Home » Frequently Asked Questions About EarthX Lithium Batteries

Frequently Asked Questions About EarthX Lithium Batteries

The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions. However, if you have a question that does not appear on this list, please contact us at (970) 674-8884.
My ETX-Series battery has 0 volts (or near 0V)and will not charge, what do I do?
Please click this link: How to Charge an EarthX Lithium Battery Do not leave a battery, lead acid or lithium in a discharged state or the cells will be permanently damaged. Charge immediately if this happens
How do I know when it is time to replace by EarthX battery?
All battery types lose power and capacity as they age. The rate of when this happens depends on the maintenance of the battery and how it has been used (or abused).
  • If you notice your battery just doesn’t have the same “umph” as it used to, it might be time to replace it.  In the cold this issue is more prominent.
  • If you notice the battery is “swollen.” As the battery ages, gases can build up inside the battery and make the battery look bulging or swollen. The gases are not dangerous or have any safety issue, but the pressure can puff the case.
  • If the battery is left in a discharged state and then very quickly charged, the cells can puff causing the case to look bulging.
  • The battery will not hold a voltage above 13.28V for the 12V vehicle applications or 26.56V for 24V vehicle applications.
  • The fault light is solid or flashing on the battery models that have the LED alert and is consistently on for days.
How do I maintain or prepare my battery for the season?
Can you use your batteries in series?
No, this will void the warranty. Use the 24V batteries instead.
What type of charger should I use?
My LED light is flashing on my ETX680C/680, ETX900 or ETX1200, what does that mean?
Most of the time, it means you need to charge the battery as it is at a low charge level but it could mean several things. First thing you need to do it put a voltmeter on the battery, if the voltage is less than 13.28V, the LED light will flash to let you know to charge the battery. If the voltage is above 13.28V and flashing, then you could have a weak cell /a cell out of balance/or defective cell and you need to contact EarthX for a warranty coverage if it is less than 2 years old. The LED will also flash if the voltage is too high, above 14.6V. If the light is solid and remains on for more than 10 minutes, then it is an indication of a BMS electronics problem and contact EarthX.
LED Light Voltage Possible Cause Recommended Action
Slow Flashing (5s on/5s off) Less than 12.8V Battery over-discharged (due to faulty charging system) Charge battery. Once charged, the light will stop flashing.
Slow Flashing (5s on/5s off) Less than 13.2V Weak or failing cell Charge battery. If voltage drops below 13.2V within a few days, discontinue use.
Slow Flashing (5s on/5s off) (> 1 hour time period) 13.2V-14.6V Weak or failing cell Discontinue use. If in flight, this is not an immediate issue unless it is in conjunction with a charging system failure.
Slow Flashing (5s on/5s off) Greater than 15.2V Over-charging (due to faulty charging system) If in flight, shutoff charging system immediately. Aircraft over-voltage protection is required if alternator charging system is greater than 20 amps (i.e. over voltage crowbar circuit)
Slow Flashing (5s on/5s off) (< 30 min. time period) 13.2V – 14.6V Cell to cell charge levels are not balanced May come on briefly during periods of high current charging until the cells are automatically balanced. Try charging with a plugin charger, like an Optimate Lithium charger.
Solid Light Any voltage BMS electronic issue Discontinue use. If in flight, this is not an immediate issue unless it is in conjunction with a charging system failure.
Solid Light that turns off after 3 minutes Any voltage Short Circuit protection was activated Nothing needs to be done.
Short Flashing (2s on/2s off) Any voltage High battery temperature (> 65°C / 150°F) Let battery cool down prior to cranking or charging.
How do I install my LED light to my control panel for an aircraft?
Please read manual for step by step directions.
I just installed my EarthX battery in my aircraft and started the engine and my charging amps was really high, is this normal?
Yes, this is normal. A lithium battery can and will accept a much higher charging current than an equal size lead acid battery. If your battery is not fully charged, your alternator can potentially output a current equal to or slightly above the alternator’s rating for a few minutes to top the battery off. Your fuse, breaker, or current limiting device should be sized approximately 20% above the alternator rating. Example, if you have a 40 amp alternator, use a fuse, breaker, current limiter set to 48 amps (or 50amps).
Can I use an EarthX with a hand held starter, such as a Coleman or BTT Starter as an example?
No, the amount of current hand held starters can put out can be damaging to the EarthX batteries and we do not recommend nor warranty cover the batteries in this type application.
What is the shelf life or life span of a battery?
All batteries have a life span, even if left in the box and never used. Time is a factor even if properly cared for, eventually, all batteries die. An EarthX battery is rated for up to 6 years if properly maintained, which means it is not left in a discharged state (below 13.28V); used in a properly functioning charging system; used with a proper charger; not shorted; and proper temperature ratings have been followed. All batteries will self discharge and depending on the amp hour of the battery, and it’s temperature it is stored in, the level of discharge and amount of time are variable. Always keep your lithium battery above 13.28V for longest life.
How do I safely recycle my battery?
You can safely recycle your lithium battery for free. Just go to http://www.call2recycle.org/ to find a local drop off site near you.
