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5 Tips for Protecting Your Car Battery In Winter

Cold weather can wreak havoc on almost all machinery including car batteries. This is why it’s important to make sure you’re adequately prepared for the winter season.

We don’t like being stranded any more than you do. For a stress-free winter with your car’s electrics, we recommend you take some precautions.

Below we provide you a beginner’s guide on how to protect your car battery in winter.

1. Test Your Battery

The first step towards protecting your car battery during winter is by having it tested. Ask any professional mechanic and they will recommend you change your car battery every three years.

This helps to maintain your vehicle in good health. But you can get away with changing the battery every five years if you do not drive your car often.

Take your car to a garage that tests batteries using computerised test equipment. The mechanic will thoroughly check out your car’s starting and charging systems.
A test like this shows if your battery needs replacing or re-charging. If all is well, you can keep on using your car.

Because as you well know, if your car battery is defective or low on charge, your car will not start!

2. Keep Your Battery Warm

Warm Car Parking in a Garage
Just like humans, car batteries need warmth to remain healthy during the winter months. Keep your car parked in your garage if possible.

If you do not have a garage, park your car in a sheltered area protected from wind. Face the car east so it catches the morning sun.

Or you could invest in a car cover, especially when you’re parking for long periods. Doing either of these will help the battery stay warmer. And you will avoid dealing with a flat battery.

3. Take Your Time

When starting your car on a cold morning, turn off the lights, radio and air conditioner. All of these place extra strain on the battery.

Leaving them off for a minute or two allows the alternator to replenish the car battery after the drain of starting.

4. Clean Up Your Car

Clean Engine Bay
Grime, dirt, and corrosion on battery terminals contributes to electrical resistance. So make sure to keep your engine bay clean.

You don’t need to visit your auto shop and buy a special cleaner for the battery terminals. Simply make your own with a mixture of water and baking soda. Apply the mixture with an old toothbrush and you’ll soon remove the grime and dirt.

5. Trying Again

If your vehicle won’t kick into life after fifteen to twenty seconds turning the ignition, stop and rest before trying again.

If your car still won’t start, check the battery terminals. Clean and tighten the connections then try again. It’s possible your battery connections are simply loose. So cleaning or tightening will fix the problem.

Final Words

In winter you do not want to find yourself stranded with a battery that struggles to start your engine. Do what you can to protect your car battery during these cold months.

At the very least, be proactive and have your battery tested before winter hits.

But we hope you will find our tips useful for protecting your car and avoiding damage to your battery.

For any other help, come and talk to our experts at Battery Power Centre

The post 5 Tips for Protecting Your Car Battery In Winter appeared first on Battery Power Centre.

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What You Need To Know About AGM and ECM Stop-Start Batteries

Stop Start Battery Technology

Car manufacturers introduced stop-start engine technology to help reduce vehicle emissions and improve fuel efficiency. Cars that use this particular technology are referred to as stop-start vehicles. The benefits of these cars are very clear. Yet one of the major challenges their owners face is maintaining the special stop-start battery they use.

What Makes A Stop Start Battery Special?

The difference between this type of battery and those used in older cars is that a stop-start battery does not contain lead acid. Instead they rely on enhanced cyclic performance which gives the battery a greater ability to recharge and discharge. What this means is that, even when the vehicle is not in motion, the stop-start battery still continues to charge the ancillary system.

This unique type of battery has special features in its design. It can both provide power for the car and also recharge afterwards as the vehicle is coming to a stop. A regeneration system collects all energy created during the braking process and stores it in the stop-start battery.

What You Need To Know About AGM Batteries

There are two different types of stop-start batteries, which are AGM and ECM. AGM-L2-3D

Absorbent Glass Mat (or AGM) batteries are designed for stop-start vehicles. These cars have extra technology that helps to reduce fuel consumption. AGM batteries form part of the system.

This extra technology includes EMS (Energy Management System) and the brake regeneration system. An AGM stop-start battery copes well with the increased demand created by these extra systems.

Facts About ECM Batteries

ECM (Enhanced Cyclic Mat) batteries are also compatible with stop-start vehicles. Even though these particular batteries may not last as long as ACM batteries, they will still last longer than a standard battery.

ECM batteries also lower vehicle emissions by six percent when compared to lead-acid batteries.

