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Charging system

Engine Auxiliary Systems

Course code: EN05

Student training manual

Suzuki Online Training

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 1

Foreword Suzuki Technician curriculum

This training manual contains basic operating principles of the This training manual is part of the Non Suzuki Technician to
charging system in a motor vehicle. The main charging system Suzuki Technician curriculum. The curriculum consists of the
in a motor vehicle includes the alternator which generates following modules:
charging current, the battery which stores electrical current
and generates electrical current when the alternator is not 1. GE01 Suzuki Introduction
charging and the electrical loads which require electrical
energy to operate. 2. GE02 Electrical and Electronics
3. Diagnostics
In this manual, we will look at the basic operating principles of 4. EN02 Engine Mechanical part I
the alternator and the battery. After you have carefully studied 5. En03 Engine Mechanical part II
this lesson, you must complete the on-line lesson exam on 6. EN04 Engine Mechanical part III
Suzuki Online Training, before continuing to the next lesson. 7. EN05 Engine Auxiliary systems
8. DS01 Driveshaft/Axle
Smart manuals 9. DS02 Driveshaft/Axle transfer case
10. BR02 Brake control systems
Some sections of this training manual contain videos with 11. Manual transmission / transaxle
detailed information on the topics you are studying. If you are 12. CS02 Control system / body electrical
studying this training manual on a PC, look out for the green
play video symbol on any photo or picture in this manual, click 13. CS03 Communication / bus systems
on photo/figure to watch a video providing you with detailed
information on that topic. Note: Internet connection required You are currently studying EN05 Engine Auxiliary Systems.
This module consists of the following courses:
Charging systems
This document is intended solely for training purposes only. Starting systems
All vehicle repairs and adjustments must be carried out Exhaust system
according to the procedures stipulated in current service
manuals and technical bulletins.
Click on the other training modules to view their training

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 2

Table of contents

Introduction - Charging systems 4

Charging system in a motor vehicle 5
Lesson 1 - Alternator 5
Variable that influence electricity generation 6
Alternator components 7
Rotor 7
Stator 8
Rectifier 9
Voltage regulator 12
Charge warning light 13
Suzuki charging systems 14
Alternator symptom diagnosis 17
On vehicle diagnosis 19

Lesson 2 Battery 22
Battery construction 24
Effects of temperature on electrolyte 27
Chemical reactions inside the battery 28
Battery ratings 29
Maintenance-free batteries 32
Battery maintenance & testing 33
Battery charging 41
Jumpstarting a discharged battery 42

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Introduction - The battery also supplies electrical energy to the consumers
when the alternator stops charging with the engine running.
Charging system When the engine is running, the alternator supplies the
electrical loads with electrical energy and also charges the
A motor vehicle uses a lot of electrical energy whilst in battery. At idle speed, a three phase alternator already
operation. Systems like the starter motor, lights, radio, delivers at least a third of its rated output. This charging
electronic control units, engine ignition systems, etc. require current is increased when the electrical loads increase.
sufficient electrical energy at all times to operate reliably.
The charging system in the motor vehicle ensures that the
electrical consumers are supplied with the current they
require to operate at all times.

The charging system consists of the following main


Charge warning light (in instrument cluster)
Wiring harness

The main function of the charging system is:

To supply all electrical consumers (loads) in the vehicle

with direct current (DC) voltage.
To keep the battery sufficiently charged.

With the engine switched OFF, the battery supplies all the
electrical energy required by any electrical consumers Figure 1 - Charging system
switched ON, in the vehicle. If electrical loads are switched
ON for extended periods, the battery can be discharged.

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Alternator When the magnet is moved in and out of the coil, the needle of
the galvanometer moves to the left or right depending on the
direction of movement of the bar magnet.
Click on the illustration to view an animation.

Figure 1
[a] Galvanometer
[b] Magnet
[c] Coil

Figure 2 Alternator Suzuki Kizashi
Figure 3 Electromagnetic induction

The alternator is driven by the internal combustion engine and

The current induced in the coil is alternating current (AC).
converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. The stator
Alternating current changes direction and produces a
and the rotor are the fundamentals parts of the alternator. The
sinusoidal wave pattern. The following graph illustrates the
rotor (electromagnet) rotates inside the stator (winding).
wave pattern of AC current produced as the rotor rotates.

