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Home > Batteries

Car Batteries at ATS Euromaster

Battery failure is a common cause of vehicle breakdown, with 60,000 roadside recovery call-outs a year from battery failure. There are a number of reasons why a battery could fail, including extreme weather conditions, the car being left for long periods the age of the battery and commonly, motorists accidentally leaving their lights on.

When buying a new car battery it’s important to make sure you’re getting exactly the right type of battery for your car; buying a battery with a lower capacity rating than recommended for that vehicle can result in poor performance, and if you end up with a battery from the wrong group size, it might not match up to your car’s terminal locations.  

Battery checks are also part of our free vehicle health check as well as standard and comprehensive car servicing so you can be confident that your battery won’t let you down. 

Car batteries and leisure batteries (the types used in caravans) look similar, but are not interchangeable and give off energy in different ways. A car battery is designed to give off a large amount of voltage immediately whereas leisure batteries slowly release energy at a consistent rate. As such it's a bad idea to use a car battery as a leisure battery and vice versa!

 

 

Battery Information

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How long do car batteries last? 

The average lifespan of a car battery is between five and seven years, but this can vary based on a number of factors including how often and how long the car is driven, temperature variation, the age of your car, and any additional electronic features installed (including alarms and sensors) that are active even when your car is not in use.  

How to make your battery last longer

  • With good care of the battery you can extend its lifespan by as much as a couple of years. Making sure that your car’s lights and electrical accessories aren’t running for too long while the engine is switched off can stop the battery draining and leaving you to return to a flat battery
  • Avoid short journeys, combining small errands into one larger trip where possible.
  • Thermal wraps are also available to keep your car’s battery warm during the winter, helping protect it from the conditions that make it harder for the engine to turn over.
  • Dirt on the battery casing and connections can affect the life and charge of a car battery as it prevents the full charge from reaching the battery. Cleaning grime and rust from the connectors regularly can help ensure that your battery has the best chance of working. 

How do I know when I need a replacement car battery? 

There are a number of signs to look out for when your car’s battery needs replacing. If the battery is flat, it will have trouble starting the car’s engine; sometimes this is accompanied by a clicking noise from the starter motor, but most noticeably you’ll be going nowhere fast!

You might find that the electric components in your car aren’t working as well as they should be- problems with the lights, radio, air conditioning and even wipers could be attributed to a failing battery.

If the battery has become over-charged you might notice a smell similar to rotting eggs. That is the smell of the acid in your battery boiling over because it cannot cope with the amount of power it is creating. If this happens to your battery it is recommended that you have it checked immediately to ensure that the sulphuric acid in the battery does not pose a risk to yourself or your car’s internal components.

Find out more about how batteries work and signs your battery might be dying.  

Memory Save Technology

Memory Saver Technology allows us to keep our customers’ security codes safe, so that it will not be necessary to contact your vehicle manufacturer, in order for your radio to work again, after your replacement battery has been fitted.

ATS Euromaster stocks an excellent range of batteries, at competitive prices. Find your car battery online and get it fitted for free, at one of our nationwide centres

How temperature affects batteries 

Extreme cold and harsh heat can both reduce the life of your car’s battery. While it is a true and often quoted fact that cold weather can kill a car’s battery, warm weather is if anything worse for your battery in the long run, as extreme heat can cause oxidisation in the battery which essentially ‘ages’ it faster.

Conversely cold weather slows down the chemical reaction needed to make a battery work, which is why you might have trouble starting your car on a cold morning! Cold weather combined with lack of car usage over the Christmas period often leads high numbers of callouts to breakdown services come the first day back to work after the holiday!

While cold weather can make it harder to start a car, warm weather can also reduce the charge of a battery. That means you can sit in your car listening to music for less time on a hot day before your car battery dies, but your car might not start at all on a cold day! The perfect temperature for a battery to run at is around room temperature (26 degrees). 

Battery Failure

What is the most common reason for a flat battery?

Between them, the motoring organisations attend over 60,000 calls a year to motorists who have left their lights on! Not surprisingly, this is the No1 cause of flat batteries.

Another reason why a battery goes flat is the style of driving it has to cope with. If you use the car on an occasional basis, or for lots of stop/start journeys, the battery hasn’t sufficient time to get recharged and, as a result, goes flat. Please tell the technician if you fall into either category and they will be delighted to advise you.

Why do batteries suddenly fail?