Handling a Stop-Start Battery

Stop-start batteries can keep your car running for a long period. Like all cars though, a time will come when your car’s battery will need changing, Check the specifications of your current battery and replace it with a similar stop-start battery. Make sure you stick to the same type of stop-start battery you were using, as another type of battery may affect the performance of your car.

Where does your stop=start battery live? Don’t be surprised if you look under the bonnet and it’s not there! A stop-start battery can be fitted anywhere in your car, it does not necessarily have to be under the bonnet. Cars fitted with stop-start technology sometimes have their batteries located in unexpected places.

So if there’s no battery in your engine bay, check your car’s technical manual. It will show you the exact location of the stop-start battery for your car’s make and model.

Once you locate the battery, it is advisable that you handle it with care. Yet don’t worry about spilling any acid since the stop-start battery does not contain any. Stop-start batteries are completely sealed so chemical spillage is less likely to occur.

Stop-start batteries are a bit heavier compared to standard lead-acid batteries. Make sure your muscles are up to the task, and lift with care. If you can’t handle it, take your care to your trusted mechanic. He will be able to switch batteries over for you without any problem.

In Summary

Understanding the type of stop-start batteries available today is critical for your car. Knowing this will help you choose which one is right for your modern stop-start vehicle. Lead acid batteries no longer make the grade.

Contact us for further information on AGM and ECM stop-start batteries. Our skilled team at Battery Power Centre will help you select the appropriate battery for your car.

The post What You Need To Know About AGM and ECM Stop-Start Batteries appeared first on Battery Power Centre.

How To Jump Start Your Car Battery Safely in Five Easy Steps

Flat Battery Nightmare

A young woman invited her friends to go camping in the country for a weekend of exploring, climbing and fun.

On Sunday afternoon they packed up their gear, threw it in the car, and jumped in ready to leave.

Only, when she tried to start the engine, all she heard was a “click!”. Then she remembered – she was using the car headlights the night before to help light up the campfire.

Dead car batteries are one of the most common problems that drivers experience. In fact, millions of drivers find themselves stranded every year because their car battery is dead.

If you find yourself hearing that “click!” don’t get frustrated or despair. The good news is so long as you know what you are doing you can quickly and safely get your car going again and the battery charging with a jump start.

What you need:

  • A car with a working battery – in the case of the young stranded lady and her friends, her best bet is to find the nearest person with a car, such a forest ranger.
  • A jumper cable set – do not assume that the other driver will have a set of jumper cables. If you don’t have one already it is high time you went out and got yourself one.
  • Rubber gloves and safety goggles, especially if this is the first time that you are doing a car battery jumpstart.
  • A wire brush, a rag or paper towels to clean out clogged terminals.

Safety precautions before you get started:

  • Check your jumper cables to make sure no wires are exposed. If they are not completely encased, don’t try jump starting or you may give yourself a nasty electric shock.
  • Check your car battery for any leaks or cracks in the casing. If your battery displays any of these issues it is best to leave the car where it is and have your mechanic come out and fetch it or call your favourite emergency breakdown service.
  • Do not smoke near your car as you attempt to jump start the battery.
  • Don’t lean on either car during the jump start or you may electrocute yourself. Don’t touch the batteries either as they are actively conducting current.
  • It’s not a good idea to jump start your battery if you suspect that the liquid in it is frozen – it could explode and hurt you.
  • It’s a good idea to get rid of jewellery that may come into contact with the battery or jumper cables such as rings and necklaces.

 

How to Jumpstart Your Car Battery

Step one

Move the working car so it’s close to the yours with the dead battery. It should be close enough so that the cables can reach both cars without any problems. They should hang loose, not taut. The cars should not touch at all.

Step two

Turn off the engine of the working car. Unplug anything that you have connected, such as DVD players, phone chargers and anything else that uses your car battery. If you attempt to jump start with these devices still plugged in you may not have enough juice for the job.

Step three

Pop the bonnets of both cars and check for any damage to either battery. If any of the battery terminals are corroded then bring out the wire brush and towel. Scrub the affected terminals with the brush and then wipe off using the towel. Repeat until clean.

If your battery is cracked or leaking start looking for an alternative means of transport. Don’t ever attempt to jump start your car battery when it’s in this condition!

Step four

Attach the jumper cable clamps to the terminals of both batteries, firstly the red cables to the positive terminals then the black cables to the negative terminals.

