A Shorai lithium-ion battery is a top-of-the-line motorcycle battery. This lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery has several advantages over conventional lead-acid batteries.
These include a longer lifespan (5-6 years) and low self-discharge (even after a year of sitting). Also, it offers a lightweight, compact design that can fit into a number of different spaces.
But despite being high-end, it can experience the same type of issues as the lower-end ones. For instance, it can have defects or damage, which causes it not to hold a charge.
This guide walks through the most common reasons for this happening. If your Shorai battery stopped holding a charge, this guide will help you fix it!
What Cause Shorai Motorcycle Lithium-Ion Battery Charging Problem?
Many factors can cause a Shorai battery not to be charged properly by a charger. These include:
An unregulated charger or a charger of insufficient capacity for the battery’s amp-hour rating will cause charging issues. So, ensure to use a lithium-ion battery charger that is compatible with the battery.
For 100% compatibility, use Shorai’s dedicated BMS01 charger. It not only charges but also maintains, balances, and diagnoses your LFX battery. Also, it has a “Store Mode” that maintains the resting voltage of 6.433 Volts for the 6V LFX battery.
Yes, you can use “Smart” lead‐acid chargers (2 Amps maximum capacity) with automatic cutoff. However, you’ll have to disconnect immediately once fully charged. Why? Because lead-acid chargers are only for periodic charging and not for maintenance.
Note: Low-quality or counterfeit lithium chargers may not maintain proper voltage during the entire charge cycle. This might result in overcharging or rapid heat generation.
Apart from compatibility issues, the charger could be faulty itself, in which case you should replace it. Or, better still, you may be using an incorrect voltage or current setting on the charger.
The charger may not be plugged correctly or may be plugged into a faulty outlet. Also, you may have improper lead connections or reverse connections.
Moreover, an improperly fitting clamp may not make good contact with the terminal, resulting in an undercharge. Likewise, a loose clamp could allow vibration to shake the connection loose over time, resulting in a charging issue.
Also, there maybe be no continuity in the fuse. So ensure to check with a multimeter.
High-cycle applications may draw down the battery below 2.5 Volts. For instance, a large current discharge, such as using a jump start, may cause it to enter into a protective state, which disables charging.
Note: Ensure your battery doesn’t discharge below 6.5V for 6V LFX or below 13.0V for 12V LFX.
Overcharging is probably the most common problem encountered when using a non-Shorai charger. While these batteries have advanced Lithium chemistry, they are still subject to damage from overcharging. An over-charging condition creates heat, and this can damage the battery.
Yet again, we recommend using the Shorai BMS01 charger. This charger uses Shorai’s BMS data and has its own temperature sensor on the charging side. It uses this data to charge your Shorai battery properly, without over-charging or under-charging it.
Note: To avoid overcharging, do not allow charge voltage above 7.4V for 6V LFX or 14.8V for 12V LFX.
In most cases, the problem is that a short circuit has damaged the battery. In this case, when you plug in the charger, it doesn’t recognize the battery as being charged and continues to try to charge it.
The easiest way to fix this problem is to use a multimeter to check for voltage at both ends of each cell.
If there is no voltage at one end of any cell, then you’ll need to replace that part of the cell with a new one. If there is a voltage at both ends of every cell, then you should be able to take your charger apart. Clean out any corrosion or other debris that might be causing problems within its circuitry.
Heating Issues (Thermal Runaway)
Thermal runaway is when the battery charges increasingly faster with higher temperatures. The interior chemical reaction will accelerate if the battery’s temperature gets too high, creating more heat.
Thermal runaway can take many forms, from mild and transient to violent and explosive. Typically, the LiFePO4 cells in Shorai batteries have a lower potential for thermal runaway than other lithium-based chemistries. However, you should still be aware of the risk.
In the case of Shorai batteries, a mild form of thermal runaway can occur. This results in a malfunctioning charger or battery.
The issue may be that you’re charging your battery at temperatures below freezing. Internal resistance increases at these temperatures, so the charge rate may need to be decreased. This causes the battery to enter a protection state and prevent charging.
Note: Shorai LFX battery models are designed and marketed to be used between -0°F and 90°F. So it is recommended that the battery temperature falls within this range before charging.
If there is too much corrosion on one of the terminals, it becomes hard for the charger to make good contact with the battery.
Warped or Dented Case
The case of the battery is the outer shell that protects the battery’s internal structure. A warped or dented case can cause an issue with the internal electronics of an LFX battery due to excessive stress. This affects the charging performance and effectiveness of a Shorai battery.
