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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m starting a new thread that is different from existing threads on charging the Macan Battery & Replacing the Macan Battery.


This is regarding how you know when your battery needs to be replaced & also about interpreting the Battery “State Of Health” reading from the newer Capacitance battery testers, such as the Solar BA9. (I recently bought a BA9)


1st, how do you know?
Battery will not start the car.
If battery just failed to start car it could be a perfectly good battery but the problem was a bad alternator or a loose belt for example. In addition to fully charging the battery, the charging system needs to be checked.

Battery will not take a charge.
Despite leaving on your charger for days, it still has a very low voltage reading.


Old fashioned load testers can possibly damage your battery & are not valid when testing a discharged battery. So, if you had a bad alternator or loose belt & consequently your battery was depleted, your friendly neighborhood mechanic would do a quick “surface charge” in a hour or 2 & then perform a load test, which your battery would fail. He then would sell you an overpriced battery. (Forgetting, for the moment, the requirements of the Porsche registration issue) You drive away satisfied that this problem is behind you only to have the same exact dead (new) battery… 1 month later. Why? It was never the battery, it was the alternator. Batteries need to be charged before performing a load test.

Capacitance battery testers: Much better vs. the old load testers. These do NOT drain your battery.
(They can also test your charging system but, I will not discuss that here)
They do need to be connected directly to the battery + & - terminals so, no convenient Macan jump start terminals, unfortunately.

Will read:
Voltage (same as a Multimeter will)
CCA or EN Amps for our Varta or Banner batteries. (These rating systems are similar but not identical & you must set the correct system when using the tester. For our Macans it s/b set to “EN” (The specification/rating system is printed on the battery itself.)

Note: you must know 2 specs re your battery or the test will be worthless
1) Type of battery; AGM, Flooded, Gel, etc. (For us it is AGM)
2) Spec CCA, EN Amps, etc.

So for Macan you would set to “AGM” & to “EN” & to “850.”

Here is where the device gives you needed information.

You press enter after inputting the above info & in 2 seconds you get a readout:
SOH up to 100% This is the key information!
SOC (State of charge) You already really know that from your multimeter & a battery voltage chart showing 12.7 V= 100% SOC & 12.20 V= 60%, etc.

Internal resistance in mΩ.

Lower is better. As batteries age, their internal resistance increases, which reduces their capacity (EN Amps or CCA for common U.S. branded batteries)

You also get (with the BA9 at least) an assessment:
OK: the battery is good and capable of holding a charge
OK Recharge: the battery is good but needs to be charged
Recharge/Retest: battery is discharged. The battery condition cannot be determined until it is fully charged
Bad: The battery cannot hold a charge. It should be replaced immediately. Or, the battery has at least one short circuited cell. Replace immediately.

These capacitance testers are able to test a battery that is not fully charged.

It will be interesting to hear feedback from those who use capacitance testers.
I have some questions re how exactly the “OK” or “BAD” assessment is decided.

I have figured out that SOH is simply measured EN A/Spec EN A.

So if your Macan battery measured 800 A EN but, we know the spec is 850 A EN
Your SOH = 94%.
Your battery can put out 800 amps & when it was new it was putting out 850 A.

I think (from Battery University articles.) that you can have a marginal or even bad battery that you are still able to charge 100% so it comes off the charger reading 12.7 V but the CCA or EN A are significantly below spec.

The relationship between voltage & CCA (or EN A) is not simple AFAIK. I’ve seen charts where the CCA decreases a lot while V remains fairly constant.
Seems like this can fool you into thinking your battery is just fine but it is about to fail. (Will leave you stranded, especially in winter, cold weather.)

I do not know what a “good” resistance reading is.

I do not know how the SOH & the resistance together are used to give the assessment.
I will have more to add later re my tests of 3 car batteries, both partially charged & again after fully charging them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I think this post may be too technical. 0 replies.
I'm guessing most people 'know' their battery is bad when:
It fails to start car
a mechanic tells then it is bad.
It will not take a charge.

The issue of battery SOH is more complex than I had known.
"Why do Different Test Methods Provide Dissimilar Readings?"

SOH
State of health - Wikipedia

"How to Measure CCA"
"Discover why a good CCA reading does not always guarantee a good battery"

I'm assuming that the internal battery resistance is dependent on the CCA of the battery & the type; AGM, flooded, etc. Since the Solar tool only asks for those #s & not Ah, etc.

