Up­grad­ing bat­ter­ies

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Vehicle batteries -

For con­ven­tional cars with­out emis­sion-sav­ing tech­nolo­gies, buy­ing a bat­tery that has ei­ther a greater ca­pac­ity (Ah), or cold crank start (CCA) abil­ity is likely to be more ex­pen­sive, but it can of­fer longer-term sav­ings by last­ing longer and re­duc­ing the risk of leav­ing you stranded. While up­grad­ing is a good idea, es­pe­cially if your car cov­ers many short dis­tances, un­der­spec­i­fy­ing a bat­tery is a false econ­omy.

As an ex­am­ple, a low spec­i­fi­ca­tion flooded lead-acid bat­tery can pro­vide up to 20,000 starts dur­ing its life­time, while a pre­mium bat­tery will give up to 50,000. EFB and AGM bat­ter­ies of­fer a sig­nif­i­cantly higher num­ber of starts: up to 270,000 with EFB and 360,000 with AGM. So, up­grad­ing a flooded lead-acid bat­tery to an EFB is vi­able and eco­nom­i­cally sound, de­spite the higher pur­chase price. How­ever, down­grad­ing from an AGM to an EFB should never be con­sid­ered, be­cause of po­ten­tial dam­age be­ing caused to ve­hi­cle sys­tems – the stop-start func­tion might not work and the bat­tery is likely to fail within a few months.

For cars equipped with re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing and smart alternators, fit­ting a higher spec­i­fi­ca­tion AGM bat­tery might be pos­si­ble, but con­sult your man­u­fac­turer, or a rep­utable af­ter­mar­ket bat­tery com­pany, for ad­vice on spec­i­fi­ca­tions and if any ex­tra pro­gram­ming is nec­es­sary.

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