Why Car Batteries Must Be Replaced By Qualified Mechanics
Most of us accept that currently the majority of motor vehicles have one or many systems that are electrically powered. It is therefore critical that car batteries must be replaced by qualified mechanics to ensure your safety and the health of your vehicle. Electrical components require power to be constantly supplied by or drawn from the batteries that are fitted in the car. With increasing number of vehicle models loaded with start-stop technology and other complicated gadgets demanding even more battery power, it’s now more than ever imperative to ensure that the correct batteries are fitted by a qualified mechanic to the vehicle to ensure optimal system operation.
When replacing a car battery, the correct battery will at the very least be required to meet manufacturer’s specifications. Specifications are referred to the battery’s Capacity and its Type i.e. how long the battery can hold a charge while under load. Capacity are determined by different measurements: CCA – Cold Cranking Amps, EN – European Norm, AH – Amp Hour, RC – Reserve Capacity. Accurate battery capacity can be measured through a battery test using a battery tester which is why car batteries must be replaced by qualified mechanics such as Autoactive Car Solutions who are able to determine this.
One would have to be living under a rock to not have seen or never replaced AA batteries or AAA batteries off a small device. Replacing small batteries are easy and not life threatening. Replacement is as simple as 1 2 3. 1) Open up the device 2) Remove old batteries 3) Fit new batteries in the slot. The norm of this misconception leads many consumers to believe car batteries work exact same way. They therefore feel comfortable to head off to a battery retail outlet, purchase that brand new car battery chosen by one of their very friendly sale staffs who seems to know everything about batteries, let’s call him Dave, who also happens to be the ‘technician’ helps fit the battery in the car for free. No one would turn down a free fitting especially when Dave just has the muscles and the spanner. Given the fact that many battery retail outlets are well branded, most car owners won’t question the credibility or the quality of the job done. After all the battery is new and the car runs again, what could go wrong when car batteries are not replaced by qualified mechanics?
Proper Replacement Of Car Batteries
Did you know in Australia there is no specific license requirement on car battery replacement? In other words anyone can replace a car battery providing that he or she believes they have the know-how. When a car owner appoints a third party to replace a car battery, it is understood that the car owner accepts and agrees on the product sold to them, the services provided and any terms and warranties (if any or none) that comes with the purchase and the fitting. Here are some of the risks when car batteries are not replaced by a qualified mechanic: what if it’s a wrong battery sold to the owner and the owner agreed to purchase? What if Dave didn’t fit the battery properly? What if the wrong battery ends up damaging ECU and other electrical systems? These are the key questions that could save car owners hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Many times witnessed and rectified by our expert mechanics at Autoactive are inferior workmanship on battery replacement. Common inferior practices that car owners unaware of include battery terminals not cleaned up, battery terminals being left loose causing high resistant and voltage drop, corrosion from previous battery not rectified, ignoring of battery sensor procedure and even jamming of unknown foreign object simply to stabilize a battery of incorrect size! No coding and no reset of adaptation causing light on dash and malfunctioning of other systems etc. You may now wonder what is proper fitting of a car battery? Proper fitting of car battery should involve clean up of battery terminals, all battery terminals to be tightened up, rectify corrosion from previous battery, follow battery sensor procedure, coding and reset of all adaptations after fitting to ensure all systems in perfect working order. Is Dave qualified and equipped to carry out all of the above? Can Dave guarantee no faults will be caused by the battery sold to you and no faults will be caused by the fitting carried out? In many cases the incorrect or inferior batteries are fitted to the vehicles only to have electrical gremlins. Those who think lightly of electrical gremlins it’s time to think again.
Audi Q7 Electrical Gremlins
One example was the diagnostic carried out on an Audi Q7 experiencing mysterious problem with all electrics cutting out for a split second. Diagnostic on electrics is known to be challenging but what made this particular diagnostic to the blog is that the cutout was so sudden that no signs can be traced and no pattern at all can be tracked. The owner advised that the car had been running well and it even had a new factory battery fitted approximately 8 months ago and insisted there’s nothing wrong with the battery.
Without any further leads we started off the diagnostic procedure to recreate the electrics cutout. After many hours of driving comes the hooray moment: a micro break down was finally experienced on the road! It was experienced that all warning lights on the instrument cluster would light up then power completely cut off for a split second, then all is normal again. We immediately conducted a complete diagnostic scan on the vehicle electronic system. The unexplained result was that not just one or two but ALL control units fitted to the vehicle had under voltage faults!
Could it be the alternator tripping out momentarily?
Could it be the Battery Regulation Control unit faulty?
Could it be the battery sensor malfunction?
Could it be any of the battery cables faulty?
It was reviewed that a coding of 105Ah AGM battery was coded to the car. The battery must be tested for further analysis. Since the possibility of a faulty battery had been ruled out by the owner and that the battery lives hidden under the passenger’s seat, we follow our professional protocol contacted the owner explained of our diagnostic approach in order to receive approval on the removal of passenger’s seat and all other related components only to gain access to the 8 month old factory battery for testing.
The moment of truth was quite the opposite of what we were told when we found a 80Ah Lead acid battery of inferior brand fitted under the passenger’s seat! The non factory specified battery was confirmed also through the load test failed at even 75Ah. That explained why all control units had under voltage faults. The inferior battery was then rid of and replaced with a good quality battery that is to the manufacturer specifications. The new battery was then coded to the car followed by the reset of all adaptations. Finally the car was road tested extensively by our qualified mechanics to make sure of zero electrics faults.
A good quality car battery replaced by an experienced qualified mechanic assures the well being and survival of many electrical systems such as alternator. Some vehicle models require the battery brand and Amp Hour rating to be coded into a vehicle’s control unit for the alternator to be able to charge the system correctly. The alternator has an important job to maintain the battery to its full capacity for supply of power to all electrical systems. When a battery is flat driving the car for an extended period of time will only help lift part of its capacity since the battery is constantly being drained by the vehicle’s electrical systems during running.
Car Battery Facts | Car Battery Replacement
The physical size of a car battery does not equate its capacity. A car battery that fits perfectly into its battery location in the car doesn’t mean it has a capacity for that particular vehicle make or model. It is also a common mistake to make a purchasing decision towards choosing the cheapest battery available or simply match its physical size.
When an incorrect battery is fitted by someone other than a qualified mechanic, electrical gremlins can get held off won’t come up until many months or even a year after fitting. With the possibility of other faults occurring during those months, the diagnostic to directly relate to proof of a faulty battery could turn out a long and lengthy up hill battle. What’s more? Many faults and damages with computer and control units are to link to the use of inferior battery. Computer or ECU supply different data outputs to solenoids, injectors, small motors and fans, a constant under current power supply environment is a sure fire way causing malfunctioning of these systems. Cost of computer and ECU repair and replacement are upward of thousands of dollar. To avoid any such issues it is important to ensure car batteries must be replaced by qualified mechanics.
In a motor vehicle excluding Hybrids and Electric vehicles (EVs), there are 2 types of batteries: AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) and LA (Lead Acid). Each one has a different output and charging characteristic. A good quality car battery can carry a capacity of 20-30% higher than the capacity stamped on the battery. i.e. you get more power than what you paid for. Vice versa a poor quality car battery can carry as little as 15% less capacity when it is brand new off the shelf.
Many car batteries offered by the road side assistance although to the correct size and correct capacity are far from great quality with the capacity tested much less than what is stamped on the battery itself.
Here at Autoactive Mechanic Northshore, we assure you that the health and well-being of your vehicle is our priority. If you need a new car battery book in your car today as it should be in your best interest to have your car batteries replaced by an experienced qualified mechanic.