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Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. #4613907
12/25/17 03:03 PM
12/25/17 03:03 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
George7941 Offline OP
George7941  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
I have a Midtronics PBT-200 tester, about twelve years old. It works well on my Sierra Size 78 battery. A new battery will read around 720 CCA and will lose about 50 CCA every year. I replace the battery when the CCA drops to around 500.

However it does not detect loss of capacity in Size 31 HD truck batteries. The batteries only last about three years because of cycling caused by electric motor powered hydraulic tailgates. I tested the old batteries and they read about 950 CCA each. New they register around 1000 CCA. However, applying a 25A load reveals that the Reserve Capacity had degraded to about 80 minutes from the rated capacity of 185 mins.

I replaced the batteries. Maybe conductance testing technology has improved in the twelve years since I bought the tester.

Just checked the Midtronics site and they rate the PBT-200 for up to 850 CCA. My tester displays 1000 CCA on new batteries.

Last edited by George7941; 12/25/17 03:11 PM. Reason: Checked specs on tester

2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4613945
12/25/17 03:43 PM
12/25/17 03:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,808
CA
spackard Offline
spackard  Offline
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,808
CA
I don't know. I've had a store's (Batteries Plus) Midtronics check of my car's battery test good, but I replaced it because it wouldn't start the car after sitting overnight. That was earlier this year.

Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4613950
12/25/17 03:45 PM
12/25/17 03:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 19,988
CA
The Critic Offline
The Critic  Offline
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 19,988
CA
There is a joke we have about battery testers. You use conductance testers to upsell batteries, but you use a load tester to test batteries.


2011 Toyota Prius - 173k - Various 0W-20 (Brew)
2007 Honda Accord 2.4 - 131K - Mobil 1 EP HM 5W-30
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4613988
12/25/17 04:20 PM
12/25/17 04:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 201
A Highway Near You
PiperOne Offline
PiperOne  Offline
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 201
A Highway Near You
Dunno about your tester...but if you have liftgates...I started buying the Alliance branded AGM group 31's from Freightliner a few years ago. Deka makes them. If you buy the 8A31 version your battery problems will disappear. In applications we used to get 12-18 months out of, we now get 4 years plus. Usually between 175 and 200 CAD.


HDEO in Diesel Engines. No spark plugs here.
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4614029
12/25/17 05:25 PM
12/25/17 05:25 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
George7941 Offline OP
George7941  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
Alliance/Deka is what I buy, specifically AE1131XMF. The 8A31, being AGM, is expensive compared to the 1131. I just bought five of the 1131 at $116.xx each and I got $25.50 each for the old ones from my friendly metal recycler, bringing the cost down to $91 each. I get three years of dependable service out of them and replace them every three years. From the long term cost standpoint it is significantly less expensive to use the 1131.

I have tried the dual duty (starting/cycling) batteries (31S9D, I think) from Traction before and got an extra year of life but that could not make up for the extra cost.


2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4614065
12/25/17 06:07 PM
12/25/17 06:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 678
Reno, NV
redbone3 Offline
redbone3  Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 678
Reno, NV
A load test is the only surefire test of a battery.


2014 Passat Wolfsburg, 1995 Miata.
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4614359
12/26/17 06:45 AM
12/26/17 06:45 AM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 444
UK
slybunda Offline
slybunda  Offline
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 444
UK
Battery internal resistance test is the best way to check batteries.
https://youtu.be/Oi8sUE9XCgA


1995 Ford Fiesta 1.6i 16v Si
2000 Toyota Celica 1.8 VVTL-i
2007 Toyota Aygo+ 1.0i
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: slybunda] #4614603
12/26/17 12:19 PM
12/26/17 12:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,755
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,755
Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: slybunda
Battery internal resistance test is the best way to check batteries.
https://youtu.be/Oi8sUE9XCgA


