‘Overlooked test’ to conclude non-start battery problems

Vehicles that fail to start after standing for a couple of days must set alarm bells ringing

‘Overlooked test’ to conclude non-start battery problems
The TA018 clamp has a conversion factor of 100 mV/A.

Once the battery, starting and charging systems are all tested attention should turn to battery drain and parasitic current draw, explains Pico Technology.

Parasitic drain demands a prolonged test, 30 minutes is not uncommon for a modern vehicle to shut down and move to sleep mode.

If the vehicle has a history of battery discharge, you may choose to monitor the parasitic drain overnight or even a number of days. This itself presents a challenge surrounding current clamps.

In a recent statement Steve Smith of Pico Technology said: “Given our Pico current clamps are powered by an internal battery with a continuous operational time ranging from 14 to 16 hours, we most certainly run the risk of erroneous results during prolonged parasitic tests.

“I think it is worth mentioning here how a current clamp operates in relation to the values we capture on our scope screen.

“The current flow through a conductor has the valuable side effect of producing a magnetic field about the conductor.

“By closing the jaws of our current clamp around the conductor the magnetic field can be detected and converted into a voltage directly proportional to the strength of the magnetic field.

“The voltage is then sent to the scope and displayed on screen as a current value.

“Prior to connecting the clamp around the conductor a zero operation is carried out to ensure accurate display of current values and a true zero point reference.

“This is achieved by pressing the zero button on the clamp, which charges a capacitor within the clamp removing any DC offset value.”

Click ‘More Details’ below to continue reading the full article, published by Pico Technology.

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