I cannot find anything, despite extensive searches, including car forums, battery forums, as to what constitutes a good vs. bad internal resistance. I have even contacted the manufacturer of my Solar tool & received prompt replies that are very general & do not answer my questions. Calling them gets me voice mail.

The public seems to prefer simplicity based on the tools that have simple Green, Yellow & Red results.
I happen to dislike such readouts, whether it is for tire tread depth, alternator or battery voltage or anything. I prefer numbers & criteria.

I want to know my tread depth = 8/32 & new was 10/32 & the legal limit = 2/32 but 4/32 is time to think about replacement especially when driving in wet weather. Just being told your tires are bad & need replacement or You're good, doesn't do it for me. ;)
 

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This seems like an interesting product. The company currently makes 2 models, one for lithium batters and one for lead acid - wonder if either one would work on the Macan.


 

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After 5 years if my car battery shows any sign of weakness I just get a new one.
 
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I'm guessing most people 'know' their battery is bad when:
It fails to start car
a mechanic tells then it is bad.
It will not take a charge.
I change battery after 5 years (don't care if it's bad or not).
No need to wait for problems on an old battery (it's just a matter of time), maybe 300km away from home...
Even more since if you plan the work (with no hurry), it's an easy and quite cheap DIY operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks grim, for finding out that internal resistance of 2.0 m Ω – 15.0 m Ω is considered to be good
 

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Thanks grim, for finding out that internal resistance of 2.0 m Ω – 15.0 m Ω is considered to be good
Sorry, I didn't have time to type on a computer last nite. Here's the longer version.

SOC is simple, easy to look up the table. SOH is more difficult because, as far as I can tell, its the amount of lead sulfate crystals that are permanent that have taken away from 100% use of the battery. So, you need that fancy tester you just bought. As long as there is enough cranking ability, it doesn't matter. Its just a matter of time before they all die.

As soon as the battery reaches 100% SOC, sulphation starts. The longer the battery sits, the worse it gets. Regularly using something like a CTEK helps because of its desulphation phase before the bulk charging begins, but it only helps, not a complete solution.

Internal resistance is not like there is a resistor in there but in starter batteries is measured in milliohm, the less the better. AGM batteries have inherently smaller numbers. Here's a good video where different batteries are tested and you can easily see the AGM batteries have lower internal resistance. As they age, that resistance gets worse.

People don't care about all this. Its too much information. Most people never give a battery a second glance. I wouldn't either except I know from experience Porsche is not the same as other marques. The batteries can and will die unless the car is driven almost daily. Still, I guess few people own a battery tester. You know when the battery is dying. Although, I've been told its different with AGM batteries in that they just "die" and not go through that stage where the headlights dim and you cranking becomes difficult. I don't know if thats true or not.

So yeah, too much information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Details on my usage of shiny, new, battery capacitance/conductance tester for those who own one or are contemplating purchase in order to know (not just guess) the state of health (SOH) of their car batteries. Not just know the State of Charge (SOC) which is easy with a cheap Multimeter. Those who have used the old style, load testers already know it is possible for your battery to be fully charged (12.7 V) yet still fail a load test & be a ticking time bomb that will leave you stranded.

Summary: For ~ $50 you can buy a tool that will tell you if your car battery is good or bad in 2 seconds. Best to use after fully charge the battery with CTEK or other tender. The reason you may wish to test, is that a battery that a tender just fully charged & says is OK or you test with a multimeter & get a fully charged reading, may, in fact, be bad & fail soon.

Details on my testing of 3 car AGM batteries:

Macan Varta AGM
: ~4.5 years old 92Ah, 850 A EN (similar to CCA)
All testing done @ battery terminals
Test w/o charging 1st:
MM=12.27V 65%
Solar 12.23V, 510 A EN Assessment =“OK Recharge”
SOH = 60%, SOC = 43%, 4.63 mΩ
Note: SOH = measured CCA/expected CCA per battery specs. 510/850=60%

Test Macan Varta again after fully charging with CTEK:
MM = 12.69 V 100%
Solar= 12.65V, 673 A EN, Assessment = “BAD” {battery cannot hold a charge or at least 1 short circuited cell. Replace immediately}
SOH = 79%, 3.51 mΩ
——————————————
911 Banner AGM ~ 1 yr. old 80 Ah, 800 A EN
Test w/o charging 1st:
MM=12.27V, 65%
Solar=12.23V, 670 A EN Assessment =“OK Recharge”
SOH = 83%, 3.53 mΩ
SOC = 55%