Operating principles + Figure 4

[V] Voltage
The alternator generates electrical energy by using the v [] angle of rotation
principles of electromagnetic induction. When an electrical of rotor
moves relative to the lines of force of a magnetic field, a 180 360 540 720
voltage is induced in the conductor. According the Faradays - t
law, the induced voltage increases when the speed of the
vertical motion or size of the magnetic flux is increased. In the
simple illustration below, a permanent magnet moves in and
out of a coil. The coil ends are connected to a galvanometer. Figure 4 Alternating current

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Variables that influence electricity generation Temperature

The process of conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy

Engine speed causes the components of the alternator to heat up. Alternators are
often cooled by means of a fan or in some cases, alternators can be
water cooled. Ambient temperature also affects the production of
The electricity generated by the alternator increases with
electricity by the alternator.
increase in rotational speed of the rotor. The alternator rotor is
Example: the table below illustrates the effects of temperature on
driven by the crankshaft via a belt and often rotates at a ratio of
output voltage of the alternator (Suzuki Kizashi A6B424)
between 1:2.2 to 1:3 for passenger cars. It must be ensured that
the maximum permissible speed of the rotor is not exceeded at
maximum engine speed.

Example: In the Suzuki Kizashi, the alternator permissible

maximum speed is 18 000 revs/minute.
Figure 5
[1] drive belt
[2] Water pump
[3] Crankshaft
[4] Alternator
Figure 6 Alternator rated voltage, temperature table

Figure 6
[a] Output voltage
Figure 5 The alternator mounting position [b] Regulator case temperature
(Suzuki Swift RS415)
[c] High output alternator
[d] Low output alternator

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Alternator components Rotor
The rotor is an electromagnet that rotates inside the stator.
The alternator is made up of the following main components: Current to energise the rotor is supplied by the battery via the
Rotor slip rings. The rotor is made up of a coil of wire wrapped
around and iron core. When current flows in the coil, a
Stator magnetic field is created around the core. The coil is
Voltage regulator surrounded by two claw type finger poles.
Pulley The magnetic field created saturates around the finger poles
Bearings and one becomes north and the other one south. When the
Front and rear frames rotor is rotating, an alternating North, South, North, South
Fan magnetic field is created. This magnetic field of different
poles cuts through the stator winding, resulting in AC being
induced in the stator windings.

Figure 8
[a] winding
[b] Claw pole
[c] Slip rings

Figure 7 Alternator components

Figure 8 Rotor

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Stator Stator windings
The stator is made with three sets of windings connected to
the center. The winding connection can be either delta or WYE. In a three phase alternator, the stator contains three identical
Each winding is placed is a different position compared with windings ([c] Winding ends, in Figure 10) which are offset
the others (120 apart). from each other by 120

The rotor discussed above rotates inside the stator. The The sinusoidal alternating current generated by these
magnetic field produced by the rotor cuts through the stator windings is also out-of-phase by 120. The resultant
winding inducing a current in the stator winding. alternating current is known as a three phase current.

The current induced in the stator winding is alternating current. The windings of the stator are connected to each other in the
The stator leads are connected to the rectifier which converts following ways: Delta winding or Star (Y) winding.
the AC current produced to DC.

Figure 9
[a] Stator winding
[b] Stator core
[c] Winging ends

Figure 10 Star winding

Star or Wye wound stators are used in alternators that require

high voltage output at low alternator speed. A star winding
can be identified by 4 stator lead ends. In this winding, two
additional diodes rectify the positive and negative half waves
of the star point.
Figure 9 Stator

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Figure 11 Delta winding
Figure 12 Rectifier (top side)

Delta wound stators can be easily identified because they have [a] Negative plate with negative 3 diodes
only three stator lead ends. [b] Positive plate with 3 positive diodes
[c] B+ (connection for battery cable)

The rectifier is made up of power diodes. Diodes are

semiconductor devices that allow current to flow in the
forward direction and block current flowing in the reverse
In a rectifier with 6 diodes (figure 12), three diodes are
negative diodes and other three diodes are positive diodes.
The positive diodes are connected to B+.
The rectifier uses these diodes to convert the alternating
current (AC) generated in the stator to direct current (DC),
suitable for the electrical system and battery charging.

