Help & Advice

Battery Problems

Your car battery on average needs to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. If you have an old car battery it is likely that your battery won’t be holding charge as well in cold weather conditions, which could make it become harder to start your vehicle. If there is visible damage to the battery cell such as cracking, bubbling or warping it is recommended that you get it replaced as soon as possible to prevent damaging your vehicle. If you simply left your headlights or interior lights on this may cause a flat battery and it will need to be recharged using a battery charger.

In the cold winter months, your car battery is placed under significantly more pressure. The demand on your battery is greater due to using more energy to activate your heater, headlights, windscreen wash and wipers. Along with in the cold temperatures your battery can’t operate at full capacity or hold the charge as well which makes it harder to start your car after it has been stood overnight.

If you are struggling to start your car regularly it is advised, try manually charging it with a battery charger and check for any damage. If the problem persists, see an expert at your local garage as it may need replacing.

When your vehicle is not being used, your battery is not charging. Your battery will be charged from the last time you drove your car but due to it being stationary for a long period of time the battery will slowly withdraw energy and lose charge.

If you notice any signs that your battery is failing turn off all devices in your vehicle and try to dip the clutch when starting your car, make sure you leave it a few minutes before you try this again.

Battery conditioners and chargers can be fitted to your vehicle to monitor your batteries performance to prevent you from being caught out by a ‘flat’ or ‘dead’ battery.

It is unusual for a car battery to leak if it is functioning as normal, however there are some noticeable signs that can indicate a leak.

  • There are cracks in the battery and there appears to be dripping coming from the bottom.
  • There is bubbling liquid seeping through the cell caps.
  • The battery is warped, inflated or appears to look swollen.

If you notice these changes in your car battery it is usually damaged and you should not continue to use it. If you are required to handle a damaged leaking battery, you must always wear gloves and goggles as a safety precaution. Avoid contact with the acid on your skin or in your eyes. If you do come in contact with the acid wash it off immediately. If you get any acid in your eye, thoroughly rinse the eye with running water and contact a doctor as soon as possible.

When a car battery leaks, it is usually from the top (through the cell caps) or due to damage of body. However, it is normal for batteries to lose liquid over time through evaporation. To counteract this, you should top up the electrolyte mixture sporadically. Failure to do this can lead to damage to the battery plates if they are left exposed.

Any liquid that evaporates over time is only water as high temperatures make the battery lose more water. The battery must periodically be topped up to prevent any permanent and irreversible damage.

By overcharging or attempting to charge your car’s battery in such a limited amount of time, is another way a car battery can end up leaking. Smart chargers can sense and give signals to show when a battery is charged to full capacity to avoid this. If you do not own a smart charger, it may be advisable to check up regularly on your charging battery as an alternative to this.

Extreme cold weather is also a factor that can lead to leakages. The battery acid inside may begin to freeze and cause the body of the battery to expand, putting pressure on the cells, like how pipes burst in winter weather. Although it is unlikely to happen, it can still occur.

Unless they are physically damaged or over-charged, car batteries typically should not leak. As car batteries have a life cycle, they do not last forever and should be replaced every three to five years. The longer you have a battery in use, the easier it is to be knocked, damaged or suffer leakages.

Older batteries are not as able to hold there charge and release power as well as new batteries, therefore are more likely to become damaged and leak.

If your car battery starts to show the signs of a faulty battery the best thing to do is replace it.

Battery Facts

They all should be recycled as they could harm the environment due to them containing lead dioxide and sulphuric acid. If you have replaced the battery yourself you should take the old one to your local recycling centre or scrap metal facility, however as part of our fitting service, we can do this for you, completely free!

The battery can affect the fuel economy as the vehicles alternator will fight to charge the battery, meaning the added load puts more pressure onto the battery and uses more fuel.

When handling car batteries, you must ensure to take precaution in case there as battery acid can be highly toxic and dangerous. It is vital to avoid any contact with your skin or eyes and it must be kept away from children.

The best thing to do when handling a leaking car batteries is to stop using it and seek professional help immediately to handle the battery and identify the issue.

Firstly, it is advised to inspect the car battery before anything else such as cleaning or charging it. This way, any leaks can be detected before any permanent or serious damage occurs.

What is an AGM Battery?

The AGM or Absorbent Glass Mat battery is a new technology that has recently integrated into cars by manufacturers as a stop/start system that is helping to reduce environmental impacts on the modern world.