Test 911 Banner again after fully charging with CTEK:
MM= 12.98 V 100%
Solar= 12.9V 100%, 728 A EN Assessment =“OK”
SOH = 91%
SOC = 100%, 3.25 mΩ
————————————————
Jaguar 2000 XJ8, replaced old flooded battery with Bosch AGM 2 ¼ years ago
92 Ah, 850 CCA
Test w/o charging 1st:
MM= 12.25V 65%
Solar= 12.3V, 752 CCA, Assessment = “OK Recharge”
SOH = 88%, SOC = 50%, 3.34 mΩ

Test Jaguar Bosch again after fully charging with CTEK:
MM 13.02 V 100%
Solar= 12.85V, 845 CCA, Assessment = “OK”
SOH = 94%, SOC = 99%, 3.14 mΩ
 

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Macan Varta AGM: ~4.5 years old 92Ah, 850 A EN (similar to CCA)
All testing done @ battery terminals

Test Macan Varta again after fully charging with CTEK:
MM = 12.69 V 100%
Solar= 12.65V, 673 A EN, Assessment = “BAD” {battery cannot hold a charge or at least 1 short circuited cell. Replace immediately}
SOH = 79%, 3.51 mΩ
——————————————
Ever hear how someone with two watches never knows what time it is?

You used the CTEK. It must have gone to the 7th phase, the green light. To get there is means it passed phase 5, the analyze phase that determines if the battery can hold a charge. And yet the new toy says "no", battery failed and needs to be replaced. This is why too much information is no information.

Which one is right and which one is wrong?

Looks like you need to buy another brand analyzer and see what it says ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ha Ha

I think by the Time CTEK fails to charge your battery, it is toast & will leave you stranded. My rationale for testing is to get a heads up on how close my Macan battery (& other batteries) are to needing to be replaced. Especially considering the expense & difficulty involved with Porsche battery registration. I have absolutely 0 symptoms but, my Macan battery is 4.5 years old & it is hot in summer here.

Yes, my CTEK does get to Step 7.


The significant data the “new toy” provides is what are my CCA? (For Varta or Banner it actually is EN A but ~ the same thing)
My Macan was 673 A. When new, that battery s/b = 850 A That is why the SOH = 79%. My battery now can produce only 79% of the expected A.

Now what does this mean to me?

That gets tricky. If I had slow cranking, was unable to fully charge to step 7 with CTEK & maybe if I was about to go on a trip with subzero temperatures, I’d probably replace the battery now.

Exactly how the Solar BA9 arrives at the “Assessment” is difficult for me to ascertain, even after calling & speaking with their tech support.

They claim they do not know. “It is an algorithm provided by another company.”
I asked if it was a certain % below spec & he said he thought it was but, did not know what the % was.

I think it is 80% as the cut off.

So, if a fully charged battery tests @ 81-100% SOH… assessment = “OK”
If tests @ 0-79% SOH… assessment = “BAD” {battery cannot hold a charge or at least 1 short circuited cell. Replace immediately}

I have found 3 different comments on different websites regarding the Solar BA9 stating that below 80% = Bad. But nothing from the company.

IDK but suspect different brands of these conductance testers have different algorithms. So results in that gray or marginal area may be different, even with the same reading for CCA & internal resistance.

My guess is they would rather set their assessment to err on the side of “Replace NOW!” vs. saying it is OK & having the customer stranded the next day @ -15˚F.

I think many of these testers are sold to mechanics & I have read several articles re testing every car that comes in & the bottom line is selling new batteries!
 

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Ha Ha

I think by the Time CTEK fails to charge your battery, it is toast & will leave you stranded. My rationale for testing is to get a heads up on how close my Macan battery (& other batteries) are to needing to be replaced. Especially considering the expense & difficulty involved with Porsche battery registration. I have absolutely 0 symptoms but, my Macan battery is 4.5 years old & it is hot in summer here.

Yes, my CTEK does get to Step 7.


The significant data the “new toy” provides is what are my CCA? (For Varta or Banner it actually is EN A but ~ the same thing)
My Macan was 673 A. When new, that battery s/b = 850 A That is why the SOH = 79%. My battery now can produce only 79% of the expected A.

Now what does this mean to me?

