Don’t use old-school battery tricks on new-school cars

Cast your mind back to the days when cars were simpler creatures. A Sunday afternoon probably looked like this: dad’s head deep under the hood, tinkering and turning, tightening his battery terminals and even topping up the water levels. Fortunately, things have changed. Cars are smarter, more intuitive and more complex. This means attempting to fiddle with your car battery all on your own, without the help of an expert, could do more damage than good.

Modern cars have so many more elements to consider, all deeply affected by the health and handling of the car battery. Some modern cars have up to seventy electronic control units – tiny computers controlling the functioning of things like electric windows, stop-start technology and GPS systems. Improper care of a car battery can cause any one – or all – of these mini-systems to malfunction.

Preserve power with quality

There’s nothing you can’t do in a car these days – charge your phone, catch up on the news, heat your seat, chat hands-free or ask for directions. These many and varied devices and add-ons make life easier (and more comfortable), but also mean your car consumes substantially more power today than similar models years ago.
This means conserving battery power wherever possible, so your battery remains at optimum charge. The first step in ensuring this happens is to fit your car with a reliable, quality battery. Skimp on your battery and you could find yourself in a comfortable car with all the bells and whistles – going nowhere.

Don’t jump-start to conclusions

Another familiar memory from days (gone by) of self-battery-care is a family member or friend confidently whipping out jumper cables from their boot to restart a flat battery. Jump-starting, however, could wreak havoc on your modern car’s intricate electronic systems if done incorrectly.

Jump-starting a car properly involves carefully making sure both cars are switched off, keys removed and thoroughly checking both cars’ owners’ manuals for information around jump-start points. For example, some modern luxury vehicles have designated jump-start points – jump-starting straight from the battery can cause a damaging power surge.

If you’re not a hands-on, clued-up car fundi, consider calling on the battery specialists. Contact a Battery Centre and they’ll provide you with a generic jump-start procedure guide. Recurring battery issues always spell trouble and a non-functioning battery in a modern car is simply not an option. On-going battery issues should be dealt with by a battery fitment centre that can accurately check the state of the battery and replace it if necessary.

Are you really fit for a fitting?

Real car gurus could, once upon a time, install their own batteries with a little elbow grease (quite literally). This isn’t the reality in modern cars, no matter the dedication of the car owner. Even if the rigorous checks are done before installing a battery – cleaning j-bolts, brackets and terminals and carefully matching terminals – many modern vehicles have resets to be done after a new battery is installed, like windows, alarm systems and security codes for radios. Realistically, only battery experts would know where to look to spot these controls, and follow the necessary processes to get your car working perfectly after a battery change.

In short, modern cars are complex and expensive creatures. Taking it upon yourself to change a battery isn’t worth the risk – battery specialists are specialists for a reason. Leave it to the battery specialists at Battery Centre, avoid the elbow grease and keep your car working perfectly. The nostalgia of battery tinkering’s just not worth it.

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