Powering up with stop-start batteries
Stop start systems on new vehicles are becoming a common feature these days and it’s a fairly easy system to understand.
When your car comes to a stop, instead of running idle the system cuts the engine.
Take your foot off the brake, the engine comes back to life and off you go. Simple.
It takes a bit of getting used to – for the uninitiated it can feel very odd for the engine to be completely dead when all you’ve done is stop at the traffic lights – but there’s no doubt it is a clever system.
It’s designed to have two major benefits – save fuel and reduce pollution. Makes sense.
If your engine isn’t running, then it’s not consuming fuel or producing pollution.
There are plenty of people who will argue that these reductions and savings are so small as to be insignificant, but every little bit helps, right?
Now, while it is designed to be friendlier on your wallet and the environment, the start-stop system is not on as good terms with the battery.
In fact, it is asking the battery to work quite a bit harder.
A standard car battery – a lead-acid flooded battery known as an LSI (lighting, starting, ignition) battery – is designed to give the engine a decent starting jolt a handful of times a day.
A stop-start system demands the same task be performed dozens of times a day. That’s hard work.
And it’s not just that constant stop-start power that’s needed either.
Just as in any other vehicle, when the engine is not running, everything else you want to use – from the infotainment systems to lights, from the air conditioning to a phone charger – gets its juice from the battery.
That sort of heavy lifting requires a battery with some extra oomph. And that’s where the start-stop batteries come in.
Types of Stop-start batteries
ECM (Enhanced Cyclic Mat) battery:
Also known as an Advanced Flooded Battery (AFB) or Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB) is designed to meet entry-level stop-start technology requirements.
This battery is an improved version of the standard lead-acid flooded technology found in LSI batteries.
It is more durable, allows for a more consistent flow of power, has deep cycle capabilities (meaning it can dip deeper into its capacity without losing performance), faster recharge capabilities and an improved cycle life (the number of times it can be charged and discharged before it expires).
Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery:
The most advanced example of lead-acid technology, with the acid absorbed into a fibreglass material rather than remaining as a free-flowing liquid.
The AGM battery is maintenance-free, fast charging, has a high power output, improved cycle life, excellent deep cycle properties and can continue to deliver high cranking power (the kind of power needed to kickstart the engine) even with a low state of charge.
AGM batteries can also be used with regenerative braking systems – a system in electric and hybrid vehicles which allows the energy created through braking with electric motors to be diverted to recharge the battery.
While both of these battery types can be used with stop-start technology, they are not interchangeable. ECM batteries can be replaced with an AGM battery, but vehicles designed to take AGM batteries should only ever use AGM technology. Standard LSI batteries should not even be considered.
As always, check with your vehicle’s manufacturer for guidance, or use the services of a qualified mechanic or auto electrician to make sure you’re installing the correct tech.
If you’re looking to replace or inspect the battery in your car, AutoGuru can help!
We connect you with high-quality local battery specialists for hassle-free battery check-ups and replacement.
Your Guide to Stop Start Batteries
Stop Start, also known as Idle Stop Start (ISS), is a technology which is common in modern vehicles. Stop Start is a fuel saving technology which reduces a vehicle’s fuel consumption & emissions by switching the engine off while the vehicle is stopped. This innovative technology is beneficial for the planet and the wallet. Here’s your guide to understanding the technology behind Stop Start systems and Stop Start batteries:
Which Stop Start battery is right for my vehicle?
It is important to note that although both EFB and AGM batteries are suitable for Stop Start systems, they are not necessarily interchangeable. EFB batteries can be replaced by AGM batteries in some applications however vehicles designed to use an AGM should only use AGM batteries. As mentioned earlier, conventional calcium batteries are not suitable for Stop Start vehicles.
How long does a Stop Start battery last?
Conventional lead acid batteries can last for up to 4-5 years if maintained properly. Stop Start batteries are put under constant pressure in a Stop Start vehicle and may not always last as long as a battery in a conventional vehicle. If you are seeking a long lasting Stop Start battery for your vehicle, consider investing in reputable brands of batteries such .
Brava AGM and EFB automotive batteries are powered . More durable and with superior electrical flow, this award-winning range is designed specifically for vehicles with Stop Start technology.
Brava also continue to be at the forefront of battery innovation and technology with their range of EFB and AGM batteries. Specifically designed to lower fuel consumption and reduce vehicle emissions the Brava Stop Start range has sizes to suit all popular models.
Can I put a Stop Start battery in a conventional vehicle?
Stop Start batteries are not limited to vehicles with Stop Start systems. AGM batteries are widely used in conventional vehicles due to their array of benefits.
