How to Maintain Your Vehicle Battery
Whatever you’re driving, it all starts with your vehicle battery. It cranks the engine and powers your lights and other electrical accessories, so you want to make sure that it is in optimal working condition.
In this section we provide some general advice on maintaining and caring for your marine, deep cycle and truck battery units.
A range of factors can impact the performance of your vehicle battery. In order to make sure that your car or truck battery stays in optimal condition, you should have it regularly tested at your nearest SuperCharge location.
Having your car or truck battery tested on a regular basis is essential. Normal wear and tear can take a toll, and some problems can only be discovered by proper inspection.
Some of the tests we run at SuperCharge include checking for surface charge, measuring the state-of-charge, load testing and bounce back testing. Thorough inspection means that you can make sure your unit lasts as long as possible. Learn more about testing services.
For any questions regarding anything from a small vehicle to a marine unit and everything in between, speak to SuperCharge.
Call us on 1300 228 837 (Australia) or 0800 188 122 (New Zealand) or contact us online.
Common Maintenance Myths
At SuperCharge, we see all sorts of car and boat battery units on a daily basis and we are dedicated to educating customers about maintenance and optimising vehicle performance.
Here are some common vehicle battery myths dispelled.
Resting a unit on a concrete floor will discharge it
It doesn’t matter what type of surface your car or truck battery rests on. Over time, all lead-acid units will naturally discharge. Only the temperature of the electrolyte and the plate chemistry will have an impact on the rate of self-discharge. This applies to all lead-acid makes and models, from a Nissan to a Fiat model.
Regularly driving your vehicle will ensure full recharging
Yes. A car or boat battery is recharged when the vehicle’s engine is in motion. However, a short inner-city trip or leaving your car idle in the driveway isn’t going to be able to fully recharge your standard Mazda, Ford or any other type of vehicle battery. As such, it may require periodic recharging in addition to the charging that occurs while driving.
My vehicle battery cannot explode
Despite popular perception, a lead-acid vehicle battery can explode under certain circumstances. Charging a wet lead-acid unit can cause electrolysis of the water, which produces oxygen and hydrogen gasses. These gases can be ignited if sparks are created with jumping, connecting or disconnecting charging cables, which leads to an explosion. Starting explosions are most commonly caused by loose terminal clamps.
Disconnecting my car or truck battery while the engine is running is a good way to test the alternator
Car and truck battery units stabilise or ‘filter’ the voltage produced by the alternator. As such, disconnection can cause peak voltage to rise, which can destroy electronic components or the charging system. This was an accepted practice many decades ago, but because charging systems have changed since then, this is no longer the case.
A car, truck or boat battery last longer in hot weather than in cold
Both high and low temperatures can have an impact. Hot climates will, on average, reduce the life of units by one third, while cold reduces the starting capacity.
It is also important to note that “warming up” your car or truck battery on cold days by turning on headlights is not recommended. Doing this reduces the available capacity that can be used to start a cold engine.
For more information on product care or maintenance, call us at 1300 228 837 (Australia).
Maintaining your auto battery is the most important thing you can do to ensure you never find yourself stuck with no charge left. Here are some tips from the experts at SuperCharge to help you keep your Honda, Mazda or Holden battery in good condition.
Causes of Failure
Lead acid car batteries primarily fail when a process called lead sulphation occurs. The plates within the units become coated with lead sulphate or, if tap water is used to fill the unit, calcium sulphate. Essentially, this slowly reduces the capacity and once this process runs its course, the unit “dies”.
Car batteries can also fail as a result of:
Heat and cold can also have an impact on the lifespan of your Mazda, Holden or Honda battery.
In warmer temperatures, positive grid growth, negative grid shrinkage, plate buckling and water loss can cause failure.
Cold temperatures affect units differently. The expansion and contraction that occurs during the discharge and re-charge cycle can “age” the unit as the active positive plate material sheds. This shedding leaves brown sediment at the bottom of the case (often called “mud” or “sludge”) which can short the cell out.
Accessible Unit Maintenance
SuperCharge recommends the following measures to protect your car or truck’s unit:
Ensure water levels are maintained. Top up only with distilled water to a level about half inch or just below vent funnel. Note that level should not drop below the top of the plates. The plates within a battery must remain submerged at all times to remain functional. Do not overfill, especially in hot climates, as the fluid can expand and overflow.
Routinely remove any corrosion that may build up on the cable or both terminals.
Check the tension of the alternator belt.
Ensure the top is kept clean and the hold-down is secure.
If you are in doubt, let the SuperCharge team have a look. We regularly maintain a wide range of makes and models, from Mini, to Maserati, to Holden, Honda and Mazda battery units, and virtually every other name brand model in between.
Call SuperCharge at 1300 228 837 (Australia)
At SuperCharge we offer reasonable warranties for a variety of our quality batteries, giving you peace of mind.
Warranty is conditional upon practice within manufacturers’ guidelines and specifications
Warranty is cancelled if battery packs are opened and original seals are broken
Warranty is cancelled if batteries are directly connected to moisture.
SuperCharge Gold Plus Sealed MF – Up to 40 months
SuperCharge Silver Plus Sealed MF – Up to 30 months
SuperCharge PowerStation Accessible – Up to 24 months
SuperCharge Truck Master Accessible – Up to 24 months
SeaMaster Gold Sealed MF – Up to 24 months
SeaMaster Accessible – Up to 18 months
AMP-TECH Deep Cycle – Up to 12 months
Allrounder Dual Purpose – Up to 12 months
X-Pack Conventional Accessible – Up to 12 months
Taxi Use – Up to 6 months
All Batteries for Commercial Use – 12 months
If you have any questions about our warranties, please call us on 1300 228 837. One of our sales representatives will be glad to help.