Figure 13 Rectifier (bottom side)

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Full-wave rectification
Rectification of Alternating Current
In the following circuit, 4 power diodes are connected. With
this type of circuit, there is no moment where the output
Half-wave rectification current will be OFF because if negative current is blocked by
In the following circuit (figure 14), a diode is connected in one diode, it will flow through a different diode to reach the
series with an AC voltage supply. In this case, the diode will resistor. The positive current flow is represented by the solid
allow the positive side of the AC voltage to pass and block the arrows and the negative current flow is indicated by the
negative side of the AC voltage. This results in a half wave as dashed arrows.
illustrated in the graph.

Figure 15 single phase, full wave

rectification circuit
Figure 14 single phase, half wave
rectification circuit

Figure 14(a) Resultant wave pattern Figure 15(a) Resultant wave pattern

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3 phase, full wave rectification Alternator with two stators
In the 3 phase-full wave rectification, the AC voltages In some newer vehicles, an alternator with two stators that
generated in the 3 windings are rectified by 6 diodes in a 3 are coupled to two rectifiers are used. This alternator is used
phase bridge circuit. Two diodes are connected to each in vehicles that have high power demands. The following
winging, one positive and one negative. The positive current partial circuit diagram indicates the dual stator alternator used
flow is represented by the solid arrows and the negative in the Suzuki Kizashi A6B424 . The two stator windings are
current flow is represented by the doted arrows. highlighted in yellow.

Figure 16 3 phase, full wave rectification circuit

Figure 17 Dual stator & rectifier type alternator (Suzuki Kizashi)

Figure 17
[2] IC voltage regulator
[3] Alternator
[4] Rotor
[5] Stator

Figure 16(a) Resultant wave pattern

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Voltage regulator Types of voltage regulators
One advantage of using an electromagnetic rotor is that the Any one of two regulator designs can be used:
strength of the magnetic field can be controlled by controlling
the amount of current supplied to the rotor. If the current
The Grounded Field type. The regulator controls the
supplied to the rotor is increased, the magnetic strength will
amount of B+ going to the field winding in the rotor.
increase and thus the output voltage.
When the current to the rotor is reduced, the magnetic flux
will also be reduced and thus, the output voltage will be also
be decreased.
This principle is used by the voltage regulator to control the
amount of alternator output current. In this way, the system
voltage is kept constant and prevents the battery from being
overcharged or discharged during operation

Figure 19 Grounded Field type voltage regulator

The Grounded Regulator type. The regulator controls the

amount battery ground (negative) going to the field winding
in the rotor.

Figure 20 Grounded Regulator type voltage regulator

Figure 18 Voltage regulator

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Charge warning light
The charge warning light is installed in the instrument cluster
and indicates the state of charge of the alternator. The
warning light illuminates when the ignition is switched ON and
switches OFF once the engine is running. If the charge warning
lamp continues to illuminate with the engine running, there is a
malfunction of the alternator.

Figure 21 Charge warning light

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Suzuki charging systems Charging circuit diagram

Currently, there are two types of charging systems in use.

Type 1: Basic charging system

The alternator is of a small and high performance type with an
IC regulator incorporated. The internal components are
connected electrically as shown in the following figure 22.
The generator features are as follows:
Solid state regulator is mounted inside the generator.
All regulator components are enclosed into a solid mold.
The IC regulator along with the brush holder assembly is Figure 22 Charging circuit diagram (Suzuki Swift AZH414)
attached to the rear housing.
Figure 22
The IC regulator uses integrated circuits and controls the
[1] Alternator
voltage produced by the generator, and the voltage setting
cannot be adjusted [2] IC regulator
[3] Stator winding
The stator windings are assembled on the inside of a
laminated core that forms part of the generator frame. [4] Rectifier
[5] Rotor
[6] Charge warning light
[7] Ignition switch
[8] Battery
[9] Electrical loads
[10] BCM
[11] Combination meter
[12] CAN driver

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Type 2: ECM controlled charging system


In this type of charging system, the IC regulator is also

connected to the engine control module via two terminals. (FR
and C terminals). Figure 22 shows an example of how these
components are connected in type of charging system.