Visual inspection of the battery is recommended when it is received, troubleshooting an issue, or before initial installation. If you see any damage to the battery upon arrival, immediately contact your supplier.
How Do You Fix A Shorai Motorcycle Lithium-Ion Battery That Won’t Charge?
If your Shorai Lithium-Ion Battery doesn’t charge, you can try some of these troubleshooting steps.
Step 1: The first thing to do is to check your charger. Most of the time, the problem is with the charger instead of the battery itself. Hook up a charger designed to charge lithium-ion batteries, and begin charging. If your battery has been discharged, use a trickle charger to boost the battery before beginning to charge it.
Step 2: If the charger seems okay but still has charging issues, unplug the battery from the wall outlet and plug it back in again. Also, check the wall outlet and the fuse for continuity.
Step 3: If it still doesn’t charge, check to ensure there’s a good connection between the battery and the charger. Fix any loose or damaged terminals with an electrical terminal cleaner and protector.
You can also add some dielectric grease to the connection before reconnecting the terminal to the battery. This will help stop corrosion while also acting as an insulator.
Step 4: Still having troubles? Ensure you’re charging within the recommended temperature range. Keep your Shorai LFX battery above freezing while charging.
Step 5: The final step is to ensure that your cell pack is in working order. Use an ohmmeter (a device that measures electrical resistance) to test each cell within the pack for shorts or opens in its circuitry. If there are any shorts or opens, fix them before continuing this process!
Note: If you have tried the above steps and are still having problems with your lithium-ion battery, don’t hesitate to contact Shorai customer service for more assistance.
How Do You Charge A Dead Shorai Lithium Battery?
Your Shorai LFX battery may be too dead to start the bike, but it is not too dead to charge.
Use a charger with a “wake up” feature
To charge a dead Shorai battery, you will need to use a charger that can “wake up” the battery. A “Dumb” battery charger may not be able to charge a Shorai lithium battery in these conditions effectively.
You can use the Shorai BMS01 charger or any other lithium-specific charger with a “boost” or “wake up” feature. Set it to 2 or 3 amps maximum charge rate, and leave it for at least 24 hours.
Jumpstart from another power source
But what if you don’t have access to a wall outlet or car charger? You can jumpstart a dead battery by plugging it into another device with sufficient power.
First, make sure that your dead lithium battery is fully discharged. Then, connect one end of each jumper cable to the corresponding terminals on the dead lithium battery.
Then, turn on your car and let it run for about five minutes to provide enough juice for the Shorai lithium battery to charge.
Next, disconnect the cables from your Shorai lithium battery and plug them into an outlet. Let it sit in this position for about two hours before disconnecting it again.
Note: Jumpstarting might put slight stress on your battery. However, it’s pretty harmless in most cases.
Use a trickle charger
Another option is to use a trickle charger. Yes, it might take longer to bring your battery to the acceptable charge level. Still, it’s arguably the primary way to charge a dead Shorai battery. It outputs low amps for long periods. So you won’t overcharge the battery.
Is It Worth Fixing Shorai Motorcycle Lithium-Ion Battery?
You may be wondering if you should try to fix it yourself or replace the battery altogether.
While replacing your Shorai battery may seem like an easy solution, did you know that a new one can cost upwards of $99.95? Well, that’s not something many people want to pay for if they don’t have to.
The good news is that not every problem with the Shorai battery requires replacement! In this article, we’ve explained how to diagnose and fix common issues on your own so you can save some money in the long run. Or at least salvage one that’s been sitting around.
Are you still wondering if fixing the issue is worth the cost of repairing the battery? In many cases, it is! Here’s why:
- They’re designed to last longer than other types of batteries
- They don’t lose their charge as quickly as other types of batteries (they can hold 13.1V even after a year of sitting)
- Shorai LFX batteries offer the ultimate in power versus weight, eliminating the need for larger batteries
- They don’t have high maintenance costs (they don’t require much care or maintenance)
But the answer will also depend on how old it is and how much use it’s seen.
If you have an older battery that’s losing its ability to hold a charge, there may be some hope for recovery. However, if your battery is more than five years old, the chances are that there’s no saving it. You’ll have to replace it.
In this article, we’ve given you some tips on fixing a Shorai lithium-ion motorcycle battery that won’t charge.
As you’ve read, there are many different reasons why your battery may not be charging. But you can fix all of them with a little bit of research and know-how.
If those steps don’t work, you may have a faulty battery. If so, contact Shorai customer service by visiting their website.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!