I am an international certified aircraft owner, do I need an 8130-3 form to install my TSO battery?
It depends on your installer and what they desire for installation. If you need this form, it must be ordered before we ship out the battery and is an additional fee of $150.
What is the difference between the ETX18F and the ETZ14C?
The ETX18F has 230CCA, 340PCA; weighs 2.2 pounds; has 6.2Ah capacity and has the full battery management system with a 2 year warranty. The dimensions are 150mm x 86mm x 93mm or 5.9″ x 3.4″ x 3.6″. ( L x W X H) The cost is $229. The ETZ14C has 330CCA, 690PCA; weighs 2.5 pounds; has 6.8Ah capacity and has the battery management system minus over discharge protection and excessive cranking protection so it will not cut off in cold weather starts with a 1 year warranty. This battery was designed for high cranking amps in the cold. The dimensions are 150mm x 86mm x 115mm or 5.9″ x 3.4″ x 4.5″. ( L x W X H)The cost is $259.
What is the difference between the ETX36C or the ETX36D and the ETZ14C for my snowmobile?
The ETX36C/D has 320CCA; weighs 3.9 pounds; has 12.4Ah capacity and has the full battery management system with a 2 year warranty. The cost is $369. The ETZ14C has 330CCA; weighs 2.5 pounds; has 6.8Ah capacity and has the battery management system minus over discharge protection and excessive cranking protection so it will not cut off in cold weather starts with a 1 year warranty. This battery was designed for high cranking amps in the cold. The cost is $259. The ETX36C and the ETZ14C are both the exact same physical size but it is smaller than the ETX36D.
What is the difference between the ETX12A and the ETZ5G?
The ETX12A has 135CCA, 220PCA; weighs 1.3 pounds; has 4Ah capacity and has the full battery management system, dimensions are 4.5” L x 2.6” W x 3.7” H, with a 2 year warranty. The cost is $169. The ETZ5G has 140CCA, 240PCA; weighs .9 pounds; has 3.4Ah capacity and has the battery management system minus over discharge protection and excessive cranking protection so it will not cut off in cold weather starts with a 1 year warranty. This battery was designed for high cranking amps in the cold. The cost is $139.
Why do you use the alternator output to size your batteries in cars or airplanes?
Starting the engine (cranking amps) is only one part of what the batteries does. Your battery is also part of the charging system and the current from the alternator goes through the battery. You must use a lithium battery that is designed to handle the current from the alternator or you can damage it, cause premature failure or possible even cell rupture. In the lithium world (LiFePo4) the maximum current rate is 5C x true amp hour (not equivalent rating). As an example, the ETX900 is a true 16Ah battery. The max charge rate then is 80A (5C x 16AH = 80A).
Can I use a lithium battery in an older vehicle (before 1986)?
NO. Unless you have replaced the charging system with a new modern permanent magnet generator and rectifier regulator. It is very important to only use a lithium battery in a vehicle that has a modern charging system that will regulate the voltage between 13.8-14.6V. Older bikes/vehicles that have not been updated are not advised to use a lithium battery as the voltage will swing too high and too low at times and damage the battery.
What is the difference between PCA and CCA?
Unlike Cold Cranking Ampere (CCA), the Pulse Cranking Ampere (PCA) rating does not have an “official” definition by the automotive industry. CCA tests are done at 0 deg F with a 30 second discharge time which is unrealistic for most motorsport vehicles. PCA is a measure of battery discharge amps for <10 seconds at 77 deg F (25 deg C). Our manual shows the CCA and PCA rating of each battery. The CCA rating is most important for snowmobiles due to the colder temperatures.
Will the battery work in my snowmobile when is it in extreme cold? (less than 0 deg F?)
All batteries lose cranking amps in colder temperatures. Every make, model, and year of vehicles has different amounts of cranking amps needed to turn the engine over. You also have to factor in the health and maintenance of the vehicle as well. So the answer is…… it depends. Some vehicles have no issues starting at -25F while some could have issues at -5F. What is unique about a lithium battery is you can warm the internal components by simply trying to start your vehicle. Do not try starting your vehicle for more than 10 seconds per minute as that is not good for your vehicle or battery, but after attempting to start the vehicle, wait one minute, try again. Depending on the amount of warming up needed to get the desired cranking amps, the amount of times needed to do this varies.
Can I hook an EarthX battery in parallel or series with a lead acid battery?
No. The voltages are not the same and you will over charge the lead acid battery and drain the lithium.
How does the EqAh capacity rating compare to lead-acid Ah ratings
In performance and real life usability for lead acids that are vehicle starter batteries, they only use 30% of the stated amp hours or stated as “30% depth of discharge” before the voltage drops so low you can not start your vehicle. So only 30% of its amp hours are usable, whereas lithium batteries have a 98% depth of discharge. For example, our ETX36 is a replacement for an YTX20 Yuasa series, which has 18ah rating of capacity. The amount of actual useable amp hour is (18ah x .3 = 5.4ah). We use a 12.4ah cell in our ETX36 which is actually 7 amp hours MORE than the lead acid battery we are replacing.
