Johnson Controls unveiled the results from its VARTA Battery Test-Check Program at Automechanika 2016. Launched last year the initiative is designed to supports workshops in detecting battery issues before they become serious problems.
More than 33.000 vehicles were tested and almost a quarter had batteries that needed to be replaced immediately because they were weak. Florence Bailleul, vice president and general manager Aftermarket EMEA commented, “Testing a battery’s state of charge should become a routine part of service in workshops. We want to save drivers from unwanted breakdowns or underperformance of certain vehicle functions.”
The survey also reflected how the battery market has evolved from a do-it-yourself to a do-it-for-me business model with some 80% of drivers happy to trust their mechanics’ recommendations for battery service.
VARTA say that by 2020, 75% of all new vehicles in Europe will feature start-stop technology and this and other advances in technology will make battery fitting a more specialist area. The company says advanced batteries are critical in start-stop systems. When the engine is off, the vehicle’s electrical system uses its energy to maintain functions like radios, lights and heating. The battery also supports the restart of the engine in a fraction of a second. All of this has changed the role of the battery substantially, making professionally trained technicians more critical than ever before.
“Johnson Controls is advancing the service levels of workshops by providing battery fitment guidelines and proper replacement trainings,” said Bailleul. “When workshops develop into battery experts they can provide additional benefits to their customers and have a competitive advantage in an evolving marketplace.”
Bailleul also points out that more components in vehicles require power, such as safety systems. Driver assist, active stabilization and automatic braking all require more energy, making the battery in a vehicle even more critical.