Batteries fail, so don’t miss the test

Did you know?

Over 40% of yearly national breakdowns are caused by a faulty battery. 1000s of vehicles are towed off to nominated garages to have this simple fault rectified. That vehicle owner may have been in a garage a week before having a service or planned work and this fault wasn’t picked up at the time. The result may make the customer think twice about going back to this garage. 

Common causes of these failures can be due to the natural rise in temperatures meaning most drivers now turn the air conditioning on at the highest setting, creating a surge of electricity being used. As well as this, the modern person relies on GPS devices, mobile phone chargers and large colour display screens when using their vehicles that all put a massive strain on batteries.

For example, when vehicles are in traffic jams the engine is not producing much power, meaning the alternator can no longer meet the demand for electrical energy.

These modern vehicles need modernised batteries to offset the increased demand for electricity available in the vehicle. Experts have created Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) and Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB), designed to outperform traditional flooded batteries which no longer provide the output needed especially for the start-stop function.

In short, the main factors affecting battery life are:

  • Extreme temperatures
  • Irregular use
  • Short trips
  • Older vehicles

Replacing like for like

When installing a replacement battery, it is vital the correct type of battery technology is fitted to the vehicle. If you are replacing an old battery, it is important to replace with like-for-like or like-for-better technologies, and not to fit a conventional battery to a vehicle with a start/stop system.

The type of vehicle and the amount of electrical power needed to supply starting functions and electricity output determines whether an AGM, EFB or Conventional battery is required.

 Fitting the correct battery technology type first time will keep your customers happy and mobile, helping them avoid costly repeat repair work.

Checking a car battery takes 10 minutes…

To carry out the quick and simple battery test, you must always start by checking for corrosion on the terminals as well as the voltage output.

By checking the charging rate of the battery, you are providing a clear indication as to the condition of the battery. In addition, you can check the data further against manufacturers specifications to identify whether a battery failure is imminent.

Doing this health check will alert you to any underlying battery faults before they become an issue, building customer confidence, meaning they always know where to come back to next time.

Having the right tester is important

If you are looking for ‘the one’ when it comes to battery testers, we recommend looking out for three simple features:

  • Works with both 12v and 24v charging and starting systems

  • Provides a printout that you can add to invoices or use to explain the need for a new battery to the customer

  • Has stop-start testing capability.

If you purchase a tester that doesn’t have two stop-start functions, it will give you incorrect readings each time this battery technology is tested. The internal components of a stop-start battery use different technology to normal batteries and requires a separate algorithm to be tested accurately. A standard battery tester cannot read this algorithm and would routinely pass what should be a failing battery as a good battery, meaning you may miss the sales opportunity and have an upset customer who breaks down after visiting your garage.

Did you know you can get your hands on free Varta battery fitting instructions for nearly every make and model of car through, Omnipart?

Back to top