Replace Battery? - timp
My car battery (now 4 years old) suffered a lot of abuse last winter - short journeys once a week with all the electrical equipment on (lights, heated front and rear screens). During this time, the indicator on the battery was usually red (i.e. discharged). Always started ok though. I made an occasional long journey which charged it up again.

More recently, the engine has occasionally started a little slugishly. The battery voltage (measured 12 hours after use) now reads 12.1 Volts. The battery indicator is a yellowish green. I now drive 30 miles a day on motorways, so it shouldn't be suffering too much.

Should I replace the battery now to avoid any problems next winter?
Replace Battery? - David Lacey
In short, yes........unless you really take the bangernomics line to the max!
Replace Battery? - Doc
The only sure way to check a battery's health is to use a hydrometer and a load tester.
Many car accessory shops will do the test for free.
There is no sense in spending money on a new battery unless you have to!
Replace Battery? - Mondaywoe
I changed the (original) battery on my last car (Xantia) about 3 weeks before I sold it. At that point it was 9 years old!

Yes, I know, why didn't I sell it first? Because a low battery on a Xantia = continuous sounding of the alarm. There you go - tip of thw week! ...and don't think that you'll shut up the alarm by disconnecting the battery. There's another battery inside the alarm! I had to phone and arrange for our local tyre depot to have a new battery waiting - then drove 10 miles with the alarm going!!!

Throw a set of jump leads in the boot (just in case!) and see how long the battery goes on for. You might be surprised!

On the other hand, make sure the alternator is charging properly and there is not something draining the power away - like a boot light staying on.

Replace Battery? - Aprilia
Mercedes used to source their (MB-branded) batteries from a German company called 'Hoppecke'. These batteries were legendary and I still have a Mercedes with its original 14 year old battery. It stands outside and is started once or twice a week - never a problem!

A few years ago the Americans (in the form of Johnson Controls) purchased Hoppecke and you can guess what happened.....
Replace Battery? - Aprilia
Futher to all of the above, it is not actually that difficult to make a battery that lasts a long time. Antimony is added to the lead to make it less brittle. Getting the amount of antimony right is the trick......
Too much antimony and the battery is no good - it self-discharges. Too little and the lead is too brittle, so as it 'breathes' (expands and contracts on the plate mesh as the battery charges and discharges) bits drop off and fall to the bottom - shorting out the cells.

I suspect what we are up against here is the 'everlasting lightbulb' scenario. You can make them and sell them - then eventually you have to shut the factory...
Replace Battery? - Aretas
Heat damages batteries, but perversly it is not until the cold of winter (cold reduces the battery capacity) that you detect the damage.

MB have their batteries in the boot, which protects them from engine heat, and Audi put theirs behind the engine bulkhead which also helps.
Replace Battery? - Another John H
Another design feature for shortening the life of a battery is to make the case too shallow so that the bits which drop off the plates and fall to the bottom, shorting out the cells, do it sooner.

That way you save 5p on the plastic for the case and have batteries which go flat after a couple of years use, or make a long life battery, with a premium price...
Replace Battery? - jc
The percentage of antimony has been increased to make them "gas" less so that you now get sealed or low maintenance batteries but this tends to increase the internal resistance.Modern charging systems and battery chargers use this resistance to control the charging rate and if this resistance is high it will reduce the charging rate because it thinks the battery is charged.I have had modern batteries which would apparently not charge even tho' all my journeys are long.I have charged them with an old(1950's)charger-no electronics-just transformer and rectifier and not had further problems.
Replace Battery? - Aprilia
Antimony *increaases* gassing. To reduce gassing the amount of antimony has been reduced making the plates brittle and leading to earlier failure. To get around this problem \'low maintenance\' batteries use some antimony, but also *calcium* is added - this has the effet of reducing gassing and electrolyte loss.
But as I said earlier, it is easily possible to make a car battery that would last 20 years - its just that its not in any manufacturers interest to do so.
Replace Battery? - David Lacey
"A few years ago the Americans (in the form of Johnson Controls) purchased Hoppecke and you can guess what happened....."

I have fitted Hoppecke (Aftermarket) batteries for some years now with very few comebacks or failures......good kit IMO
Replace Battery? - Aprilia
Yes, they're now quite widely available on the aftermarket and I'm sure they are very good. The 'old style' ones (15-20 years ago) were legendary though, and easily lasted 10 years.
Replace Battery? - doctorchris
Re batteries in general, the "low maintenance" types now installed in modern cars do still need topping up. However their position and the difficulty in removing the covers to do this means they rarely get topped up and hence fail prematurely.
Replace Battery? - Victorbox
I've never had an AC Delco battery (Vauxhall) fail under 15 years. Not expensive and brilliant quality.
Replace Battery? - RaineMan

I believe Mercedes put their batteries in the boot more for weight distribution with the cooler location being a bonus. See some cars with battery fans makes we wonder why this is not more common? Probably because the live cable would add a tenner!*?

Replace Battery? - Big John

Blimey - very old thread from 2003

However - Interesting concept of battery lasting longer in a cooler location. My previous 2003 Superb mkI was (infact still is, under new ownership) on it's original battery after 192k miles. It's battery is located in the plenum chamber which is presumably a cooler environment than under the bonnet

Edited by Big John on 15/05/2017 at 21:54

Replace Battery? - focussed

Johnson Controls also now own the Varta brand.

And if you google for johnson controls they own a lot of other brands too including Hitachi air conditioning.


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