The importance of good battery care

03 Nov 2022

The importance of good battery care

Modern vehicles today consume a lot more power not just for a spark of ignition, but also for in-car computer systems, advance driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and even our gadgets.


However, car batteries in modern vehicles lack the tell-tale signs of low charge seen in older car models, making battery failures harder to predict in advance. This makes good battery management an essential part of smart vehicle care to avoid unwanted breakdowns or extensive engine damages that will cost unnecessary expenses. 

Here are three basic things you can do to up your battery care game:

Use the correct battery application

Incorrect use of a battery can cause costly damage to your car in the long run. 

For start-stop applications, you should always replace with an Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB) or Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery for higher end vehicles. A conventional maintenance-free (MF) battery is not built to meet the demands of a start-stop vehicle. Using it may lead to battery acid leak due to overloading and rapid deterioration. 

Using an undersized battery could lead to starting problems as it does not have enough charge to power your car. Operating on this battery will just continually draw a charge lead resulting in the alternator working harder to compensate for the lack of starting power. 

Check your battery health once every six months

A car battery should last on average a minimum of one year. Fancy electronic gadgets like neon lights, amplifiers, and home-entertainment systems can drain batteries even quicker.

At the first sign of voltage drop, your vehicle could simply refuse to start. Additionally, conventional MF batteries are known to have the highest self-discharge amongst all batteries. So, you may notice a shorter battery lifespan if your car goes unused over prolonged periods. 

The best solution is to check your battery condition at least once every six months during a regular car service by your mechanic.

Check the charge status before installing a new car battery

Just like the batteries used in our everyday gadgets, a car battery left unused will self-discharge, causing its health and quality to fall overtime. Poor storage and environmental conditions can also accelerate the discharge process. For example, a battery stored in a warmer climate will lose charge faster than one in a cooler climate. In colder conditions, a battery could be stored for potentially five or six months without losing significant charge, whereas in a warmer location like leaving your car in an outdoor carpark over long periods, a battery could lose significant charge after three months.

So, when installing a new car battery, do get your mechanic to check on its charge status to ensure you are putting a healthy battery into your car. A healthy battery will have a voltage reading of 12.4V and above when the engine is off.