The Importance of a regular battery check
- Your car or van battery loses its charging capability over time - the average battery last less then 4 years.
- On cold, frosty mornings, a fully charged battery can loose its power.
- If your vehicle has been left idle over the Christmas period or lockdown the battery is likely to loose its power.
- A battery check is free - book a time and date convenient for you at your local Protyre garage.
Free Battery Check:
A new car battery should be reliable for four years but less than half last that long, mainly because they aren't cared for. Not only does a lack of battery care cost money but is likely to leave you stranded when you can least afford it. If that weren't bad enough, running on a faulty battery places extra strain on your alternator, starter motor and other components. A battery emergency will probably knock out your stereo just for good measure.
Undiagnosed battery problems often cause money to be wasted by replacing other components. Competent testing will rule out other possible causes, like slipping fan belts, shorts and drains from open circuits.
With free battery checks available at your local Protyre garage there really isn't a good reason not to drop in on a regular basis.
Professionals will test your battery for you in just a few minutes. That doesn't mean it's a simple operation you could do at home with a voltmeter or emergency charger. We don't recommend that at all: most home chargers damage the battery, and the current in them can kill.
The required tests are more sophisticated than a simple voltage reading. Even if the charge appears okay (between 12.66 and 12.77 volts is considered correct when the engine is off) you also need to know how voltage changes under different conditions, such as when cranking the ignition (ideally no lower than about 10 volts) and carrying a load while the engine is running (ideally steady between 13.7 and 14.7 volts at all engine speeds).
Skilled Protyre technicians also explore the capacitance (conductance) and resistance (impedance) of the battery. These are the factors that determine whether it can still perform in service. As batteries age, their resistance tends to rise and their capacitance falls, so they begin to lose charge more quickly and are harder to recharge. The durability of car batteries depends on them being kept fully charged, so when their charge begins to fluctuate decline accelerates.
When readings stray outside these optimal ranges, it takes a skilled technician to interpret the right moment to recommend replacement. For example, although it may sound close to normal, a reading under 11.89 volts in a fully charged and disconnected battery means it can no longer be relied on. However, your mechanic will even consider the weather when interpreting his readings, because on extra warm or cold days batteries behave differently.
As well as electrical tests, a variety of manual examinations should be performed regularly. During a battery inspection an engineer will also check for corrosion, cracks, leaks, spills, dirt, frayed cable ends, stiff oxidised cabling, and loose bolts or brackets. In unsealed liquid filled batteries (lead-acid) the levels of electrolyte will be checked and a hydrometer used to check the acidity.
Remember too that changing a battery requires some care and skill. It's easy to fry the onboard computers of modern cars by errors with the electrics. Always remove negative (black) electrodes first and replace last. Completing the job quickly will prevent your stereo system from needing a reset code.
Protyre technicians are professionally trained and equipped with the latest equipment. Place your trust in our expertise: we provide a range of expert tests completely free of charge.