You need your car battery to work to its full capacity as winter kicks in with its freezing temperatures. And as temperatures begin to drop in the morning, CTEK Battery Chargers, the world’s leading manufacturer of automotive batteries care and maintenance, advises car owners to be prepared and to protect against battery loss when the first chill hits.
“CTEK ESTIMATES THAT 57% OF MOTORISTS AT RISK OF BREAKDOWN THIS WINTER DUE TO AN UNDERCHARGED OR FAILING BATTERY“
A CTEK workshop survey showed that as many as 25% of vehicles have a battery that could potentially malfunction during the current cold snap – putting car owners at serious risk of failure right as they really need their cars.
A further 32 per cent of vehicles are at some risk of battery failure unless action is taken to maintain the condition of the battery.
And of course, let’s not forget the effect that COVID-19 has on the health of the vehicle’s battery; with many home-bound under COVID-19 locking restrictions, car batteries are far more likely to fall flat the less often the car is powered or charged.
Then we need to know what happens to the battery when the weather is cold. Battery output can be decreased by 35 per cent when temperatures reach freezing and drop by as much as 50 per cent when temperatures get even colder.
So, with as many as 1 in 2 vehicles running around with an undercharged or failed battery, it is more important than ever to ensure that the batteries are ready for the winter.
The figures released by the leading breakdown companies position the battery failure as the single biggest cause of breakdowns in the winter. At freezing temperatures, the engine’s starting power requirement will increase by as much as 250 per cent compared to the summer day. In addition, with additional battery drains, such as heated screens and benches, headlights and a rise in short journeys during the winter, the battery is being put under a tremendous strain – no wonder the breakdown companies are so busy!
Stefan Lind, Director at CTEK, says, “Engineers get a false sense of protection when it comes to the condition of their battery when temperatures are too much colder. If the battery is undercharged during this time the car will still be able to start, as it doesn’t require as much energy to get the engine started. Motorists would not know that their battery is undercharged. As the temperature decreases, the battery will not have enough capacity to fuel the engine – in other words, you will encounter a ‘flat battery.”
Cold weather also ensures the car alternators and starting engines are also at risk of premature loss if the battery is not adequately powered, as they would have to work a lot harder to get the cars started and driven.
Any time the car starts, 150 – 350A is pulled from the tank, and if the motorists just make a small ride, the alternator would not have the time or even the capacity to replace the battery draw. Over several decreases, the charge within the battery would be smaller and lower, putting it at risk of sulphation or even worse, collapse. Low battery charge means that the alternator is working hard, which also cuts its life dramatically.
CTEK suggests the routine use of a smart battery charger such as CTEK MXS 5.0. The charger provides a special, 5Amp 8 Step-Approach for charging the battery, available by the touch of a button, to ensure that every lead-acid battery is optimally conditioned, charged and sustained indefinitely if necessary. Using modern, proprietary technologies to calculate the capacity and health of the battery, the CTEK Battery chargers ensure that sufficient action is taken to optimise the power and life of the battery. Its unique technology allows all types of 12V lead-acid vehicle batteries to be stored safely.
The MXS 5.0 Snowflake Mode is a special cold weather feature that provides a higher voltage charge to ensure a 100% charge is reached easily, safely and even in the coldest of temperatures.
Stefan Lind says, “As vehicle technology becomes increasingly complex, so does the need for increased battery support so that it can deliver optimum power to the vehicle – it is the heart of the vehicle and without a regular charge with a high-quality battery charger, motorists are at increased risk of failure.”