Vehicle manufacturers are increasingly demanding more AGM batteries to use in their new stop/start vehicles. The increase in the use of this new technology is working towards meeting the demands for EU legal requirements.

AGM batteries are a specialized meaning that when replaced need to be re-coded into your vehicle, therefore it is recommended that this is done by a professional only. This may seem like an inconvenience, however the pros out way the cons with cheaper running costs for consumers and environmental benefits that will help to reduce the impact caused on the environment. On average AGM batteries can cut C02 emissions by up to 8% more than your traditional battery. Stop/start technologies make driving easy.

The stop/start system is growing rapidly with AGM batteries in constant demand. It has been created to reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and contribute to a safer environment.
A stop/start system shuts off your vehicle while stationary and can be restarted once the driver puts pressure on the accelerator or clutch. By shutting the engine off after about 1.5 seconds and prolonging this until it is safe to drive off, this technology is designed to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 5-10%. The AGM battery is cheap to manufacture compared to other strategies used to help reduce carbon emissions, making all vehicles more efficient and maintenance free.
The AGM car battery is becoming increasingly popular in new vehicles with car manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Fiat and Volkswagen adopting the stop/start technology into their vehicles. The AGM battery is constructed so that it requires no ventilation and can be installed at any orientation.

There are several advantages of using a AGM battery that are more beneficial than the traditional style battery which are:

  • The stop/start battery helps to conserve fuel when at a standstill in awaiting traffic by turning off your engine helping to reduce fuel consumption.
  • The AGM battery has up to 50% more starting power than lead acid batteries, meeting the demands of larger vehicles and high powered engines.
  • Low maintenance and there is no risk of leaks or spills.
  • The stop/start battery has little risk of freezing and can operate in low temperatures making it easier to start your car in the winter months.

Do it Yourself - Step-by-Step guide

Preparation

Ensure that you are parked on a surface that is completely flat and level and take the keys out of the ignition.  As batteries can contain acid, wear protective goggles and gloves. As all of your electronic equipment will reset, such as radios and sat navs, ensure that you have all of their PIN codes and settings. Check your owners handbook to see whether your systems need to be rest after your battery has gone flat or been disconnected.

Installation Steps

  1. Open the bonnet, some use a bonnet stay to keep open but some stay up on their own.
  2. Remove all of the plastic trims or covers from the battery.
  3. Ensure that your battery cables don’t get mixed up by labeling them.
  4. Now its time to disconnect the cables, always disconnect the negative one first as it could cause damage to the vehicles electrical system. So, loosen and disconnect the negative (-) clamp and move the clamp from the battery post.  Then, repeat for the positive (+) cable.
  5. Remove any screws, clamps or bars that hold the battery in place.  Disconnect any attached vents then lift out the battery.
  6. Get the positive and negative posts the right way round, then fit the battery into place.  If it needs to be held in place by pipes, screws, clamps or bars, ensure that you connect them back up properly.
  7. Reconnect the positive (+) and negative (-) cable clamps back into place and ensure that the connection is as far down on the battery as possible.
  8. You are now able to start the ignition, re-enter your radio PIN and car and multimedia presets and get back on the road.

Preparation

Ensure that you are parked on a surface that is completely flat and level and take the keys out of the ignition.  As batteries can contain acid, wear protective goggles and gloves. As all of your electronic equipment will reset, such as radios and sat navs, ensure that you have all of their PIN codes and settings. Check your owners handbook to see whether your systems need to be rest after your battery has gone flat or been disconnected.

Installation Steps

  1. Open the engine cover.
  2. Remove all of the plastic trims or covers from the battery.
  3. Ensure that your battery cables don’t get mixed up by labeling them.
  4. Now its time to disconnect the cables, always disconnect the negative one first as it could cause damage to the boats electrical system. So, loosen and disconnect the negative (-) clamp and move the clamp from the battery post.  Then, repeat for the positive (+) cable.
  5. Remove any screws, clamps or bars that hold the battery in place.  Disconnect any attached vents then lift out the battery.
  6. Get the positive and negative posts the right way round, then fit the battery into place.  If it needs to be held in place by pipes, screws, clamps or bars, ensure that you connect them back up properly.
  7. Reconnect the positive (+) and negative (-) cable clamps back into place and ensure that the connection is as far down on the battery as possible.
  8. You are now able to start the ignition on your boat, re-enter your radio PIN and car and multimedia presets and get back sailing.