Which products have made it into the Honest John Kit gift guides for Christmas 2019? You'll be surprised... | No thanks
Battery life - thallium81
My Volvo 940 TDic is 13 years old it has its original battery. Twice in the past couple of weeks I have been asked to give jump starts to much younger cars. Are modern batteries made to a lower standard? Having looked at the one in my new Outback it does look a bit insubstantial but then it's a petrol engine. Also the old Volvo battery needs topping up every three months or so whereas the new one has a label saying no additions are necessary; can't believe that.
Battery life - Dynamic Dave
The battery on a modern car takes more hammering. Heated seats & front windows, air con, etc etc.
whereas the new one has a label saying no additions are necessary; can't believe that.


The 'maintenance free' battery has a reservoir of fluid that tops up the battery as and when it's required. Eventually that reservoir runs dry, so the battery no longer gets topped up. If you know where the reservoir is located, you can top it up yourself. However as batteries are relatively cheap these days, it's classed as just another disposable item.
Battery life - Cardew
My experience is just the opposite.

In the 'good old days' there was always a problem with batteries running flat and/or needing replacement. What home garage didn't have a battery charger? Even 20 years ago a replacement battery could cost up to £100.

There was a thread about this:

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=23656&...f
Battery life - thallium81
Thanks for your replies, very interesting. I suppose the surface area of the plates has something to do with longevity, my Volvo battery must have half a ton of lead in it. Submarine batteries used to be changed after five years but they took a real hammering and each cell weighed over half a ton. It's about time the motor manufacturers introduced secondary dry cell batteries instead of all this acid slopping about.
Battery life - Roger Jones
I suspect that one major factor in the life of a battery -- perhaps THE major factor -- is the pattern of use of the car. With lots of short trips, battery life is going to be curtailed; with lots of non-short trips, it will surely benefit and enjoy a prolonged life. Do correct me if I am wrong.
Battery life - kithmo
I suspect that one major factor in the life of a
battery -- perhaps THE major factor -- is the pattern of
use of the car. With lots of short trips, battery life
is going to be curtailed; with lots of non-short trips, it
will surely benefit and enjoy a prolonged life. Do correct me
if I am wrong.

Whilst I agree with your theory, in practice I have found the opposite. I put a new battery on a previous Mondeo I had in sept 1997 and it's life consisted of 4 short journeys of 2.5 miles a day, every day for 6 years, with the exception of the annual summer caravan holiday. I topped up the battery with de-ionised water twice during this time and the battery never let me down and was still going strong when we traded it in sept 2003. Maybe I was lucky, but I do have a regime of swiching all electrical items off before switching the engine off, if that's anything to do with it.
Battery life - Tomo
Well, I don't know. Generally, batteries conked out on me in about 30 months, whatever the usage of the car and whether I charged regularly, when they went flat, or not at all; the one on Maggie Magentis duly expired irretrievably the week before I turned her in - out of 2 year guarantee of course. There are exceptions, and mine was the apparently original battery on AE86 Corolla GT Coupe which just went on and on; but then that was Japanese. You can't tell.


Battery life - Cliff Pope
I agree with Thallium. In the past batteries came in a wide range of build qualities, and better batteries had a much larger plate area and much more lead to hold the plates securely.
Now all batteries are made to the lowest specification so only last a few years. That is what people expect of anything now, so that is what they get.
Volvo obviously specified the best quality battery available, and 13 years on, it shows.
Battery life - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}
A few years ago I was shown around the new car battery production line at Oldham batteries (was part of Hawker Siddley IIRC).
As with their traction batteries, every aspect of the construction had been addressed with new designs of porous cell separators, extruded plastic packing pieces, new antimony alloy plates, adequate space for debris to collect, vibration and shock resistance etc. and most importantly a quality system with feedback on the line.
Think this system pretty well killed off their car battery production as the demand for frequent replacement batteries declined.
--
I wasna fu but just had plenty.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car