KUALA LUMPUR: A survey conducted by Bosch, a leading supplier of automotive components for the aftermarket, has revealed that battery malfunction is the top cause of vehicle breakdowns in Malaysia.
The study shown that seven out of 10 incidents were due to battery malfunction, followed by engine and wiring issues at 20 per cent and five per cent respectively. The survey involved 350 Malaysian drivers aged between 18 to 55.
“A car breakdown brings about much inconvenience to its driver, and even safety risks if the vehicle is in the middle of traffic. At Bosch, we urge all drivers to perform regular battery checks regardless of battery type, be it by themselves or by their mechanics with an electronic battery tester.
“Anyone working with batteries needs to take extra care not to have any sources of ignition nearby because gases escaping from lead-acid batteries are flammable,” said Bosch Automotive Aftermarket country manager Pang Yoon Kong.
Pang said the purpose of the survey was to gain insight into car battery management habits among Malaysian drivers. It revealed that around 75 per cent of Malaysian drivers were using maintenance-free batteries, while the remainder were using conventional lead-acid batteries.
“Owners of conventional lead-acid batteries need to be additionally conscientious with their battery maintenance. Approximately 50 per cent of premature lead-acid car battery failure is caused by water loss, mostly due to the lack of maintenance or evaporation from high under-hood heat.”
He said prolonging a lead-acid battery’s lifespan required regular maintenance, which went beyond topping up with distilled water when the battery fluid level dropped.
“For instance, one criterion for battery longevity is to maintain a full charge, which would be difficult to achieve, if the vehicle is making short city-driving trips while being equipped with power-hungry electronic devices such as navigation systems, dashboard cameras, and mobile phones which are common nowadays,” said Pang.
He said maintenance-free batteries had higher cranking power and charge capacities. Besides not requiring maintenance, he saids they recharged more quickly and lasted longer than comparable conventional lead-acid batteries
He added that most maintenance-free batteries were equipped with indicators which showed whether they were at the optimum charge level and when they need to be replaced. In addition, Bosch maintenance-free batteries are equipped with a flame-arrestor feature that enhances safety by preventing external sparks or flames from igniting battery gases.
“We believe these to be the reasons why most Malaysian drivers are using maintenance-free batteries for hassle-free convenience and safety.”