Short, infrequent journeys can cause rapid battery failure, drivers warned
Vehicle owners are being warned about the possibility of battery failure during the UK’s current lockdown status.
Advising owners in a new video, GS Yuasa explains that batteries are an electrochemical device which naturally loses charge over time.
Shorter, infrequent journeys during lockdown will take more charge away than the alternator is able to replace, according to GS Yuasa.
When starting the engine, around five per cent of the battery’s power is used up and around 30 minutes of driving is needed to recharge the power loss.
When a vehicle battery’s charge level drops below 80 per cent and is not recharged, permanent damage will begin to occur.
Permanent internal damage can includes sulphation.
When left below 12.40 volts, lead sulphate crystals begin to grow and harden inside the battery stopping the chemical reaction that produces the electrical energy.
Reduced vehicle usage can also cause acid stratification, where the battery’s acid becomes much stronger towards the bottom of the battery.
Advising motorists on how to avoid battery problems, a GW Yuasa spokesperson said: “The damage caused by infrequent, short journeys or not using a vehicle for length of time can be prevented by ensuring that the vehicle regularly used for journeys of over half an hour.
“If this is not possible the battery should be charged as often as possible to keep the charge topped up.
“Yuasa recommend using a smart charger that features a pulse mode and can be connected permanently to the battery whilst it is fitted to the vehicle.”
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