It is very important to make sure that the clamps only touch the terminals of the batteries otherwise if they touch each other or metallic parts of the car an electrical current will flow throughout the vehicle and sparks may fly!

Step five

Turn on the car with the good battery and let it run for a couple of minutes. Then start your car with the dead battery. If it still doesn’t turn over, wait a couple more minutes.

When your dead car has started, let them both run for about five minutes and then carefully remove both jumper leads. The engine of your dead car will now be running and you’ll be able to continue on your way. If the battery was completely dead, make sure you drive for at least 20 minutes before switching off your car again to ensure it has charged enough to allow it to start again.

For further advice on car batteries and charging, come and ask our friendly team in our retail outlets, or send us your question on our contact page!

The post How To Jump Start Your Car Battery Safely in Five Easy Steps appeared first on Battery Power Centre.

When should I replace my car battery? Average lifespan and replacement tips

It’s wet. It’s cold. It’s the first cold day after a long spell of warm weather. You’re running late for work. You jump in the car, turn the key, but instead of purring instantly to life, the engine struggles to turn over. Fortunately it does fire, and you’re soon off for the day. Phew, that was close!

One of the most important components of your car is the battery – without it you will not be able to start your car. In fact, for many people when a car fails to start the first thing that they check is the battery.

It is vital to take care of your car battery, and to do that you have to know what factors affect it and reduce your battery’s lifespan. Read on to discover the top 5 influences that affect how long your car battery lasts for.

 

Car Battery Average Lifespan Factors

Temperature

The first is temperature. Every lead acid battery contains lead plates and an electrolyte liquid both of which work to create an electro-chemical reaction that produces a charge to the battery terminals. When the weather is hot the chemical reaction is accelerated which means that your engine turns over faster, but which also means increased corrosion inside the battery, reducing the car battery life.

It is even worse in cold weather. When temperatures drop the chemical reactions within the battery are slower which makes it harder for your car to start. On a typical winter morning you may have to turn your car a few times over before you can get the motor running.

There are batteries that are rated by CCA, or Cold Cranking Amperage, and the rating on any particular battery will translate into the amount of current the battery can deliver for half a minute at -18C. If a battery is in good condition and is fully charged it should be able to deliver at up to -50C, but if your battery is old or not properly charged it can fail at as low as -1C. You should also take into account that the older a battery is the more water it is likely to retain. When this water freezes and expands it damages the cells even further.

There are other factors that affect car battery life:

 

Dirt

Dirt is an excellent conductor of current, so if you have a dirty battery you can expect it to drain faster. Even worse, dirt causes corrosion and will make your battery useless sooner. As you clean under the bonnet of your car take some time to get the battery clean.

 

Short drives

Your car battery may eventually need to be replaced because on any given day your car is driven only for short distances. In many cities around the world the average car is driven for about 20 minutes a day. This means that there isn’t enough time for your alternator to recharge your battery which leads to a process called sulferization. That process renders your battery useless. If you want a long car battery life schedule a trip out of town every other weekend.

 

Additional devices in your car

Today, many people have additional devices in their cars all of which rely on the car battery for charging. Whether you are talking auxiliary audio jacks, phone charging ports, GPS systems, fancy car radios, portable DVD players or any other devices always keep in mind that they are draining your battery and shortening its life.

 

Leaving your lights on

If you’re anything like me, there has been a time in your life when you’ve arrived home in the dark, parked your car and rushed inside. It’s only in the morning when your car won’t start that you realise you left the overhead console light on by mistake when you got out the previous evening. Draining your battery like this too many times will also shorten your battery’s lifespan.

 

How can you make your car battery last longer?

3 keys to a longer car battery life:

  • Make sure that all terminals are clean at all times – sometimes a car will refuse to start because the batteries are clogged.
  • Make sure that the battery fluid is always at least 5 mm above the plates.
  • Make sure to take your car for maintenance as scheduled.

It is important to pay close attention to your car battery – the last thing you want is to get stranded somewhere far away from everyone else with a dead car battery. The average car battery will last for about 4 years, 5 if you take excellent care of it. If you don’t install a new one after this period you can expect to get stuck at some point and need assistance.

If you are having battery problems or think you are in need of a new battery, visit one of our outlets or give us a call on 03 9793 6655 and we’ll help diagnose your problem and find the best replacement battery for your vehicle.