Engine control module (13) controls the output voltage of the
alternator using the C terminal based on the following Figure 22 ECM controlled charging circuit diagram (Suzuki Alto AMF310)
Figure 22
Engine condition (ECT, vehicle speed, engine speed, TP, etc.
[1] Alternator [2] IC regulator [3] Stator coil [4] Diode
[5] Rotor [6] Charge warning light [7] Ignition switch [8]
Battery voltage (ECM backup power voltage (15))
[8] Battery [9] Electric load [10] BCM [11] IC [12] CAN driver
Electric load condition (blower motor, rear defogger, A/C,
headlights, etc. (16)) [13] Engine control module
FR terminal output (field coil control duty) which indicates
the electricity generation rate of the alternator. This method of alternator control results in more accurately
controlled charge rate, allowing for smaller and lighter
batteries to be used. The module can also monitor system
Then the IC regulator uses the C terminal duty cycle from the
operation to simplify diagnosis and repair by producing DTCs.
ECM to adjust the current to the slip rings thus the output
voltage (B+ terminal voltage). The generated current is also
sent to the ECM via the FR terminal in duty cycle forms.

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C and F terminal duty cycles Alternator rear end view

The SDT can be used to monitor the actual duty cycles of the C
and FR terminals. This function is available under ECM data list.

C terminal duty cycle

This parameter indicates generator control duty ratio that
controls production electricity of generator by ECM.
100%: No limitation for the generating
0%: Maximum limitation for the generating

F terminal
This parameter indicates operating rate (status of production
electricity) for generator by field coil duty ratio.
100%: maximum operation
0%: minimum operation

Terminal L and IG
The light control terminal L controls operation of the warning
light in the instrument cluster and the IG terminal is used to
supply power to the IC regulator (2) when the ignition is
switched ON.

Figure 23 Electrical connector for C, F, L & IG

terminals (Suzuki Kizashi A6B424)

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Alternator Symptom Diagnosis

Trouble in the charging system will show up as one or more of

the following conditions.

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 17

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 18
On-vehicle diagnosis Alternator charge rate test (No loads)

When a vehicle battery is undercharged, this can be noticed by Step 1: Ensure the battery is fully charged
slow or no cranking or low specific gravity. An undercharged Step 2: Connect the Ammeter and Voltmeter as shown in
battery can be caused by one or more of the following figure 24 (NB: An inductive pick-up type Multimeter must be
conditions: used, observe Amps capacity of Multimeter)
Make sure that undercharged condition has not been caused Step 3: Run engine at 2000 RPM with all accessories switched
by accessories left on for extended period of time OFF
Check drive belt for proper tension. Observe reading and record measurements:
Inspect wiring for defects. Check all connections for Step 4: Compare readings obtained to vehicle specifications
tightness and cleanliness, battery cable connections at
If reading is above specification: Alternator is overcharging
battery, starting motor and ignition ground cable
If reading is below specification: Alternator is undercharging
If battery defect is suspected, refer to the battery section of
this manual for battery test procedures.
Alternator charge rate test (With loads)

With the meters still connected,

Step 1: Turn ON all accessories (Headlights, rear window
defogger, A/C blower speed MAX)
Step 2: Run engine at 2000 RPM
Step 3: Record the ammeter reading. The charging current
must be above 20A (Always check vehicle specifications). If
not, renew alternator.

Figure 24 Voltmeter and Ammeter connection

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Voltage drop tests of cables Positive cable volt drop test

Negative cable volt drop test Step 1: Connect the voltmeter as shown in figure 26.

Step 1: Connect the voltmeter as shown in figure 25.

Figure 26 Voltmeter connection for positive cable volt drop

Figure 25 Voltmeter connection for negative cable volt drop

Step 2: Start the engine and increase engine speed to 2000rpm Step 2: Start the engine and increase engine speed to 2500
Step 3: Switch ON accessories to increase load rpm.
Step 4: Observe voltage reading and record Step 3: Switch ON all accessories to increase load
If less than 0.3V. The circuit is OK Step 4: Observe voltage reading and record
If more that 0.3V. Excessive resistance, check connections If less that 0.3V. The circuit is OK
of negative cable If more that 0.3V. Excessive resistance, check connections
of the positive cable

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 20


The charging system is made up of the alternator, battery,

wiring harness, charge warning light.
The alternator is a generator that converts mechanical
energy to electrical energy and it is driven by the crankshaft
via a drive belt connected to the crankshaft pulley.
The IC regulator in the ECM controlled type adjusts the
alternator generated voltage based on a duty signal from the
The charge warning light in the instrument cluster monitors
the alternator output voltage. If this drops below the
specified range, the warning light will be illuminated with the
engine running
Alternator on-vehicle tests can be performed to determine
the functionality of the charging system.
An inductive pick-up type ammeter must be used to measure
the charging current.

