How to get the best life and reliability from your car battery

Batteries are an essential product that we should all have a basic understanding about. There is often one or two, powering the majority of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles on the road at the moment. Electric Vehicles (EVs) have a traditional battery and often thousands that provide the power instead of a combustible fuel.

So how do you get longevity, value and the longest possible life from your car’s main battery? No one wants the inconvenience of interrupting a work, weekend, school or family trip to jumpstart or change a battery any sooner than absolutely required. This is where the ideas of preventative maintenance to avoid breakdowns as well as the quick and scientific testing of the battery come into play.

While the quality of batteries has improved thanks to research and development, completed regularly by key manufacturers, the use of our vehicles adds strain to the product. Using cars infrequently due to working from home, COVID lockdowns can shorten their life. Batteries are also a key component of modern vehicles as they power lights, ignition, windows, lane changing, radio systems and more. This leads to the life expectancy of a battery dropping to 3 or 4 years.

At Digicall Assist, our Call Operators and Roadside Service Providers often hear customers complain that the vehicle made an odd sound or laboured when they tried to start it. This is a common signal that the end of the battery’s life is approaching. Our Service Provider Manager Luke Laurence reminds motorists that ‘the alternator charges the battery when the vehicle is running, for use the next time out. However this is just a surface charge and will not guarantee the battery will live on for many more years.’

‘If you’re unable to start the car, call your roadside assistance phone number and we’ll test the battery. Then it’s a question of fixing the problem by purchasing a new one or jump starting the vehicle. When a provider reaches your vehicle, this all takes around 15 minutes’, mentions Luke.

Remember to take your vehicle to a dealer after a new battery is installed, so that the new unit can be coded to the car, 4×4 or commercial vehicle.

If you end up with a jumpstart to get you moving quickly, you must bench charge your battery without driving the vehicle for more than one hour to gain back similar performance. A jumpstarted battery will never be quite as reliable or powerful, when compared to a new battery.

New batteries are available for purchase at your cost, if needed, through Service Providers when your roadside assistance is covered by Digicall Assist.