike to a shop to get a basic reading.
A bad or failing motorcycle battery usually gets large variations in multimeter readings, though the readings were performed just minutes apart.
7. You’re experiencing multiple electronic issues
Modern-day motorcycles are equipped with many accessories and electronic features. And as the heart of a motorcycle’s electronic system, the battery must be in excellent working order at all times.
While there are other possible reasons for electronic issues on a motorcycle, experiencing multiple problems at once often means that your battery is approaching the end of its life. This is because a lot of these systems are dependent on one another; even a minor drop in voltage can result in simultaneous malfunctions.
8. The battery is leaking acid
Battery leaks are almost always due to severe oxidation. The leaking acid usually escapes through the terminals or fissures in the battery that form as a result of chemical gas build-up. Batteries that are in this state are not only near-death, but also extremely dangerous to drive with.
Another possible cause for motorcycle battery leaks is freezing temperatures. The battery acid may ice up in such conditions, causing the body of the battery to expand. To avoid this, keep your bike in a warm place during the colder seasons or remove the battery and store it inside where it’s less chilly.
9. Your battery is too old
Older batteries are more likely to fail. No matter how good quality your battery is, it will begin to show signs of failure towards the end of its average lifespan. These signs may include fast discharge and incomplete recharge, among other things. If you can’t recall when you purchased your battery anymore, it’s high time you start looking for a replacement.
As a general rule, you should replace your battery every four years – or less if it’s exhibiting the signs we’ve discussed above. Doing so will save you from having to deal with issues that will jeopardize your safety on the road.