I wonder what the results would have been had he used a carbon pile load tester at 1/2 CCA for 15 seconds. His load tester is probably 50 or 100 amp load.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4614687
12/26/17 01:47 PM
12/26/17 01:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,354
Nowhere NM
Smoky14 Offline
Smoky14  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,354
Nowhere NM
I've found carbon pile testers to be extremely accurate in determining battery condition. These newer load testers lack the ability to truly load test a battery.
YMMV

Smoky


99 Acura 2.3CL 5speed MT
12 Ford Fusion 2.5S 6speed MT
05 Suzuki Bandit 1200.
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: Smoky14] #4614729
12/26/17 02:42 PM
12/26/17 02:42 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
George7941 Offline OP
George7941  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
My issue with load testers is that it is only a pass/fail type of test. It does not tell you how close the battery is to failing.

The 100 amp hand held load testers do not help much in evaluating a car batterys health. They are adequate for checking small batteries like a motorcycle battery.


2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4614849
12/26/17 05:09 PM
12/26/17 05:09 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 444
UK
slybunda Offline
slybunda  Offline
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 444
UK
How do these conductance testers work? How do they work out the internal resistance?


1995 Ford Fiesta 1.6i 16v Si
2000 Toyota Celica 1.8 VVTL-i
2007 Toyota Aygo+ 1.0i
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4615077
12/26/17 08:28 PM
12/26/17 08:28 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
George7941 Offline OP
George7941  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
My Midtronics loads the battery with short (milliseconds) pulses of current of about 300 ma. It measures the voltage drops across the battery arising from the load and calculates CCA from the data. The tester uses Kelvin clamps to ensure accuracy of the voltage drop readings.


2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4615108
12/26/17 08:47 PM
12/26/17 08:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 913
Winnipeg MB CA
Number_35 Offline
Number_35  Offline
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 913
Winnipeg MB CA
Originally Posted By: George7941
My issue with load testers is that it is only a pass/fail type of test. It does not tell you how close the battery is to failing.
My load tester is similar to the one the Mercedes specialist in the linked video used. It's got an analogue scale, and I check the battery in each vehicle before winter. Low in the green is not as good as higher, and as soon as a battery drops into high yellow I'll replace it. Both of our vehicles are '09s, each w/ the original battery, and both were still in the green as of a couple of months ago,so I imagine both will be good through the winter but that I'll be replacing them in the next year or so.

Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: George7941] #4615263
12/27/17 12:01 AM
12/27/17 12:01 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 201
A Highway Near You
PiperOne Offline
PiperOne  Offline
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 201
A Highway Near You
Originally Posted By: George7941

I have tried the dual duty (starting/cycling) batteries (31S9D, I think) from Traction before and got an extra year of life but that could not make up for the extra cost.


Ya...my first foray into the AGM world I did the dual purpose route...and got similar lousy results (the 9A31's). Once I went to the 8A31's it got good. My cost on the 8A's is $175..we use scrap money to fill the beer fridge so it stays off book whistle

Three years of liftgate work on the batteries you're buying is excellent...you guys must know the value of clean connections and good cables very well!


HDEO in Diesel Engines. No spark plugs here.
Re: Limitations of Battery Conductance Testing. [Re: PiperOne] #4615407
12/27/17 08:17 AM
12/27/17 08:17 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
George7941 Offline OP
George7941  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,201
Toronto, Canada
I keep the cable terminals clean. Every time I disconnect the cables I scrape off any corrosion, spray down with battery terminal cleaner, renew the felt washers and spray again with battery terminal protector after reconnecting.

Since I am the only one who works on the trucks, I would have only myself to blame for corroded terminals, stripped drain plugs, stripped lug nuts etc. These things just do not happen because I am very careful and methodical.

Here is the battery Terminal Cleaner
http://crc-canada.ca/automotive/battery/battery-cleaner-with-acid-indicator-312-grams.html

Terminal Protector
http://crc-canada.ca/automotive/battery/battery-protector-213-grams.html

I tried dielectric grease + baking soda paste, highly touted on Bitog, but found it to be ineffective.


2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.
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