Most batteries don’t suddenly fail, they just wear out! Batteries are similar to tyres. As the tread depth reduces you can see when it’s time to get a new tyre. As the electrical performance of the battery reduces you need a machine to test the health of your battery so that it can be changed before it suddenly lets you down. Ask one of our technicians to test your battery to see if it will make it through the winter. It’s a FREE check!

Why do batteries fail in winter?

A battery is a chemical reaction in a box. When we were at school, we were taught that if you want a chemical reaction to work more quickly you heat it up. Conversely, when you cool it down, the chemical reaction works more slowly.

That’s why when the weather is cold the battery is at its weakest. It just so happens that when the weather is cold the car is more difficult to start as the fuel is less combustible, and the oil is thicker, adding to the problems of a weak battery.

You can get a 'pill' to put in the battery, do they work?

They only give a very short lived improvement before the battery inevitably fails. Save your money and put it towards the price of a high quality new battery.

Are old batteries recycled?

Yes, they are recycled.

The lead is used to make new batteries, the plastic case is ground down and is used again, even the acid is used to make Gypsum salt. Just about the only part of a battery that cannot be recovered are the polyethylene separators. ATS Euromaster will ensure that old batteries are returned and are safely recycled.

Battery Type & Selection

Can I fit a bigger battery than the one recommended for my car?

You certainly can. Provided it is the same voltage, normally 12 volts, and it fits under the bonnet you can fit a bigger battery. In fact, it represents fantastic value for money as the bigger the battery the less ‘work’ it has to do, relative to its power reserve, and therefore it lasts longer.

I've got a car with a stop/start facility; do I need a special battery?

Almost certainly yes, particularly if you have regenerative braking. Our technicians can advise you on the correct battery for your car. All our batteries are equal in power to those fitted when the car was first made. Many are higher power!

Can I use my car battery in my caravan?

No, not a good idea! A car battery is designed to give a massive surge of power when you turn the key. A leisure battery gives its power slowly, for a long time.

A leisure battery can cope with the discharge/recharge regime that back up power supply requires. A car battery cannot do this without causing life shortening damage. ATS can supply you with a complete range of leisure batteries for the outward bound.

I've been told that as the car gets older you should think about getting a more powerful battery; is it true?

Yes, it is true. When the car was first made, the manufacturer decided on the correct battery by taking into account the car’s requirements. Now, years later, the car has had extra electrical consumers fitted and has begun to wear. The engine doesn’t fire so quickly, the charging system is less efficient and, almost certainly, the car is serviced less frequently than when it was brand new. In these circumstances, a bigger battery is more able to cope with the difficulties that age brings.

Battery Performance

What do all the performance ratings mean?

There are three main ratings:

Ampere Hours is also called the capacity. This figure gives you an idea of the total amount of power stored in the battery.

Cold start performance is a rating to show how much power can be supplied to the starter motor in 30 seconds.

Reserve capacity is a measure in minutes to show how long the battery will continue to run the car, without being charged, while 25amps are being consumed. In other words, ‘how long have I got to get home?’

Why don't you need to top batteries up anymore?

Years ago, batteries were made with a lead alloy including metal called antimony. The presence of antimony, together with the high charging voltages of a dynamo made the battery lose water.

Today, the antimony has been replaced by calcium and the alternator, charging at 14.4 volts, has stopped the battery losing water. If the alternator is faulty and charges above 14.4 volts then the battery will lose water as it did in day’s gone by.

Battery Storage

If I have to leave the car for a long time what should I do?

If you leave the car for a long time the ‘hotel’ load will drain the battery. The immobiliser, alarm, computer and clock all demand power when the engine is switched off.

First, consult the car’s manual. If it recommends the removal, or disconnection of the battery then follow the instructions given in the manual. There are products available that you can connect to the battery that charges the battery at a very low rate, enough to counteract the ‘hotel’ load on the car.

Can you store a battery off the car?

Yes, you can. The battery should be kept fully charged and stored in a cool dry place. There is an ‘old wives tail’ that you shouldn’t store a battery on a concrete floor as it drains the power- rubbish! The only risk of putting the battery on a concrete floor is that a protruding stone may puncture the plastic case and cause a leak.

Battery Technical

What is the white deposit sometimes found on the terminals?

It is a compound created by the acid fumes, lead and the electrical current. You can remove it by pouring boiling water over the affected part. Use a petroleum jelly to protect the terminals in future.

What is the liquid in the battery?

The liquid is dilute sulphuric acid (H2SO4). Great care should be taken to ensure that you protect your eyes when working with exposed acid. If you get acid in your eyes, wash with copious quantities of water and seek immediate medical help. Should you get it on your skin, or clothes, wash immediately with water.

