The day has come that you should no longer drive to the parts store, buy a battery, and install it yourself.
BMWs, MINIs, and Audis have become so intelligent that they monitor battery performance and your driving habits. This enables the engine computer to change the output of the alternator which allows you to drive with the battery as fully charged as possible. This also ensures you get the longest life possible out of your battery. There are a couple drawbacks to this amazing feature and one major one is that if you install a new battery without telling the car, the alternator will overcharge and damage the new battery. Even driving like this for a few miles can damage the new battery, the alternator, and even the engine computer itself. Don’t worry, we not only have all of the special tools needed to change your battery but we also have the computers to properly code and program the control units to register the replacement of your battery.
Since your vehicle arrives everywhere you are going with a fully charged battery it is becoming more difficult to tell when your battery is starting to fail. There are some telltale signs that can indicate that the battery is starting to diminish. If you ever experience any of the following, we would recommend bringing the vehicle in for a complete Starting and Charging System Diagnostic Check.
Signs of battery issues include but are not limited to:
- Car starts up slow
- Battery light turns on in the dash
- Rapid clicking sounds when starting vehicle
- Problems with electrical components no longer functioning
- Strange smell when vehicle is running (similar to rotten eggs)
One of the things we love most about European vehicles is they are packed with the latest and greatest in today’s technology. All of these electronics do however put a heavy demand on your vehicle’s battery. Since the battery is the heart of your vehicle’s electronics, we only recommend installing a factory OEM battery. The average OEM battery typically lasts around 4-6 years while any other battery will only last 2-3 years. You will be money ahead to pay a little extra for a factory OEM battery with professional installation.
Things you can do to prolong the life of your battery:
- Avoid letting the vehicle sit for extended periods of time without being plugged into a battery charger/maintainer
- Avoid daily short drive cycles. If you live close to work or school, make sure you get your car on the highways during the weekends.
- Don’t leave a phone charger plugged in constantly. Unnecessary draining of the battery will shorten the life.
- If possible, park in the shade or in a garage. Excessive heat or cold will drastically shorten your batteries life.
Turbo Charged Cars
If your car has a turbo charger then you MUST pay attention to your battery. The number one killer of a turbo charger is heat. When your vehicle is running there is coolant being pumped through your turbos to cool them down. When you shut your vehicle off the electric coolant pump will continue to pump coolant through your turbos until they are cool. Once your car notices that your battery is getting weak it will shut off this feature in order to give you the most starting power your battery can give. Unfortunately, the car will NOT give you any warning signs in the dash. This means that every time you drive your car your car and shut it off you are heat soaking the turbos causing the oil in them to sludge up and damage the turbos. A battery is pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of replacing your turbo chargers. This is the reason why we have incorporated a battery load test into the Vehicle Check service that is due on your vehicle every 30k miles. We also perform a battery load test when performing a cooling system inspection.