|Bad driving habits cause battery failure|
|Friday, 03 August 2012 00:00|
Car battery malfunction is seldom caused by factory defect, and is most likely caused by consumer driving habits. Low charge and acid stratification are the most common causes of battery malfunction. When cars are driven for only short distances and mostly in congested, city traffic, for example batteries never get fully charged.
Although a variety of factors lead to a battery’s death, most factors can be mitigated by monitoring how the vehicle is used. Some of the habits that affect the lifespan of a battery include:
l Leaving car lights, radio and air-conditioning on while the car is not running. This can quickly drain the battery’s power and the battery will fail in a matter of hours.
l Driving short distances without taking the car for an extended spin on the highway — batteries tend to stratify if kept at low charge (below 80 percent) and never have the opportunity to receive a full charge. This problem is common in luxury cars. If unchecked, such a condition will eventually lead to battery failure.
l Combining the two habits mentioned above, i.e. driving over a short distance while using a number of accessories leads to battery acid stratification.
This occurs whereby electrolytes gets concentrated on the bottom thus making the upper half of the cell to be acid poor, which in turn limits plate activation thus promoting corrosion and reducing performance. At the bottom, high acid concentration promotes sulfation thus decreasing the already low conductivity further.
l Driving while the battery is not secured or properly clamped, may result in physical damage to the battery, especially with our poor roads at the present moment. Vibration causes damage to a battery’s internal components, contributing to the development of cracks within materials and accelerating corrosion rates.
l Lack of general maintenance of the battery, such as checking the water level once in a while.
Water loss occurs in a battery as a result of gassing under normal conditions, this results in an increase in water loss because of high temperatures and as a result choosing a battery that can be maintained by topping up water levels is important as this can extend battery life.
l Turning the headlamps on before starting the engine, leads to unnecessary overloading of the battery and if this habit is continued, the lifespan of the battery is reduced.
l Alternator of the vehicle should be constantly checked by a qualified auto-electrician to ensure that it is regulating the current flow, as this has a bearing on the battery. Lack of regulating the current, leads to brown acid and ultimately battery failure.
l Always have your battery regularly checked and get expert advice on battery maintenance at any of our Battery Express branches nationwide at zero cost.
l 12 months from date of purchase for all other types, except for the 650 type on kombis, this is six months from date of purchase.
l Faulty workmanship
l Sub-standard material
Does not cover:
l Overcharging (brown acid)
l Physical damage
l Acid contamination
l Faulty vehicle electrical system
l Incorrect/wrong application.
Remember: The further you drive the more charged you battery is!!!!!!
Tune in next week’s edition to discover what you should do to prevent this condition from taking hold of your car battery. Plus, discover ways to cope when it does happen . . .
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