Understanding Your Battery Means Understanding Your Car

Cars today consume a lot more power than you think. Modern electronic features demand more from the humble car battery than ever before, however, it is not a one-size-fits-all component. Understanding your car battery and the important role it plays in your everyday journey is key to enjoying peace of mind behind the wheel.

Know your battery
Today, the most commonly used type of car batteries are the maintenance-free 12V lead acid batteries. These ‘flooded’ batteries are sealed and does not require servicing once it has been installed in the vehicle, however, not all maintenance-free batteries are made equally.

As automotive technologies become more advanced, Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB) have become the standard for vehicles with start-stop technology. Premium vehicles with more advanced start-stop technology and regenerative braking systems may require Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries, as AGM batteries are designed to be more resistant to leakage and corrosion; thus enabling a reliable supply of power over a longer service life. 

When it comes to selecting the right battery for your car, Bosch AA advises to always refer to your user manual or authorised service centre to correctly identify the right battery for your vehicle. Using the wrong type of battery may be detrimental to your car. For example, a regular maintenance-free battery may experience accelerated wear if installed in a car with start-stop technology.

Prolonging your battery lifespan
Although most car batteries are marketed as ‘maintenance-free’, there are several steps drivers can take to prolong their lifespan. One of the simplest methods is to have your mechanic incorporate a battery health check into your regular maintenance schedule to monitor the state of your battery and reliably predict wear and tear. Many car workshops and service centres are equipped with the tools and expertise to perform a thorough health check.

An often-repeated piece of advice is to start your cars regularly, especially with work-from-home becoming the norm. Batteries left idle discharge over time. This is often compounded by electrical equipment that run full-time such as anti-theft and vehicle telemetry systems. Bosch Automotive Aftermarket Malaysia (Bosch AA) recommends driving continuously for 30 minutes at least one to two times a week* to allow the battery to fully recharge. Short trips can be detrimental to the battery as they make it difficult for the battery to maintain a full charge. 

The best way to minimise battery discharge is ensuring all electrical equipment, including headlights and infotainment are fully switched off before leaving the vehicle. Alternatively, you could invest in a charging device like the Bosch C7 Battery Charger to keep the battery permanently charged to an optimum level.

It’s a numbers game
Have you ever wondered how a mechanic always seems to know what battery your car needs when a replacement is needed? Like all automotive components and spare parts, car batteries have specifications that communicate useful information such as its dimensions, battery capacity and how long it can last.

All car batteries come with factory recommendations for cold cranking amps (CCA) and Amp hour (Ah) values. These are essentially the minimum requirements expected of the car battery by the vehicle. Although it can be possible to get a car battery that falls short of these requirements to function, doing so may introduce issues to other parts of your vehicle in the long run.
For example, frequently starting the engine using a battery without sufficient CCA may damage the ignition system over time. A car battery does more than just getting the engine started when you hit the start button. Therefore, it is also important to consider other electrical equipment and accessories that draw power from the electrical system the moment you start your car before being drawn to more affordable options in the market.

Understanding the battery that best suits your car’s needs will help you get the most out of your vehicle and keep it running just the way it did right off the assembly line, even if you have to do it yourself. As with other serviceable components and materials such as fluids and filters, always refer to the owner’s manual to ensure the correct specifications for your vehicle. Additionally, Bosch AA highly recommends to only use car batteries manufactured by reputable suppliers with reliable track records in automotive maintenance and aftersales services.

To find out more about Bosch’s range of batteries, drivers can approach your friendly Bosch Car Service or Bosch Preferred Workshops (https://bit.ly/MYDealers).

For more information, log on to Bosch Autoparts Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BoschAA.MY/).

*Depending on battery type