 

The post When should I replace my car battery? Average lifespan and replacement tips appeared first on Battery Power Centre.

When should I replace my car battery? Average lifespan and replacement tips

It’s wet. It’s cold. It’s the first cold day after a long spell of warm weather. You’re running late for work. You jump in the car, turn the key, but instead of purring instantly to life, the engine struggles to turn over. Fortunately it does fire, and you’re soon off for the day. Phew, that was close!

One of the most important components of your car is the battery – without it you will not be able to start your car. In fact, for many people when a car fails to start the first thing that they check is the battery.

It is vital to take care of your car battery, and to do that you have to know what factors affect it and reduce your battery’s lifespan. Read on to discover the top 5 influences that affect how long your car battery lasts for.

 

Car Battery Average Lifespan Factors

Temperature

The first is temperature. Every lead acid battery contains lead plates and an electrolyte liquid both of which work to create an electro-chemical reaction that produces a charge to the battery terminals. When the weather is hot the chemical reaction is accelerated which means that your engine turns over faster, but which also means increased corrosion inside the battery, reducing the car battery life.

It is even worse in cold weather. When temperatures drop the chemical reactions within the battery are slower which makes it harder for your car to start. On a typical winter morning you may have to turn your car a few times over before you can get the motor running.

There are batteries that are rated by CCA, or Cold Cranking Amperage, and the rating on any particular battery will translate into the amount of current the battery can deliver for half a minute at -18C. If a battery is in good condition and is fully charged it should be able to deliver at up to -50C, but if your battery is old or not properly charged it can fail at as low as -1C. You should also take into account that the older a battery is the more water it is likely to retain. When this water freezes and expands it damages the cells even further.

There are other factors that affect car battery life:

 

Dirt

Dirt is an excellent conductor of current, so if you have a dirty battery you can expect it to drain faster. Even worse, dirt causes corrosion and will make your battery useless sooner. As you clean under the bonnet of your car take some time to get the battery clean.

 

Short drives

Your car battery may eventually need to be replaced because on any given day your car is driven only for short distances. In many cities around the world the average car is driven for about 20 minutes a day. This means that there isn’t enough time for your alternator to recharge your battery which leads to a process called sulferization. That process renders your battery useless. If you want a long car battery life schedule a trip out of town every other weekend.

 

Additional devices in your car

Today, many people have additional devices in their cars all of which rely on the car battery for charging. Whether you are talking auxiliary audio jacks, phone charging ports, GPS systems, fancy car radios, portable DVD players or any other devices always keep in mind that they are draining your battery and shortening its life.

 

Leaving your lights on

If you’re anything like me, there has been a time in your life when you’ve arrived home in the dark, parked your car and rushed inside. It’s only in the morning when your car won’t start that you realise you left the overhead console light on by mistake when you got out the previous evening. Draining your battery like this too many times will also shorten your battery’s lifespan.

 

How can you make your car battery last longer?

3 keys to a longer car battery life:

  • Make sure that all terminals are clean at all times – sometimes a car will refuse to start because the batteries are clogged.
  • Make sure that the battery fluid is always at least 5 mm above the plates.
  • Make sure to take your car for maintenance as scheduled.

It is important to pay close attention to your car battery – the last thing you want is to get stranded somewhere far away from everyone else with a dead car battery. The average car battery will last for about 4 years, 5 if you take excellent care of it. If you don’t install a new one after this period you can expect to get stuck at some point and need assistance.

If you are having battery problems or think you are in need of a new battery, visit one of our outlets or give us a call on 03 9793 6655 and we’ll help diagnose your problem and find the best replacement battery for your vehicle.

 

The post When should I replace my car battery? Average lifespan and replacement tips appeared first on Battery Power Centre.

Battery Power Centre

Find the perfect battery for your needs at one of our Battery Power Centres across Australia. We take the time to listen to you and discover your specific needs, so we can offer you a cost-effective product based on our deeper understanding of what you need.

Your vehicles will keep running safely and efficiently with our superior range of batteries built with advanced German technology. We specialise in bringing you a complete line of heavy-duty batteries that are built stronger and last longer.

Our German enhanced technology coupled with our outstanding service nationwide and partnership with the best manufacturers, guarantees you access to the highest quality batteries available for all your domestic and commercial battery applications.