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Choosing the Right Battery

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As Start-Stop technology is now more common in Australian workshops, it’s important to choose high quality products.

Start-stop technology is now more common in Australian workshops with European figures showing that by 2022 one in three vehicles will have start-stop functions. While 20 years ago cars were being manufactured with two computer modules and 20 electrified devices, now cars have upwards of 50 modules and 150 electrified devices. It is important, therefore that workshops are familiar with the requirements of and differences in new technologies and understand the pitfalls of fitting the wrong type of battery.

European cars make up 13 per cent of total new cars registered in Australia, with 1,898,272 last year alone, of which the majority have start-stop functionality. Early start-stop function switched the engine off when stopped in traffic; the engine resumes when disengaged manually or when accelerating. The added workload places additional power requirements on the car’s battery.

The VARTA battery brand has a history going back 125 years. VARTA batteries are manufactured in factories around Europe, with the Silver Dynamic AGM start-stop manufactured in its German factory. VARTA works closely with European car manufacturers and is now fitted to approximately 80 per cent of European manufactured vehicles.


Today, you will find VARTA products in millions of cars, powerboats, motorcycles, and motorhomes. VARTA engineers put expertise and precision into every VARTA battery. VARTA batteries provide longer life, less corrosion and lower cost of ownership, qualities you will find in all VARTA products from advanced start-stop automotive range to professional powerboat products. When you choose VARTA, you go for reliable precision technology that delivers best-inclass manufacturing quality.

The Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB) has increased cyclic ability and improved ability to accept charge, appropriate for use on basic start-stop. This battery has typically twice the cycle life of standard aftermarket batteries and improved ability to accept charge. With requirements to lower CO2 emissions even more we now see vehicles that have advanced start-stop function, which means that they are not being charged unless they drop below a certain voltage adding more strain onto the battery.

Enter the Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery, which is fully sealed and typically 3-6 times the cycle life endurance at 50 per cent Depth of Discharge (DOD) compared to that of a standard aftermarket battery. It has maintenance of Dynamic Charge Acceptance (DCA) currently up to 3x that of a standard flooded battery, DCA being the ability to accept immediately after starting the engine and from regenerative braking.

With these differing technology requirements, it is important the right battery is fitted as per manufacturers’ specification. By offering your customers the option of fitting original equipment you are delivering peace of mind as well as giving customers the option to protect their assets.

Standard batteries should not be fitted to any type of vehicle with start-stop functions nor should EFB be used on AGM applications. In some cases AGM can be substituted but only where this is an option given by manufacturers.

Testing of these batteries may also be problematic – most electronic testers available test Cold Cranking Amps (power), whereas start-stop batteries need to be tested on reserve capacity (endurance) and Charge acceptance (charge quicker). The general rule of thumb is that if a charger shows “bad battery” or “good battery recharge” the battery should be replaced, otherwise this may lead to problems further down the track.

A local customer of Federal Batteries BM Tech Automotive is an advocate of the VARTA brand, sharing the following views: “BM Tech Automotive has prided itself for over 30 years on being a premium independent BMW workshop that only fits OEM quality parts. VARTA being the original battery fitted to BMWs allows us to confidently fit VARTA to all our customers vehicles knowing that the battery will fit perfectly and perform just as the factory fitted battery. We have tried other batteries that claim to be OEM, but the warranty rate was unacceptable. We have never had a single battery warranty with the hundreds of batteries we fit each year from Federal Batteries. The team at Federal Batteries know their stuff. Great product, great service, and most importantly great stock on hand. BM Tech confidently recommends Federal Batteries and their range of premium VARTA batteries,” – Martin Le Min, General Manager, BM Tech Automotive.

Federal Batteries has serviced automotive, commercial, and industrial customers in the Australian battery market for more than 30 years. Representing leading global brands exclusively, they specialise in a diverse range of energy storage solutions and distribute nationally. Their value is built on meeting the demands of growing electrification in all industries through best in class, high performance brands suitable for harsh Australian conditions.

With more than 100 years of combined experience, the Federal Batteries team of technical and application experts, sourcing and logistics specialists ensure you and your customers receive high quality, fit for purpose products on time. Every. Single. Time. To deliver on their promise, they utilise best practice charging systems and methodologies, a national network of distribution centres and highly trained staff. “We are proud of our people and our products.”

For more information on VARTA visit www.varta-automotive.com/en-au. To find out more about Federal Batteries go to https://federalbatteries.com.au

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