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Lesson 2

At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

Describe safety precautions that must be followed when
working with batteries.
Explain the operating principles of the lead-acid battery
Describe the basic parts of the battery
Describe the procedure to be followed when jumpstarting a
discharged battery
Describe the basic tests that must be performed on a battery
to determine its serviceability

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Operation cycle of the battery

Electrical energy is stored in the battery chemically. When the

engine is switched OFF, the battery supplied power to all
electrical consumers. During this time the battery is being

When the engine is running, the alternator produces electrical

energy and the battery gets recharged.
Figure 1 Battery

The automotive battery is an electrochemical storage facility

for electrical energy. The electrical energy stored by the
battery is needed during vehicle operation . When the engine
is running, the batterys electrical energy is used when the
electrical energy generated by the alternator is less than the
requirements of the electrical consumers in the vehicle. When
the engine is switched off, the battery supplies all electrical
consumers with electrical energy.

The three main functions of the battery are:

Supply power to the starter and ignition system so that

engine can be started
Acts as a voltage stabilizer in the electrical system by
damping voltage peaks to protect sensitive electronic
Figure 2 Battery cycles
Supplement the electrical load when load requirements
exceed the alternator output.

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Battery construction

Figure 3 Battery construction

Battery case

The battery case is made of acid resistant material and is

subdivided into 6 cells by partitions. The cells contain positive
and negative plates as well as separators.

The top of the battery case (lid) also has the battery terminal
posts and an opening with a lid for each battery cell. Some
battery cases are also translucent and have the marking MIN
level and Max level which enables checking of the battery
electrolyte level without removing the battery caps.
Figure 4 Battery case

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Battery terminals Plates

The battery terminals are used to connect the battery to the Battery cells contain negative plates and positive plates which
vehicles electrical system. There are two battery terminal are separated by a non conductor material. The capacity of
posts, one negative and one positive. The terminals are usually the cells depend on the surface area and the number of
marked in red color for the positive (+) and black color for the plates.
negative (-). Battery cables must never be reversed when The plates are coated with active material. The active
being connected to the vehicle. material of the positive plates is made of porous lead dioxide
(PbO) and the negative plates contains pure lead (Pb)
Specific gravity indicator
Some batteries also have a built in hydrometer for specific
gravity indication. The sight glass is used to indicate the state
of charge of the battery. The charge status is described in
figure 5 below.

Figure 6 Battery plates

Plate separators
The negative and positive plates are placed very close to each
other. To prevent short circuiting of the plates, a non
conductor material is used to separate the plates.

Figure 7 -
battery separator [1]

Figure 5 SG indicator

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Battery hold down clamps Battery cables

The battery hold down clamps and the battery tray keep the Battery cables are large wires that connect the battery
battery mounted securely to the vehicle. This prevents terminals to the vehicles electrical system. The positive
excessive vibrations of the battery that may cause physical cable is normally connected to the starter solenoid, the
damage to the battery casing. alternator and the fuse box/junction box and the negative
cable is connected to the vehicles

Figure 9 Types of battery cable types

Electrolyte (H2SO4) is a mixture of sulphuric acid and distilled
water. At 20C, the electrolyte specific gravity is
Figure 8 Battery hold down clamp [2] approximately 1.270 kg/l when the battery is fully charged and
approximately 1.15 kg/l or lower when the battery is

Electrolyte is made up of 36% Sulfuric acid and 64% distilled


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Effects of temperature on electrolyte

As battery temperature drops, battery power is reduced. At low

temperatures, the chemical action inside the battery is slowed.
When cold, a battery will not produce as much current as when
warm. This affects the ability of the battery to start the engine
at extremely cold temperatures