As governments around the world have increased pressure on vehicle manufacturers to produce greener and more efficient vehicles, Stop Start technology continues to become more prevalent. If you have a vehicle with a Stop Start system, you have already taken a step towards reducing harmful gases into the atmosphere and protecting our environment. To ensure you get the best use out of your Stop Start vehicle, be sure to use a quality Stop Start battery. The friendly team at R&J Batteries can provide the advice and guidance you need to choose the correct Stop Start battery for your vehicle. Get in touch with the team today.
HOW DOES THE START STOP WORK?
Working in the industry often leads us to assume most folks understand the basics of this technology, but the recent focus group we had in suggested that wasn’t necessarily the case. Many new cars have ignition buttons on them now, instead of an ignition system where a key is inserted and turned. On these push button systems, the words “Start Stop” are often printed very visibly. The presence of “Start Stop” in any form, as pictured above, was intended by the auto manufacturers to identify how the vehicles were started and stopped, since there was no longer any location to insert a key on those vehicles.
While some of those vehicles may also employ start/stop technology, that is not necessarily the case. So do some consumers believe their vehicles have Start/Stop technology, because the push button on their dashboard says “Start Stop” or do they believe the push button starting system itself is what Start Stop technology actually means? Both options are probably correct answers, even if neither happens to be true.
Many vehicles now come with Start Stop technology as either optional or standard equipment. One of the most well-known examples might be the Toyota Prius, but there are many others, including Jaguar, the Kia Rio, Honda Civic Hybrid, Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Malibu and even the Ford F-150 pickup, just to name a few. Many of these vehicles come equipped from the factory with an AGM (absorbed glass mat) lead-acid battery, as opposed to the traditional flooded lead-acid battery found in most cars and trucks. This is where OPTIMA gets interested what people think or know about Start Stop technology, because every battery we manufacture is an AGM battery.
Why do I need a special battery for the automatic start-stop system?
Every starting process is associated with a large amount of energy from a car battery. The battery must be in a very good condition to reliably supply a high starting current. Especially with modern vehicles with automatic start-stop systems, the engine is switched off several times during the journey. During these phases the battery continues to supply all of the electrical consumers with energy. A conventional starter battery (SLI) is not designed for this charge output (i.e. continuous discharging and charging).
Only a battery with start-stop technology can deal with these demands and withstand the strain.
The generator charges the starter battery while driving
In a car which is not equipped with an automatic start-stop system, the starting process is usually a one-off event. While driving, the generator supplies the electrical consumers such as the entertainment system and navigation device, so that if the generator is working, there is no discharge of the starter battery during the journey.
The start-stop battery has a double load
The case is different for cars with start-stop technology. During a journey through the town, the battery is subjected to a series of start and stop periods. If the car is stationary at traffic lights with the engine stopped, electrical consumers such as lights, windshield wipers, radio or displays still need power. The load is increased by continuous discharge and charging.
In particular, short journeys present a challenge for the battery. Especially with old batteries and in winter, the charge acceptance of the battery reduces, so that adequate recharging during short journeys is not always ensured. This can result in gradual discharge of the battery, so that at some point, the battery no longer has enough energy to start the engine. Due to the special technology, the internal resistance of AGM batteries remains considerably lower than that of conventional batteries over their entire life, so that sufficient charge acceptance is also ensured over a long period and short journeys with many start-stop phases can be handled better by AGM batteries.
Three advantages of AGM batteries
Excellent cold-start characteristics
AGM batteries have a large cold start current. They powerfully start the starter motor and reduce its running time. Thanks to the cycle stability of AGM batteries the engine can be switched off and started again several times at short intervals, without the risk of difficulties when restarting.
Balanced state of charge
With modern vehicles, the AGM battery is not only charged by the generator, but is also fed by the braking energy recovery system. Normal starter batteries must be kept permanently fully charged and can therefore not absorb the energy which is generated by recuperation. AGM batteries can be operated in the partial charge range and therefore provide sufficient “extra” capacity to store the energy which is generated on braking.
High reserve capacity
The high reserve capacity ensures the power supply for all types of electrical components. The cycle stability of AGM technology ensures the power supply to components while also providing a high starting power. Even if the battery is not fully charged, because, for example, electronic assistants and consumers which ensure comfort are supplied during a stop, or the generator has been temporarily decoupled to reduce the load on the engine.
Interesting facts about start-stop technology
Start-stop systems require a battery with modern technology, because normal starter batteries are not designed to meet the higher demands of these vehicles.
The architecture of the electrical system in modern vehicles requires a compatible battery technology in order to function properly and reliably. For this reason, in many vehicles, new batteries must be “registered” – the Battery Management System (BMS) must know what type of battery is installed in the vehicle in order to exploit its full potential. If an incorrect battery is installed in the vehicle or is not correctly registered, this can result in premature battery deterioration and another breakdown.
For this reason, only EFB or AGM batteries should be installed in vehicles with automatic stop-start systems. If an AGM battery is already installed in the vehicle, it must always be replaced with another AGM battery.
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