Unfortunately, once the vehicle engine is shut down, the battery stops charging. Running portable 12V appliances while the vehicle is turned off will cause your battery to lose charge rapidly and go flat, which could leave you stranded in the outback with no way to start your car. The way to solve this problem is by installing dual batteries.
So how do they work? If you are planning to run electronics accessories in your car, caravan, trailer or 4×4, it is important to ensure you have enough power. Accessories such as winches, fridges, sound systems etc. can drain significant amps from your battery, faster than your alternator can replace them.
A dual-battery system consists of two batteries termed as the ‘primary battery’ and ‘auxiliary battery’. The two batteries are wired together to the discharging/charging system which integrates the vehicle’s electrical system and a battery isolator. An optional read out device can be placed in the cab during installation which gives you the ability to check your battery levels.
REDARC are the specialists when it comes to Battery Management Systems or BMS. With over 30 years’ experience, REDARC electronics have developed the most advanced technology to stop your batteries boiling or going flat.
With a Smart Start BMS, the unit is a simple ‘set and forget’ which ensures you have a charged battery when you need it most. The REDARC BMS also monitors your battery usage and displays it on its mounted LCD screen. This provides you with more control and a sense of what is happening as you utilise these kinds of systems.
Autospark can always provide you with the best advice and products to enable you to do more, wherever you go.
To keep your vehicle engine running smoothly, it’s crucial to understand the importance of a reliable car battery replacement. Below are the answers to some common car battery questions to get you started or help diagnose a problem.
Australia has some of the harshest environmental conditions in the world. The extreme temperatures and varied landscape can affect the life of a battery. Driving habits, vehicle type and battery age also impact life expectancy. Not all batteries are the same.
Autospark recommends Exide’s Range of batteries, designed to withstand the high under-bonnet temperatures and excessive vibration experienced by motorists. We have a full product range available, including automotive, marine, deep cycle and industrial batteries to provide customers with the best solution for every application.
Short distance driving can cause your car battery to flatten over time. This is because your battery doesn’t have a chance to reach ‘full’ charge, which leads to accelerated corrosion and acid stratification. If you only use your car for short trips, long distance spins between them will help boost your battery’s health. Bad habits, such as skipping periodic car maintenance and using too much energy when idling also shorten battery life expectancy.
It’s crucial the right car battery is purchased for your vehicle type and installed correctly to prevent battery problems. SUVs, 4WDs and other large off-road vehicles have different power needs the battery must cater for. Dual battery systems designed for these models can offer the right battery solutions. However smaller cars will be better suited to passenger vehicle batteries.
Other battery types, such as motorcycle batteries and marine batteries are not suitable for your car. They have a lower amperage output and are designed for deep discharge cycles.
Heat is the number one killer of a battery. Although it increases the performance of car batteries short-term, their life is drastically reduced over time. Heat increases the rate of evaporation, which causes a loss of water from the electrolyte. Extreme heat also increases the rate of self-discharge and promotes the corrosion of the positive plate grids.
Battery life is determined by various factors, with the most important being proper maintenance. Amount of use, proper charging and climate are other elements that also need to be considered. A battery that is stored for prolonged periods of time without use or recharging can develop sulfation on the plates. This greatly reduces the time and efficiency of how batteries perform.
Car batteries generally last between four to six years. However, there are multiple factors to consider when determining how often a battery needs to be replaced including vehicle type, region/climate, driving habits, regular battery/car maintenance and whether the battery was installed correctly. If your current battery performance is unsatisfactory, consider upgrading your battery to suit your situation and driving needs.
There are a few easy steps you can take to maximise the life expectancy of your battery:
Choose the right battery for your vehicle type
Ensure your battery is correctly installed
Check the top of the battery monthly to ensure it’s clean and free of corrosion
For maintainable batteries, remove plugs monthly to determine if there’s enough electrolyte covering the plates. Top up with distilled water if required or book in for a battery service
For maintenance free battery types, check the water indicator monthly
Charge batteries with an appropriate battery charger every three months to maintain peak performance
The saying you get what you pay for reigns true with car batteries. Batteries vary in price depending on their cranking capacity (CCA rating), battery type and warranty. Generally, the longer the warranty the better the product. Batteries with a higher CCA rating tend to last longer and help your vehicle perform better. However, this is still dependent on other factors such as the strength of internal lead plates, how much electrolyte it contains and how well the battery has been built.
Old batteries must be disposed of properly because of the toxins they contain, including lead and acid. They should be recycled at your local mechanic or battery repair outlet. If you have an old battery to dispose, you can speak to our staff at Autospark.
Exide Batteries, from Autospark, has a comprehensive business approach called Total Battery Management [TBM], that plays a leading role in one of Australia’s most effective and successful recycling programs. TBM encompasses manufacturing and distribution of lead-acid batteries, responsible collection and storage of spent batteries, safe transportation and reclamation of battery materials and use of those materials in the production of new batteries. Exide Technologies Batteries are also 98% recyclable.
You don’t have to wait until you break down to change your battery. Avoid breakdowns by getting your battery tested on a regular basis. Vehicle electrical systems are becoming more complex and its vital you purchase the right battery for your vehicle, so we recommend leaving it to the experts.