Temperature also affects the specific gravity of electrolyte. The

diagram below indicates the effects of temperature on the SG
of a battery (Suzuki)

Figure 10 Effects of temperature on SG

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Chemical reactions inside the battery Battery being charged

Battery being discharged When the battery is being charged, current is forced into the
battery by an alternator or a charger. This process increases
the number of hydrogen ions and sulfate ions in the
When electrical loads are connected to the battery, the battery electrolyte, forming sulfuric acid. The density of the
supplies current to the electrical loads for them to function. electrolyte increases.
The battery produces electrical energy by chemical reactions.
When a battery is being discharged, the density of the
electrolyte is reduced. The following chemical reactions occur inside the battery
The following chemical reactions occur inside the battery when when it is being charged.
the battery is being discharged (electrical consumers are
connected to the battery)

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Battery ratings JIS type ratings

Battery ratings (DIN EN ratings) Batteries installed in Suzuki vehicles are most likely to be of
the JIS type. Procedure to read JIS type battery labels is
described below.
The rating of a battery indicates its capacity and it depends
mainly on the surface area of the plates.
Lets decode the JIS rating by looking at the battery below.
Amp-hour rating
The Amp-hour rating of a battery is the amount of current (in
Amps) the battery can supply for 20 hours before its voltage
drops below 10.5V.

Example: A 44 Ah battery can supply 2.2 Amps for 20 hours

before the battery voltage drops below 10.5 V.

Reserve capacity
The time in minutes taken for the battery voltage to fall to Figure 11 JIS rating (Suzuki Swift)
10.5 volts with a constant load of 25 amps being drawn at 25
degrees C.

Cold Cranking amps

This indicates the batterys output capacity at low
temperatures. The amount of current (A) a battery can deliver
at a temperature of 18C for 10s before the battery voltage
drops below 7.5V

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Description 2 = Size of the narrow side

1 = Performance Rank (No unit symbol) (In the JIS standard, categories are set based on the width
and the box height)
This indicates a battery's overall performance (starting
performance, capacity). The larger the number, the better the Symbol: The size increases from A to H (Unit: mm)
(Under 50 = 2 steps, 50 and above = 5 steps)

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3 = Length In the L type, the negative terminal is located on the left.

This number indicates the battery length in

centimeters. In this case, the battery is 24cm long.

When there is no symbol, the posts are located on the side of

the battery

4 = Polarity position

This indicates the positive and negative polarity

position of the battery (R. or L. or no symbol). In the
R type, the negative terminal is located on the right.

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Maintenance free battery

The maintenance free battery can be easily identified because The calcium in the battery plates reduces the production of
it does not have removable filler caps. The top of the battery gases. This increases battery life and reduces service
cells are covered with a large snap in cover. This battery does requirements.
not require periodic top up of electrolyte.

Figure 12 Maintenance free battery

The negative grid of maintenance free battery consists of a

lead-calcium alloy (PbCa)- with added silver in some versions
and added silver in some versions. The positive grid is made
from an antimony alloy (PbSb)

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Battery maintenance & testing

Safety precautions Battery Sulfation

Battery produces hydrogen gas. Never expose battery to If battery is allowed to stand for a long period in discharged
open flames or electric spark because hydrogen gas condition, the lead sulfate becomes converted into a hard,
produces by battery is flammable and explosive. crystalline substance, which will not easily turn back to the
Do not allow battery fluid to contact eyes, skin, fabrics or active material again during the subsequent recharging.
painted surfaces as battery fluid is corrosive. Flush any Sulfation means the result as well as the process of that
contacted area with water immediately and thoroughly. reaction. Such a battery can be revived by very slow charging
and may be restored to usable condition but its capacity is
Batteries should always be kept out of reach of children
lower than before. A 3 minute fast charge must be carried out
Always wear safety clothing when working on batteries to determine Sulfation. If the voltage of the battery rises
Charge batteries in a well ventilated area above 15.5V during the 3 minutes, renew battery.
Do not leave batteries on charge un-attended
Electrolyte freezing

The freezing point of electrolyte depends on its specific

gravity. Since freezing may ruin a battery, it should be
protected against freezing by keeping it in a fully charged
condition. If a battery is frozen accidentally, it should not be
charged until it is warmed.

