Will your car still go after iso?

Australian motorists may find themselves stuck in the garage when COVID-­‐19 isolation restrictions end, if they have neglected their car battery’s health during lockdown.

With most car batteries today bearing the immense demands of modern vehicle technology – from keyless entry, to the alarm system and even the digital clock – cars left untouched for extended periods can experience permanent battery damage. This is because even when a car isn’t moving, current is continuously draining in order to keep the smart technology working, and this all comes from the heart of the car – the battery.

With an average cost of around $300 for a car battery replacement, this could prove a costly error for many Australians. The CTEK charger is an easy to install device that could save you time and money should your battery go dead.

The CTEK charger installed on my car using the alligator clips supplied.

“When your car isn’t driven or charged for extended periods, its battery health is at greater risk of damage,” said Robert Briggs, CTEK’s Asia Pacific Director of Sales and Marketing. “Car batteries play a vital role, but many motorists are unaware of the simple measures it takes to look after them.

“Naturally, our vehicles haven’t been top of mind for many during the pandemic, but a car battery charger provides a simple, hassle free solution. Regularly hooking your vehicle up to a battery charger and maintainer is essential to ensuring your car starts when you return to it,” added Briggs.

Statistics show traffic congestion across the country has fallen dramatically in the wake of COVID-­‐19. With motorists stuck at home, and cars remaining locked up in the garage or parked in the street for extended periods, CTEK has answered four key questions on car battery maintenance:

I’m stuck at home for some weeks now and not using my car -­‐ how do I know when to charge? You don’t have to wait until you see any signs. You can connect a car battery charger, such as the CTEK MXS 5.0, from the day you first park your car until the day you drive away. CTEK chargers are fully automatic and will keep the battery charged at optimum capacity – you can keep it permanently attached whilst your car is parked up and dedicated maintenance modes will do the rest.

What about jump starting, can I not just do that? Jump starting a vehicle is not recommended. Concerningly, a YouGov study commissioned by CTEK showed that after leaving the car’s lights on and draining the battery, most Australians (64%) would solve the issue by using jumper leads and either going for a drive, or leaving the car idling. This won’t fully recharge a car’s battery and could in fact create long-­‐term damage. The most reliable way to restore your battery is to use a charger.

Can I charge my car without disconnecting the battery? Yes. Most good chargers are designed to charge the battery whilst it’s still attached to the vehicle. The CTEK MXS 5.0 is spark-­‐proof and reverse polarity protected so it’s completely safe for the battery, the vehicle and the user too.

How can I charge a lithium battery? Lithium batteries need a different approach to charging compared to lead acid batteries. It’s important to use a charger with a dedicated lithium charging and maintenance programme – especially when looking after a vehicle in storage. Using a charger designed for lead-­‐acid batteries on a lithium battery can reduce battery life and even worse, result in permanent battery damage. CTEK’s Lithium XS charger (for 12V LiFePO4) does the job for this.

When do I need to keep my car on charge – summer or winter? Ideally both. The performance and lifespan of a car’s battery is seriously inhibited when exposed to temperature extremes, whether in hot or cold weather. Effective battery management during the upcoming winter is not only essential for the wellbeing of the battery, but also ensuring that vehicles don’t fall victim to costly electrical non-­‐starts.

The optional rubber cover is great as it prevents scratches on your paintwork.

CTEK chargers can be attached to a vehicle indefinitely without risk of over or undercharging the battery – extending battery life and maximising battery performance. The CTEK MXS 5.0 comes with five­‐year warranty and is currently available to purchase from Repco at $193.

The process only took minutes for me to install and my car battery was fully charged overnight, but it was not very depleted to start with. The CTEK charger has a series of lights that indicate what stage the charging is up to and there is a mode button to select between car or motorbike battery charging.

For further information on CTEK, the leading global brand in the care and maintenance of vehicle batteries, visit: www.ctek.com/au.

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.