Many batteries are returned under warranty, which later turn out to not be faulty. It will surprise you to learn that the figure is a staggering 80%. This is eight out of ten batteries returned are not faulty.
What then is the reason they are returned? The answer is, they are discharged, and so cannot provide the starting performance to deliver an engine start. The reasons are many, from a faulty part such as an alternator or starter motor to an electrical component, such as an interior light being left on accidentally. Even use can cause the battery to discharge. For example, if the user has a commute that is very short. In cold weather many batteries receive less re-charge from the alternator than is taken to start the car and run all the electrical items such as lights, heater fans, heated rear window, heated seats etc, if the car is used for only short journeys.
A discharged battery is never faulty. In fact, the self-discharge of a modern battery is so low that it can sit on a shelf for eighteen months and still be perfectly serviceable.
Years ago when you switched the engine off, pretty much everything else was also off. Now it can be sixty minutes, (yes one hour) before a vehicle has finished its system checks, which also are powered by the battery.
Today’s batteries perform an important, if less well-known job of protecting the vehicles systems from voltage spikes which can damage Electronic Control Units and cause many problems.
As many as one in three cars have an under charged battery that will cause sulphation, something which hampers the ability of the battery to accept and retain charge. It will eventually cause premature battery failure.
Therefore, if you have a battery that is struggling, you may find charging the battery on a modern battery charger solves the problem. If you regularly use your car for short journeys a monthly overnight charge would remove any uncertainty and could extend your batteries life by up to two years.
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