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Ownership Modern Batteries and Winter Storage Headaches

16:30  14 march  2018
16:30  14 march  2018 Source:

Are Lithium-ion Batteries Worth the Money?

  Are Lithium-ion Batteries Worth the Money? Light and powerful, lithium batteries are also spendy.A: Six years is a pretty good run for the average lead-acid battery like the one that came in your Speed Triple. Replacing it with a lithium-ion has some plusses and minuses. First, LI batteries are pricier than LA batteries—sometimes by a lot—and while they’re also a lot lighter, many are smaller too, so you have to pad the empty space in the battery box unless you find an LI unit the same size as the OE battery.

No, this isn't about electric cars. Just because you don't own an electron-power automobile doesn't mean you're able to ignore the world of battery chargers. Modern automobiles carry a plethora of power-robbing electronics that can suck down the battery when left unattended for significant periods of time.

Renault blame batteries for Red Bull, McLaren issues

  Renault blame batteries for Red Bull, McLaren issues Renault has blamed faulty batteries for electrical problems suffered in testing by McLaren and Red Bull, both teams who use their engines. McLaren had two electrical-related problems on Tuesday, the first day of the final pre-season test in Barcelona, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen also brought out a red flag when his car stopped on track. Research Research New Used New & Used Make (e.g. Cadillac) Model (e.g. Escalade) Renault's works team had no problems but technical head Bob Bell said it was nothing to do with the way the batteries were installed.



In Michigan, the snow and salt of winter forces many owners to store their modern and classic sports cars in a nice, cozy garage or warehouse. Unfortunately, it's getting more and more complicated to figure out what battery maintainer—trickle charger—to connect to your car as it hides from old man winter.

a close up of a motorcycle© The Manufacturer

A friend of mine recently purchased a new 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster. With winter whipping around outside his home, it's going to sit still until spring arrives. He had a factory Mercedes charger from his 2014 Mercedes E63 AMG sitting around and planned to use that on the GT C. However, his OCD friend (read: me) knew that the new convertible comes with a lithium-ion battery and his old maintainer isn't compatible with the lighter, more expensive setup.

Seven Ways to Help Your Car Survive Winter

  Seven Ways to Help Your Car Survive Winter Here's how you can keep your car working well through the arctic chill.Check your tires. Make sure you have enough tread to dig into snow on the road instead of sliding across the top of it. Winter tires have tread and compound optimized for these conditions and are a worthwhile investment. Also, check your tire pressures. Colder air is denser than warm air and takes up less space inside your tire, reducing the pressure. A few weeks ago my Subaru WRX threw me a tire pressure warning, so I checked them immediately. My right front tire was down to 26 pounds per square inch from the recommended 33.

Confusingly, the latest Mercedes trickle charger that's happy to play in the world of lithium-ion looks identical to the older Mercedes charger outside of the part number. Plus, the only way to know the old maintainer doesn't jive with the latest battery tech is to read the manual. Unfortunately, a Mercedes dealer I called was no help in confirming as they didn't know this bit of information.

More recently, my friend also bought a new 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S. Upon arrival, we had to work with the parts department at the dealer to figure out what type of battery was fitted to the 603-hp sedan. We finally figured out that the E63 uses a more conventional AGM—absorbent glass mat—battery, which is compatible with both the old and new battery maintainer.

a close up of a car© The Manufacturer

Speaking of AGM batteries, Optima sells a unique type of AGM battery featuring spiral-wound cells versus the flat-plate design used on traditional AGM batteries. If your car came with or, more likely, has an Optima-type replacement battery, it's a good idea to use a charger that's fully compatible. You can buy one from Optima but many CTEK-brand battery chargers carry the "snowflake" mode—the setting for Optima-type AGM batteries or low-temperature charging (below 41 degrees F). CTEK calls the Optima-type battery a 'power AGM battery'. Just make sure to toggle the mode button to the snowflake icon each time you plug-in the charger.

How Severe Cold Affects Your Car (and What to Do about It)

  How Severe Cold Affects Your Car (and What to Do about It) <p>We found out how the cold can affect cars and trucks and hear about any possible solutions.</p>Few places in the U.S. know cold better than Alaska, and James Grant, who owns Right Choice Automotive Repair in Fairbanks, has seen a bit of what frigid temperatures can do to vehicles. We talked with Grant as well as the Car Care Council to find out how the cold can affect cars and trucks and hear about any possible solutions.

Speaking of charging, if you read the manual for most battery maintainers, you'll see that you must plug the chargers into the car first and then the outlet. That's slightly unconventional and likely not something most people do. A friend of mine was having dead battery issues with his Ferrari F12 until the dealer told him that he had to make sure to first plug the factory battery maintainer into the car and then the wall. But if you own a Lamborghini Huracan, you must plug the factory charger into the wall first or else it won't charge the car.

Make sure you're writing this all down as there will be a quiz tomorrow.


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Why You Should Be Driving on Winter/Snow Tires

  Why You Should Be Driving on Winter/Snow Tires <p>Updated studies and CR testing help you get a grip on the right ones for your needs</p>It's time to end the annual debate about whether to install winter/snow tires on your car. If you live in an area where snow is a constant throughout winter, having dedicated winter/snow tires can improve your safety, according to a number of studies and surveys, as well Consumer Reports' own tests.

a silver and black car© The Manufacturer

Getting back to lithium-ion batteries, a person I know bought a BMW M4 GTS when it first came out. I went with him to the dealer to get a battery charger for the limited-edition M4 but, at the time, BMW didn't offer a trickle charger that was compatible with lithium-ion batteries and he bought a CTEK lithium-ion battery maintainer instead. Upon reading through the manual, however, we learned that the CTEK charger is only compatible with lithium-ion batteries. So, don't plug that charger into any other cars.

It's not just high-end vehicles that are complicating the world of batteries. The new Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid doesn't come with a conventional starter battery and, as such, there are no jump-starting posts. If the engine fails to start due to battery discharge, there's a button you car press inside the cabin to send some juice from the 240-volt electric motor battery pack to the small, low-voltage, lithium-ion starter battery to get you on your way.

the engine of a car© The Manufacturer

If you plan to not drive your car regularly, make sure you buy a dedicated battery maintainer specifically designed for your vehicle. When you sell the car, include that charger with the car and educate the new buyer on the setup. If you own multiple cars, use a label maker to clearly mark each charger so you know what car each matches and what the recommended plug-in procedure is—either plugging into the wall or vehicle first. Each and every time you park the car for an extended period of time, make sure the car is connected to battery maintainer correctly. Trust me, you don't want to deal with the headaches of a dead battery or the cost of replacing a battery, especially as they go more sophisticated and expensive.

How to Double the Life of Your Car Battery .
Double that car battery life and save some serious dough! These tips will keep your car's battery in tip-top condition for as long as possible.Typically car batteries will last you four to six years. However, some factors could get in the way of that time frame such as weather conditions, vehicle type, or even how you drive your car.


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