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Battery care Battery removal and installation

The battery is a very reliable component, but needs Always remove the battery by following this order
periodical attention. Step 1: Switch OFF ignition switch and all accessories
Keep battery carrier and battery case clean Step 2: Always disconnect negative terminal first (1)
Prevent rust formation on the terminal posts Step 3: Remove positive terminal (2)
Keep electrolyte up to upper level uniformly in all cells Step 4: Remove hold down clamps (3)
Keep the battery cables connections clean to ensure good
metal to metal contact. Clean and grease the connectors to
protect them from rusting again NB: Install in reverse order
Periodically check the state of charge of the battery. The
simplest way to tell the state of charge is to carry out a
hydrometer test.

Figure 14 Battery mounting position

Figure 13 Corroded battery posts

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Common causes of battery failure Battery testing

Accessories left ON for extended periods without generator The first test one must perform on a battery is visual
operation inspection.
Frequent driving at slow speed for short periods
Electrical loads exceeds generator output, particularly due to
additional fitting of aftermarket accessories.
Defects in the charging system
Failure to keep terminals and battery case clean
Deterioration of battery due to long term use
Deterioration of battery due to long term storage

Figure 14 Battery visual inspection

ENry05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 35

Open circuit voltage
Volt reading % of charge

The voltage produced by each cell of the 6 cell battery is 2.1V. 12.6 V 100
This means that a 12V battery should have an open circuit
voltage of 12.6V when fully charged. To measure open circuit
12.4 V 75
voltage, use a digital multi-meter set on voltage scale.
12.2 V 50
1. Turn ON the headlights for about a minute to remove surface
charge, the turn them OFF.
12.0 V 25
2. Place the positive probe of the Multimeter on the positive
terminal of the battery and place the negative probe of the
11.9 V 0
Multimeter on the negative terminal of the battery. Take
voltage readings and match with the table below.
3. Take readings from Multimeter and compare with the table

Figure 14 Open circuit voltage test

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Load test

The battery load test measures the batterys ability to deliver 2. Load the battery using the current load knob on the tester.
adequate cranking power. Max load current must be equal to 3 times the batterys Ah
To perform a load test, first ensure that the batterys open rating or 1/2 the CCA rating.
circuit voltage is above 12.4V. If lower than 12.4V, the battery
must be recharged first.
Use a suitable battery load tester and follow the 3. Load test the battery for not more that 15 seconds
manufacturers instruction. To load test a batter, follow the
following general procedure applies. 4. Record the voltage reading of the voltmeter,
1. After you have confirmed the open circuit voltage is above
12.4V, connect the load tester as shown on the diagram below.
9.6 V or higher : Good battery
9.5 V or lower : Replace battery

Figure 15 Connection of a battery load tester

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Hydrometer test State of charge

The electrolyte density is a more suitable indicator of the A fully charged battery will have an SG reading of 1.275 Kg/l
battery charge level. In non-maintenance free batteries, the +- 0.10
cell caps can be removed to inspect the level of the electrolyte A half charged battery will have an SG reading of 1.220 Kg/l
and perform specific gravity test using a hydrometer. +- 0.10
A discharged battery will have an SG reading of 1.150 Kg/l
The hydrometer is used to check the batterys state of charge. and below
At 27C of battery temperature the hydrometer readings will be
as shown on the table below Temperature correction
As mentioned earlier in this lesson, temperature affects the
specific gravity of electrolyte. The SG reading is specified at
an electrolyte temperature of 20C.

Figure 16 Specific Gravity inspection

Figure 17 Temperature correction table (Suzuki)

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Current draw test

The battery can also be drained by electrical components that

remain ON when the vehicle is not being used (e.g. when
parked overnight).
Electrical components ( original or aftermarket) must switch
OFF after the vehicle has been left unused for some time. If
these components fail to switch OFF and remain ON, they will
draw current from the battery and the battery voltage will drop.

