A busy start to the year has seen a lot of battery related problems. This in itself isn’t surprising for the time of year, but what is surprising is how we have been replacing batteries that haven’t yet caused breakdowns.
A battery is a massively important part of the modern day vehicles systems. Your vehicle has many ECU’s (electronic control units) fitted to control the various systems on your car, these ECU’s need to communicate with each other, and to do that they require a decent battery condition. We took the decision to test the battery, when we service and carry out diagnostic work, on each vehicle we see. We invested in a state of the art battery tester, which deeply tests the quality and condition of the battery and gives us a result within seconds, either ‘good’, ‘good recharge’ or ‘replace battery’. Along side this we have also purchased an excellent battery conditioning unit, allowing us to recover any batteries in poor condition, thus saving our customers money and the possibility of an unexpected and inconvenient breakdown situation.
We had very surprising results, with approx a third of batteries requiring charging whilst we serviced the vehicle! Also we had a number show as failed, even though they still started the engine, but once replaced the customers reported better ‘drivability’ of their vehicle.
In the case of the diagnostic jobs, batteries were the cause of two problems, a poor condition causing a communication error and effecting the way the vehicle drove. One particular case was a Jaguar, which had a gearbox error, but when we diagnosed it as a battery fault the customer was very surprised. His reaction was pleasure in the end when, instead of the expense of a potential gearbox cost he was expecting, the battery replacement was much cheaper!