That gets tricky. If I had slow cranking, was unable to fully charge to step 7 with CTEK & maybe if I was about to go on a trip with subzero temperatures, I’d probably replace the battery now.

Exactly how the Solar BA9 arrives at the “Assessment” is difficult for me to ascertain, even after calling & speaking with their tech support.

They claim they do not know. “It is an algorithm provided by another company.”
I asked if it was a certain % below spec & he said he thought it was but, did not know what the % was.

I think it is 80% as the cut off.

So, if a fully charged battery tests @ 81-100% SOH… assessment = “OK”
If tests @ 0-79% SOH… assessment = “BAD” {battery cannot hold a charge or at least 1 short circuited cell. Replace immediately}

I have found 3 different comments on different websites regarding the Solar BA9 stating that below 80% = Bad. But nothing from the company.

IDK but suspect different brands of these conductance testers have different algorithms. So results in that gray or marginal area may be different, even with the same reading for CCA & internal resistance.

My guess is they would rather set their assessment to err on the side of “Replace NOW!” vs. saying it is OK & having the customer stranded the next day @ -15˚F.

I think many of these testers are sold to mechanics & I have read several articles re testing every car that comes in & the bottom line is selling new batteries!
So this is what I found. Worst thing ever is to have two watches.

It seems all these conductivity testers shoot a bit of AC into the battery to measure the impedance, the higher the impedence the lower the SOH. It sounds like they all work the same way. The formulas are probably in this article


To old to do math ;) Now how do the different battery testers decide when its bad? Is there a standard? Don't know. Are they consistent? Doesn't appear to be.


read the comments. BA9 not giving correct results. Read garage journal. I like them, good for tools advice.


They don't seem to like Clore so much for battery tester, love Midtronics. Problem is, the cheap midtronics don't handle AGM, cheap being $200. The one's that do start at $400 ? but seem to be consistent.

Using the 7002


Then using the Solar


Now read this. Some explanation


This is a good article


The higher end analyzers with printouts are sold to shops to get you to buy batteries. Read through it. They all say the same thing. Always test every car. Get customers to buy batteries to make profit. Comments from each of the companies that make these analyzers, including Clore.

Since no one is going to tell you what the exact algorithm is for determine good or bad AND the CTEK tells you there is no problem yet, you are back to having two watches. You need a third watch. ;) However, I do understand the battery can be good but the capacity down. That's why the summer heat ages batteries and they die in the winter cold. This is nothing new. That's how it always work. Batteries die in the winter. So, I think its saying your battery is FINE. Its holding a charge, not bad. However, its capacity to start is below some level, a level they won't tell you, so go buy a new one ;) or not.
 

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So this is what I found. Worst thing ever is to have two watches.

It seems all these conductivity testers shoot a bit of AC into the battery to measure the impedance, the higher the impedence the lower the SOH. It sounds like they all work the same way. The formulas are probably in this article


To old to do math ;) Now how do the different battery testers decide when its bad? Is there a standard? Don't know. Are they consistent? Doesn't appear to be.


read the comments. BA9 not giving correct results. Read garage journal. I like them, good for tools advice.


They don't seem to like Clore so much for battery tester, love Midtronics. Problem is, the cheap midtronics don't handle AGM, cheap being $200. The one's that do start at $400 ? but seem to be consistent.

Using the 7002


Then using the Solar


Now read this. Some explanation


This is a good article


The higher end analyzers with printouts are sold to shops to get you to buy batteries. Read through it. They all say the same thing. Always test every car. Get customers to buy batteries to make profit. Comments from each of the companies that make these analyzers, including Clore.

Since no one is going to tell you what the exact algorithm is for determine good or bad AND the CTEK tells you there is no problem yet, you are back to having two watches. You need a third watch. ;) However, I do understand the battery can be good but the capacity down. That's why the summer heat ages batteries and they die in the winter cold. This is nothing new. That's how it always work. Batteries die in the winter. So, I think its saying your battery is FINE. Its holding a charge, not bad. However, its capacity to start is below some level, a level they won't tell you, so go buy a new one ;) or not.


Grim-- that is why I did not buy one-- I assume someone at Porsche picked an algorithm (along with the hints of cascading shut down of power-hungry options) that when you get the Yellow battery symbol light you have enough capacity to know you had better start looking for a replacement battery. Now the Red light will be interesting-- does it mean just about dead and better park your Macan-- or you have a few starts lefts.
 