I've been told that batteries can explode, is it true?

When a battery is being charged, it gives off hydrogen. Hydrogen is highly volatile gas and, if ignited by a spark, or naked light, can cause the battery to explode. Avoid the risk and get ATS Euromaster to fit the battery for you, it’s FREE!

How long do car batteries last? 

The average lifespan of a car battery is between five and seven years, but this can vary based on a number of factors including how often and how long the car is driven, temperature variation, the age of your car, and any additional electronic features installed (including alarms and sensors) that are active even when your car is not in use.  

How to make your battery last longer

  • With good care of the battery you can extend its lifespan by as much as a couple of years. Making sure that your car’s lights and electrical accessories aren’t running for too long while the engine is switched off can stop the battery draining and leaving you to return to a flat battery
  • Avoid short journeys, combining small errands into one larger trip where possible.
  • Thermal wraps are also available to keep your car’s battery warm during the winter, helping protect it from the conditions that make it harder for the engine to turn over.
  • Dirt on the battery casing and connections can affect the life and charge of a car battery as it prevents the full charge from reaching the battery. Cleaning grime and rust from the connectors regularly can help ensure that your battery has the best chance of working. 

How do I know when I need a replacement car battery? 

There are a number of signs to look out for when your car’s battery needs replacing. If the battery is flat, it will have trouble starting the car’s engine; sometimes this is accompanied by a clicking noise from the starter motor, but most noticeably you’ll be going nowhere fast!

You might find that the electric components in your car aren’t working as well as they should be- problems with the lights, radio, air conditioning and even wipers could be attributed to a failing battery.

If the battery has become over-charged you might notice a smell similar to rotting eggs. That is the smell of the acid in your battery boiling over because it cannot cope with the amount of power it is creating. If this happens to your battery it is recommended that you have it checked immediately to ensure that the sulphuric acid in the battery does not pose a risk to yourself or your car’s internal components.

Find out more about how batteries work and signs your battery might be dying.  

Memory Save Technology

Memory Saver Technology allows us to keep our customers’ security codes safe, so that it will not be necessary to contact your vehicle manufacturer, in order for your radio to work again, after your replacement battery has been fitted.

ATS Euromaster stocks an excellent range of batteries, at competitive prices. Find your car battery online and get it fitted for free, at one of our nationwide centres

How temperature affects batteries 

Extreme cold and harsh heat can both reduce the life of your car’s battery. While it is a true and often quoted fact that cold weather can kill a car’s battery, warm weather is if anything worse for your battery in the long run, as extreme heat can cause oxidisation in the battery which essentially ‘ages’ it faster.

Conversely cold weather slows down the chemical reaction needed to make a battery work, which is why you might have trouble starting your car on a cold morning! Cold weather combined with lack of car usage over the Christmas period often leads high numbers of callouts to breakdown services come the first day back to work after the holiday!

While cold weather can make it harder to start a car, warm weather can also reduce the charge of a battery. That means you can sit in your car listening to music for less time on a hot day before your car battery dies, but your car might not start at all on a cold day! The perfect temperature for a battery to run at is around room temperature (26 degrees). 

Battery Failure

What is the most common reason for a flat battery?

Between them, the motoring organisations attend over 60,000 calls a year to motorists who have left their lights on! Not surprisingly, this is the No1 cause of flat batteries.

Another reason why a battery goes flat is the style of driving it has to cope with. If you use the car on an occasional basis, or for lots of stop/start journeys, the battery hasn’t sufficient time to get recharged and, as a result, goes flat. Please tell the technician if you fall into either category and they will be delighted to advise you.

Why do batteries suddenly fail?

Most batteries don’t suddenly fail, they just wear out! Batteries are similar to tyres. As the tread depth reduces you can see when it’s time to get a new tyre. As the electrical performance of the battery reduces you need a machine to test the health of your battery so that it can be changed before it suddenly lets you down. Ask one of our technicians to test your battery to see if it will make it through the winter. It’s a FREE check!

Why do batteries fail in winter?

A battery is a chemical reaction in a box. When we were at school, we were taught that if you want a chemical reaction to work more quickly you heat it up. Conversely, when you cool it down, the chemical reaction works more slowly.

That’s why when the weather is cold the battery is at its weakest. It just so happens that when the weather is cold the car is more difficult to start as the fuel is less combustible, and the oil is thicker, adding to the problems of a weak battery.

You can get a 'pill' to put in the battery, do they work?

They only give a very short lived improvement before the battery inevitably fails. Save your money and put it towards the price of a high quality new battery.

