Motorcycle batteries should last two to five years if you're following the right motorcycle battery tips and looking after yours. Fail to treat your battery with the care it needs, however, and you'll be lucky if you get two years of life out of it. And then there's the possibility that you got a dud to start with.
But what are some signs of a bad motorcycle battery? Let's take a look at this motorcycle battery guide to find out!
1. It Won't Hold a Charge
Ever left your headlights on all night? If so, you'll know that this slow drain of energy without the possibility of recharging from the alternator is a sure-fire way to cause your motorcycle battery to die. Most of the time, you can revive a dead battery with a jump start. But the same isn't true for a bad battery.
When a battery goes bad, there's no way to revive it. No matter how much you try to charge it, a bad motorcycle battery won’t hold a charge.
2. Inconsistent Multimeter Readings
One way to check if your battery has gone bad is to uncover the terminal and check its voltage reading with a multimeter or a voltmeter.
By touching the positive (red) lead to the red terminal and the negative (black) lead to the black terminal on the battery, you can deduce the voltage. Less than 11 means that it needs a charge while the ideal level is between 13 and 13.6. That said, if you try it several times and get inconsistent readings, there's a good chance that you need to consult this motorcycle battery buying guide and get a replacement for your bad battery.
3. Cracks and Bulges
A quick visual inspection is sometimes more than enough to spot a bad battery. Especially if your battery is showing obvious warning signs such as broken terminals, and cracks or bulges in the plastic casing.
Although, visual damage can sometimes be nothing more than corrosion. Most of the time, you can clean a clean corroded battery terminal and continue using the battery. Make sure to rule out the possibility of corrosion before you reject your motorcycle battery for being bad.
4. Leaking Battery Fluid
Motorcycle batteries are essentially boxes of chemicals. As well as losing potency over time, these chemicals can become unstable and may even leak or cause the battery to become discoloured. Leaking fluid is a definite sign of a bad battery so don't delay in getting a new one if you spot this.
Watch Out for These Signs of a Bad Motorcycle Battery
If your motorcycle battery is indeed bad, the only solution is to replace it. But rather than buying any replacement battery, you should head to your nearest Prairie Battery.
From fitting the best motorcycle battery for your ride to advising you on how to care for it, our experts have the skills, knowledge, and equipment to give you a smooth ride every time.
If you're in any doubt about whether your motorcycle battery is bad or not, make sure to contact us before you next hit the open road.