With a global shortage of new cars and ongoing concerns over the increased cost of living, we are seeing UK drivers hanging onto their cars for longer, with the vehicles on Britain’s roads currently averaging 8.4 years of age, the oldest since records began.
The resulting increase in demand for older vehicles is also leading to an ageing stock on dealers’ forecourts, and these vehicles need additional care to keep their batteries in peak condition.
CTEK has the following tips for car dealers stocking older vehicles, to keep batteries in the best of health, ready for that all-important test drive or delivery to a customer.
1. Keeping an older battery healthy
A car battery tends to degrade as it ages, with a build-up of lead sulphate crystals reducing the amount of charge the battery can hold.
But this deterioration can be stopped in its tracks and even reversed with a professional battery charger like the CTEK PRO25S.
The PRO25S is a combined battery charger and 12V power supply that’s been specifically developed for the automotive trade. It delivers a fast, safe charge that exactly meets the battery’s needs and has a dedicated lead-acid battery reconditioning programme to recondition flat batteries and restore battery life. It’s fully portable, so you can move it from vehicle to vehicle as and when you need it. The PRO25S is suitable for any type of 12V battery including lead-acid, gel, AGM and lithium (12V LiFePO4).
2. Regular maintenance charging
Regular maintenance charging is essential to maintain optimum battery health. This is particularly important if the car is sat on a vehicle forecourt and isn’t being driven very often, or very far.
It takes 150-350A of battery power just to start the car, so short test drives, especially in municipal areas, drains the battery as the alternator won’t have the time or ability to change this charge. The same applies if you’re starting the car up at regular intervals to move it round the forecourt or showroom, or in and out of a workshop.
Even while the vehicle is parked, the battery will lose 0.1V of energy every month and, if the car has onboard computer, remote locking, an alarm system etc, the continuous drain on the battery will be additional to that.
Being proactive with battery management will ensure the cars on your forecourt are always ready to start when needed, protecting your brand and reputation, and ensuring you don’t lose out on a sale just because the customer can’t take the car out for a spin.
In addition, regular battery maintenance can actually extend battery life by up to three times, so investing in a professional battery charger and getting into a routine of regular maintenance charging for the cars on your forecourt makes perfect financial sense, as well as helping to reduce wastage.
3. Fully charged, customer ready!
You’ll of course want to make sure that any car you sell has a fully charged battery when the new owner comes to collect it. But as driving in a vehicle will only ever charge the battery to 80% capacity, you’ll always need a battery charger to get it to 100%, so it’s fully charged and ready to go when the car is driven off the forecourt.
4. A change in the weather
The weather can have a significant impact on battery performance, especially when your car is parked outside. In cold conditions when the temperature reaches freezing, the battery can lose as much as 35% of its performance, and up to 50% if the conditions are even colder.
But the PRO25S has you covered, as it has a built-in temperature sensor that ensures maximum charge levels are achieved, even in the toughest conditions. It is IP44 classified for outdoor use and, built to withstand the rigours of a Swedish winter, can handle anything the British weather has to throw at it, down to a bone chilling -20oC!