To test a vehicle for any current drain, follow the following

1. Switch OFF all electrical consumers (lights, radio, phone
control modules, etc.)
2. Remove the negative cable from the battery
3. Connect a digital Multimeter in series, (negative Multimeter
probe clamped on negative battery terminal, positive battery Figure 18 Connection of a DMM for current draw test
probe clamped onto negative cable.
4. select the Amps scale on the Multimeter
5. Leave the vehicle undisturbed for about 15 minutes so that
all control modules can shut-down
6. Record the Amps reading on the Multimeter. The reading
must be less than 80mA (see service manuals for vehicle
specific limits)
7. If the reading is above, the battery will be drained quickly,
therefore perform diagnosis of electrical system.

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 39

Battery post to clamp resistance test Surface discharge

Oxidation or corrosion of the battery clamp results in the Sulfuric acid and dirt on top of the battery case will lead to
battery not being completely recharged. Even though the current leakage. Perform the following test to determine
terminals look clean, a resistance test must be performed to surface leakage. Place negative cable of voltmeter lead on
determine the status of the contact between the battery cable negative pole and move the positive lead on top of the battery
and battery post. case.

To do the test;
1. Set a digital Multimeter to the Volts scale
2. Place the red probe of the Multimeter on the battery terminal
3. Place the battery negative terminal on the battery cable
4. Crank the vehicle with the ignition disabled and observe the
voltage reading. If the reading is above 0 Volts, clean the
battery posts and battery cables and retest

Figure 19 surface discharge test

If any voltage is indicated in the Multimeter. Clean the battery

case using a solution of bicarbonate of soda and water.

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Battery charging Fast charge
It is impossible for the alternator to charge a discharged
battery adequately, therefore a battery charger must always be Fast charging of a battery must be done in emergency
used. situations. This forces a larger amount of current through the
Precautions battery therefore frequently check the temperature of the
battery. Do not let the temperature exceed 52C. When fast
1. Do not connect or disconnect the charger cables to the
charging a battery, set the charging current to about 15% of
battery whilst the charger is turned ON
the batterys AH rating. Do not exceed 35A. A fast charge
2. Always charge a battery in a well ventilated area must always be followed by a slow charge.
3. Always wear safety gear when working with batteries
4. Open battery caps when charging
5. No open flames around battery charging station
6. Do not leave batteries on charge unattended (e.g. leaving a
battery on charge over night is unsafe)
7. Do not charge a battery whilst its still connected to the
vehicles electrical system
8. Periodically check the charge level of the battery to
determine if further charging is necessary.

Slow charge
A slow charger forces only a small amount of current through
the battery. To slow charge a battery, set the batter charger
current to approximately 10% of the battery's Ah rating.
Figure 20 Battery charger
Periodically check the charge status of the battery to prevent

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 41

Jumpstarting a flat battery

Procedure Turn OFF electrical accessories. The start engine of vehicle

with discharged battery.
[1] Set parking brake and place gear shift lever in P position [6] Do not disconnect the jumper cable immediately after the
(A/T model) or Neutral (M/T model). Turn OFF ignition switch, engine is started, allow the engine to run for a while.
lighting switch and all other electrical loads.
[7] Switch ON electrical loads (rear window demister, a/c
[2] Check electrolyte level. If below low level line, add blower motor to max position)
distilled water
[8] Disconnect the jumper cables in exact reverse order
[3] Attach end of one jumper cable to positive terminal of
booster battery and other end of same cable to positive
terminal of discharged battery. (Always use a 12V battery)

[4] Attach one end of the negative cable to the negative

terminal of the battery and the other end to a solid engine
ground at least 45cm away from discharged battery.

[5] Start engine of vehicle with booster battery and

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 42


A vehicle battery produces electrical energy through

chemical reactions.
The battery also acts as storage for electrical energy
Electrolyte is a mixture of sulfuric acid and distilled water
Maintenance batteries do not have openings to service the
Always wear safety clothing and observe safety precautions
when working on a battery.
Each battery has a rating that indicates its capacity. This is
specifically important when the battery is being replaced.
The batteries used in Suzuki vehicles as original equipment
has the JIS type ratings.
Several tests can be carried out to determine the
serviceability of the battery, these include: Sulfation test,
surface discharge test, open voltage test, hydrometer test,
current drain test.
When jumpstarting, always follow the correct jumpstarting
procedure to prevent damage to the vehicles electronic
control units.

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 43

Well done, you have now completed the
Charging systems training course

Please complete the online exam

EN05 Engine Auxiliary System I Charging system 44