How to tell if a lithium-ion battery is bad

48 volt lithium ion golf cart battery

How to tell if a lithium-ion battery is bad

How to tell if a lithium-ion battery is bad

Lithium technology has improved and matured over the years, and it is much safer today than before. As a result, there are fewer incidences involving lithium-ion batteries. However, there are instances where things could go wrong when you are using these batteries. This is one of the reasons why you need to know how to tell if a lithium battery is bad or not.

There are different symptoms and signs that can tell you something is off. This includes a bloated body, overheating, high self-discharge, low voltage, and reduced capacity.

48 volt lithium ion golf cart battery

48 volt lithium ion golf cart battery

Before you even consider testing the battery, it helps to evaluate your model, particularly to find out exactly how it ought to behave. This is by knowing the battery manufacturer and the specific specs of your model.

Once this is determined, you must measure the performance resistance and voltage. A multimeter can be used in this case. This allows you to use a universal checker with an LCD in most cases. A multimeter can also measure capacity and performance.

After confirming the results and matching them with the specs, it is easier to determine whether the battery is in good condition or not. When there is a deviation, it does not mean the battery is bad. Apart from the inspection, some other ways can help you know something is wrong.

  1. Reduced Capacity

This is the first sign that a battery is bad. Reduced capacity indicates that the battery is better than it once was. This means the battery cannot power your device like it used to. This symptom takes longer to confirm, especially when you are not using any tester. The process could take even longer if you rely on different self-discharging techniques.

  1. Low Voltage

Over a certain period, batteries automatically lose voltage. When it gets to a certain level, it disconnects. A good example is when a 4.2 v lithium battery goes to a 3.7v state over time. If the battery downgrades further, the device may refuse to power entirely. If the battery reaches 3.0v, it is dead, practically speaking. To get these details faster, you may have to use a multimeter.

  1. High Self-discharge Rate

Self-discharge is a common trait in all batteries. This is to say that charge decreases automatically even if the battery is not powering a device. Likewise, the charge goes down automatically even if the battery isn’t working to power a device. When in good condition, lithium batteries don’t self-discharge as quickly. The battery has to be left disconnected for some hours, and make sure that charge capacity is checked before and after disconnecting.

  1. Overheating

Overheating is an obvious sign that the battery is bad. You must check the battery specs and learn more about the normal operating temperature. If you detect anything high, it should be considered a cause for alarm. Overheating can cause damage to your device and should be taken seriously.

  1. Bloated Body

This is the final stage. When you observe bloating, it is an indication that things are not good. One of the things to note is that bloating is only noticed when it is already too late. Most of us don’t inspect batteries regularly and tend to forget about them once installed. Heat and energy density cause batteries to swell. A battery should be replaced immediately once this is observed.

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