Can I jump a small motorcycle sized lithium battery from an automobile?
NO. It is not a good idea to “jump” a motorsport battery from a car or truck battery. It is much better to re-charge it if at all possible. On the top of each battery is a label that will specify the maximum amount of charging amps to use and a “jump” start from an automobile is about 150X more amperage than maximum amperage recommended, if not more. This can cause the cells to rupture and even catch on fire. This is true for all batteries, lithium or lead acid, if you must jump start the battery, do it from a like sized battery. A lead acid is much more tolerant than a lithium battery as they absorb the charge completely different. It is perfectly fine to jump start the EarthX battery from another motorcycle sized battery or use a jump pack.
Can I use your ETX36C/D or ETX680 in my high compression V-Twin S&S engine or Custom bike?
That depends, if you have a high compression V-Twin engine greater than 110ci , you may exceed 680 cranking amps and will exceed our ETX36’s or ETX680 capabilities. The ETX36/ETX680 series is limited to 680 max cranking amps. Do not use this battery for an application that exceeds this limit. We do offer the option 2 upgraded options which is the ETX900 (840PCA) or the ETX1200 (1200PCA).
What maintenance is required?
Lithium batteries require no maintenance such as adding liquid, worrying about freezing in subzero temperature, or the heat of summer damaging them. Just be sure the terminal connections are tight and free of corrosion. If you have a vehicle that has a drain even if the key is off, (Harley’s definitely do) then you will need to charge them every 1-2 months of inactivity (depending on how much of a draw there is determines the length of time it can sit) by putting a charger until it shows fully charged. If at any point your battery is less than 13.28V, it is in a discharged state and needs to be charged. Any battery left in a discharged state can and will be damaged or life shortened.
How do I know when the battery is fully charged?
You must use a modern smart charger. These types of chargers will turn off automatically when the battery is fully charged. While the charger is in operation, it will output approximately 13.8 -14.6 volts. A fully charged lithium battery will measure 13.28 to 14.6 volts.
The battery does not seem to charge or hold a charge, why?
If a battery does not seem to charge or perform as well as it once did, it may be for one or more of the following issues:
  • There may be a problem with the charging system. While the charging system is in operation, it will begin putting out approximately 13.8 -14.6volts.
  • The vehicle electrical system may have a short circuit or current drain
  • The terminals on the battery are not properly tightened
  • There may be a problem with the battery itself so if you have verified that it is not a parasitic drain, and the battery is losing power within 1-7 days, then contact EarthX. Do not continue to attempt to charge or use a battery that will not hold a charge as it might indicated cell failure and continued use can cause cell rupture, smoke and even fire.
Why does cold weather cause starting problems?
Lithium batteries and lead acid batteries internal resistance increases as the temperature decreases, so the battery will put out fewer amps in cold weather.
Can the battery be installed in any position?
Yes, Lithium battery can be installed in any position for they are a dry cell technology.
How do I know if my battery charger is working?
The new fully automatic chargers on the market today need to be hooked up to a battery before they will output any voltage. This is primarily a safety feature that prevents spark when hooked up, and protects the charger against reverse polarity hookup. Some chargers need to see as much as 9V volts before they recognize that they are attached to a battery. Once the charger is hooked up, it should output 13.9-14.6 volts. If your charger does not do this, you may want to contact the manufacturer for further troubleshooting tips.
Is it safe to hook up the battery to a charger and walk away?
No. As with any battery being charged it is best not to do this in the event of a faulty charger. Follow these safety tip for charging ANY type of battery.
  • Never leave the battery or the vehicle unattended when recharging it.
  • When charging a battery, place it on a non-flammable, and remove any flammable items nearby.
  • Unplug chargers from the battery or vehicle always after the battery reaches full charge.
  • Disconnect chargers when not in use.
How do I know if my vehicle charging system is working ok?
Connect a voltmeter to the battery and start your engine. At idle, you should get a reading of 13-13.3V. Increase the RPM’s to around 3,000 and for 5 minutes monitor the voltage which should increase and maintain a voltage of 13.8 – 14.6 volts . If your charging system does not output this voltage, there may be a problem with the charging system.
How often should I charge the battery?
Only when needed which is when the voltage reads below 13.28V. It depends on the battery model (the larger amp hour batteries will need less topping off than say the scooter battery) but if not in use or left in a vehicle, make sure you check the voltage and charge at least once a year. Due to lithium batteries extremely low self-discharge rate, less than 50% of its charge is lost over a 6 month period, so you may not have to charge your battery before the season starts! If the battery is 13.28V or higher, then all is good. If it is less than this, you need to charge it before engine start to ensure a long battery life.
How should I dispose a Lithium Battery?
A lithium battery should be fully discharged before disposal. Lithium batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream. These batteries, however, do contain recyclable materials and are accepted for recycling by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation’s (RBRC) Battery Recycling Program. Go to the RBRC website at www.rbrc.org for additional information.
Can I use an EarthX battery for underwater submersion sports such as ATV snorkeling?
NO. The batteries are designed to be water resistant but not to be used in submerged underwater sports. This will not only destroy your battery but void your warranty as well.