Are old batteries recycled?

Yes, they are recycled.

The lead is used to make new batteries, the plastic case is ground down and is used again, even the acid is used to make Gypsum salt. Just about the only part of a battery that cannot be recovered are the polyethylene separators. ATS Euromaster will ensure that old batteries are returned and are safely recycled.

Battery Type & Selection

Can I fit a bigger battery than the one recommended for my car?

You certainly can. Provided it is the same voltage, normally 12 volts, and it fits under the bonnet you can fit a bigger battery. In fact, it represents fantastic value for money as the bigger the battery the less ‘work’ it has to do, relative to its power reserve, and therefore it lasts longer.

I've got a car with a stop/start facility; do I need a special battery?

Almost certainly yes, particularly if you have regenerative braking. Our technicians can advise you on the correct battery for your car. All our batteries are equal in power to those fitted when the car was first made. Many are higher power!

Can I use my car battery in my caravan?

No, not a good idea! A car battery is designed to give a massive surge of power when you turn the key. A leisure battery gives its power slowly, for a long time.

A leisure battery can cope with the discharge/recharge regime that back up power supply requires. A car battery cannot do this without causing life shortening damage. ATS can supply you with a complete range of leisure batteries for the outward bound.

I've been told that as the car gets older you should think about getting a more powerful battery; is it true?

Yes, it is true. When the car was first made, the manufacturer decided on the correct battery by taking into account the car’s requirements. Now, years later, the car has had extra electrical consumers fitted and has begun to wear. The engine doesn’t fire so quickly, the charging system is less efficient and, almost certainly, the car is serviced less frequently than when it was brand new. In these circumstances, a bigger battery is more able to cope with the difficulties that age brings.

Battery Performance

What do all the performance ratings mean?

There are three main ratings:

Ampere Hours is also called the capacity. This figure gives you an idea of the total amount of power stored in the battery.

Cold start performance is a rating to show how much power can be supplied to the starter motor in 30 seconds.

Reserve capacity is a measure in minutes to show how long the battery will continue to run the car, without being charged, while 25amps are being consumed. In other words, ‘how long have I got to get home?’

Why don't you need to top batteries up anymore?

Years ago, batteries were made with a lead alloy including metal called antimony. The presence of antimony, together with the high charging voltages of a dynamo made the battery lose water.

Today, the antimony has been replaced by calcium and the alternator, charging at 14.4 volts, has stopped the battery losing water. If the alternator is faulty and charges above 14.4 volts then the battery will lose water as it did in day’s gone by.

Battery Storage

If I have to leave the car for a long time what should I do?

If you leave the car for a long time the ‘hotel’ load will drain the battery. The immobiliser, alarm, computer and clock all demand power when the engine is switched off.

First, consult the car’s manual. If it recommends the removal, or disconnection of the battery then follow the instructions given in the manual. There are products available that you can connect to the battery that charges the battery at a very low rate, enough to counteract the ‘hotel’ load on the car.

Can you store a battery off the car?

Yes, you can. The battery should be kept fully charged and stored in a cool dry place. There is an ‘old wives tail’ that you shouldn’t store a battery on a concrete floor as it drains the power- rubbish! The only risk of putting the battery on a concrete floor is that a protruding stone may puncture the plastic case and cause a leak.

Battery Technical

What is the white deposit sometimes found on the terminals?

It is a compound created by the acid fumes, lead and the electrical current. You can remove it by pouring boiling water over the affected part. Use a petroleum jelly to protect the terminals in future.

What is the liquid in the battery?

The liquid is dilute sulphuric acid (H2SO4). Great care should be taken to ensure that you protect your eyes when working with exposed acid. If you get acid in your eyes, wash with copious quantities of water and seek immediate medical help. Should you get it on your skin, or clothes, wash immediately with water.

I've been told that batteries can explode, is it true?

When a battery is being charged, it gives off hydrogen. Hydrogen is highly volatile gas and, if ignited by a spark, or naked light, can cause the battery to explode. Avoid the risk and get ATS Euromaster to fit the battery for you, it’s FREE!

Leisure Batteries

Leisure batteries have been specifically designed so they retain their power for longer periods of time.

Find out more about Leisure Batteries 

Tyres

Use our tyre widget to browse our range and find the tyre for you!

Find out more about our Tyre range

Wheel Alignment

Make sure your tyres are running on the correct path.

Find out more about Wheel Alignment

Air-Con

Make sure your air con keeps you cool, get a free temperature check to ensure your system is working correctly.

Find out more about Air Con Services

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