Start-stop battery advice
A variety of technologies have been fitted to modern cars within the last decade that are intended to reduce exhaust emissions and fuel use. As we are discovering to our detriment, many such systems tend to have more of a positive benefit within a closed laboratory, then in real life. An example of this is Stop-Start, which is designed to cut the engine, when the car is stationary in traffic, prior to restarting it, when the clutch pedal is depressed again (or, more annoyingly, once the brake pedal is released).
While fuel savings result, it is likely that these are negated by the higher maintenance costs of replacing engine hardware that is prone to wearing out faster, such as starter motors and even turbochargers. Yet, special batteries are also required for cars equipped with Stop-Start, which are, unsurprisingly, more expensive and more powerful than contemporary standard types.
However, if cars with Stop-Start capability are not fitted with the correct replacement batteries, the electrical system can be damaged. Recently, the popular car parts supplier, Euro Car Parts, reported a 100% year-on-year increase in demand for Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) types – click on the image from Bosch to see how the AGM battery is constructed – and Enhanced Flooded (EFB) batteries, either of which is designed to work with both Stop-Start and regenerative braking systems.
Martin Gray, chief executive officer (CEO) of Euro Car Parts, advises,
“It is no longer a case of any old battery will do. Should you fit an incorrect battery to a car with Start-Stop, it might work initially but certain systems will soon start failing, such as the radio, air conditioning and electric windows, followed by more vital systems, such as the start-stop function itself.