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@iconoclast Admittedly, I never looked into battery analyzers before. So no point in it because I know they all die and all will die. After reading the last few days, its pretty clear the new ones all work alike based on resistance. The all do the same thing with the only difference between whether you get a red/yellow/green light or digital numbers, with the more expensive ones giving a printout and probably meant for a shop.

Its also clear its a selling point for shops. Test every cars. Quickly tell customers they need a new battery. They don't say what their algorithm is for deciding that threshold. Its also clear that consistency is all over the place with the old adage - You get what you pay for. I'm going to guess about all, except Midtronics, has the guts Made in China. But Midtronics is quadruple the prices of the high end units for AGM batteries but regarded as consistent.

I don't think anyone cares because it comes up every four years - just go buy a new battery. In the meantime, knowing the numbers could drive you crazy. o_O
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
grim,
I watched the videos & reviewed the articles you linked. I appreciated your efforts.
I had read most of those articles in my research b4. “The latest Battery Testing Tools” is the one I mentioned when I posted: “I think many of these testers are sold to mechanics & I have read several articles re testing every car that comes in & the bottom line is selling new batteries!”

Nothing really new to me though. The math in the
Article is not necessary to understand in general what those conductance testers actually do.

It will not hurt your battery even if you test multiple times with a partially discharged battery. It actually will measure the resistance & from that it estimated the CCA.

To simplify, it is a magic box that tells you the CCA of your battery.
If it is far below what it should be, time to replace.


The video where the Mercedes tech proved a battery can be fully charged, 13+V, AND pass a Load test AND pass the hydrometer test yet …it only had 64% of the spec CA was certainly interesting. That battery would have left the driver stranded in winter!

I’m absolutely not trying to convince anyone to buy a conductance tester.
Most car owners wait till their car won’t start &/or a mechanic tells them they need a new battery. Or wait for the idiot light. Fine

I have already selected which battery I will use to replace my Varta with when I get some symptoms. (Bosh, 4 yr. replacement vs. 3 yrs. for Interstate & a closer match to OEM specs, lighter & cheaper.)

In the meantime when I have more time, I plan on doing more tests just for fun.


When I do get a new battery I will certainly note the CCA & resistance so, I can check it 1x/yr to see these #s change.

I might be able to bring in the Bosch @ 3.5 years & show that it fails the conductance test & get a new one @ N/C. With AGM the replacement is the entire warranty period unlike flooded batteries with the pro-rated system.
 

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When I do get a new battery I will certainly note the CCA & resistance so, I can check it 1x/yr to see these #s change. I might be able to bring in the Bosch @ 3.5 years & show that it fails the conductance test & get a new one @ N/C. With AGM the replacement is the entire warranty period unlike flooded batteries with the pro-rated system.
I think it will be the other way around. My guess, just a guess, is that the analyzer you bought will say its good while the "professional" unit "they" use will say its bad. From reading the articles, its obvious they are pushing these on places to test every car that comes in to sell batteries.

Since we don't know the algorithm they use or the cutoff number from good to bad, one can come up with a conspiracy theory that they will error on the side of caution, maybe for legal reasons? and ensure what the cheap testers say is good -or good enough - is bad for professional use.

How would it look if they said your battery was good, you go home, it gets cold, and then the battery dies. Customers would go back yelling at them for providing bad data. Just a theory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Agreed but, if that means I get a new battery during warranty @ N/C...OK. I will already be tracking CCA &/or CA so I will see the gradual decline & the gradual increase in resistance.

I will also probably figure out the % where Solar goes from "OK" to Bad."
If I test @ 81% SOH & get "OK" & 3 mo later I'm @ 79% with a "Bad," I'll know.

By the time I DIY, I will have probably purchased an Autel tool to allow me to register the new battery & reset the Oil change nag screen.
 
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I took delivery of my ’18 Macan Turbo in late December of ‘17. It now has 5100 miles and is obviously used sparingly. Great car btw. My battery tester says that the battery needs replacing but it still performs perfectly. My CTEK charger brings it to full charge. Does the Macan give a message for a faulty or weak battery?
I haven’t received any warnings or messages.
Thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks very much
Larry
 

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if not driven regularly.... the battery can deteriorate....

there are threads on it here...... and i had the issue
'16 cpo w/ 4500 miles.... battery went in early '19
 
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