top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

Useful Knowledge for Vehicle Users


We take pride in our exceptional customer service, and a major part of that is making sure customers promptly get the answers they’re looking for. We’ve organized the most frequently asked questions below to help with exactly that. If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, please get in touch and we’ll be ready to assist you.

  • Some Hints?
    Modern cars are becoming more reliable and have higher performance, but at the same time, the number of electrical consumers in cars is growing. Until the 1980s, a frequent cause of breakdowns was a flat tyre or a mechanical defect. However, over the past years, car battery failures have become the most common reason for an involuntary stop. Today, batteries are now four times more commonly the reason for a breakdown than in the middle of the 1990s. The reasons for this are often poor battery care or failure to replace the battery in good time. Therefore: Drivers can only remain mobile with good battery care.
  • The working principle of a car battery
    The battery is the car’s electrical power plant. It obtains its power from the electro-chemical potential of two galvanic cells. If the anode (negative terminal) and the cathode (positive terminal) of the car battery are connected to form a circuit, electrical components such as headlights and the starter can be operated. ​
  • Reasons for reduced performance of car batteries
    Due to the large number of electrical consumers in modern cars, car batteries now have to deliver more power than they did previously. Batteries which are suitable for start-stop technology are more robust than old-type lead-acid batteries, but even so, at some point they reach the end of their useful life. As well as this, all car batteries suffer from the effect of self-discharge, so that you should ensure that all electrical consumers are really switched off or disconnected for long standstill times. If the battery condition is not checked at regular intervals, there is a risk of failure at the wrong time.
  • How to keep the car battery in good condition
    A battery check in the course of the normal service is advisable. This enables poor performance and damage to be detected at an early stage. The reliability and useful life of a battery can be increased by regularly charging the battery with a charger during the winter. Important: Deep discharge must be avoided, as should moisture and dirt, which can cause leakage currents, which can result in gradual discharge of the battery
  • The step by step guide to follow!
    A dead battery can often be revived with a jump start. You just need to know how. For the assistant as well as the driver of the broken down vehicle, it is therefore useful to know what to do in this case. According to ADAC breakdown statistics, up to 46,2% of all breakdowns are caused by poorly maintained batteries. If the battery capacity falls below a critical level, it cannot supply the car’s electrical components with sufficient power. Often as a last resort jump starting with the aid of a jumper cable can get the vehicle started. ​
  • First of all: The right tools and aids
    The good news for all concerned: To jump start a car with a discharged battery, in addition to an assisting vehicle with a working battery, only a jump start cable is required. Important: The diameter of the cable should be at least 16 mm. For cars with large engines, a jump start cable with a cross section of 25 mm is recommended. The vehicle which has suffered a breakdown must be supplied by a battery with the same voltage. Normally, the voltage of most vehicles is 12 Volts. Only a few vintage cars are operated with a voltage of 6 Volts. In all cases, please observe the information in the operating manuals of both vehicles.
  • 1) Preparation
    Both vehicles must be parked on level ground and secured. The assisting and the broken down vehicle must not touch, as otherwise there is a risk of a short circuit. In many new vehicles the battery is no longer located in the engine compartment, but the positive and negative terminals can usually be found quickly. If necessary, a look at the operating instructions can be helpful. The engines of both vehicles must be switched off. Important: Many modern cars, in which the battery is not located under the bonnet have “jump start” connections in the engine compartment, which must be used. In this case the jump start cable must not be connected directly to the battery.
  • 2) Connecting the jump start cable
    The jump start cable must only be held by the insulated plastic handles. Important: The red cable is always connected to the positive terminal and the black cable to the negative terminal. First the clamp of the red cable is connected to the positive terminal of the assisting vehicle. The other end of the red cable is connected to the positive terminal of the broken down vehicle. Then the black clamp is connected to the negative terminal of the assisting battery. Important: Under no circumstances should the other end of the black cable be connected to the negative terminal, but rather to the body of the broken down vehicle. For this, a strong, unpainted metal component in the engine compartment of the vehicle, for example the engine block, is suitable. Connection directly to the negative terminal of the broken down vehicle is not recommended, as this can cause sparking, which can damage the battery. In the case of old lead-acid batteries, there may even be an escape of battery acid, which could endanger people in the vicinity. There is also a risk that hydrogen could ignite, so it is advisable to wear protective glasses.
  • 3) Starting the vehicle and disconnecting the jumper cable
    Important: First start the engine of the assisting vehicle and then the engine of the broken down vehicle. If starting is successful, an electrical consumer such as the headlights or the rear window heater should be switched on in the broken down vehicle. This avoids voltage surges when disconnecting the clamps from the terminals. Removal of the cable clamps is carried out in the reverse sequence. A long journey is recommended in order to quickly recharge the battery. An alternative is to connect the battery to a charger. By the way… You should visit a workshop after all cases of deep discharge in order to investigate the reason for the failure. In the case of a battery which is weak due to old age, jump starting is only a very temporary remedy and the problem may reoccur with the next attempt to start. If a large number of electrical consumers were the reason for the discharge of a battery which is otherwise OK, it is worth visiting a workshop, as the power reduction due to the loss of active material is permanent.
  • 4) Jump starting fails – now what?
    If the car does not start, or stalls immediately, you should wait for about a minute before the next jump start attempt. If jump starting is still not successful, the cause is often a damaged or unsuitable jumper cable. In this case, an attempt with a suitable or intact jumper cable is a possible solution.
  • 5) Start boosters as an alternative
    A good alternative to conventional jumper cables is the use of a start booster. Start boosters are portable lithium-ion batteries with an integrated jumper cable. Connection of the cable clamps is identical to the connection of a jumper cable. Important: Even a start booster quickly looses capacity at winter temperatures, so the start booster should not be kept in the car at sub-zero temperatures. ​
  • 1) Charge level
    Regardless of what type of starter battery is used: you should always keep an eye on the charge level in order to maintain the highest possible charging capacity. Reliable and adequate charging of the battery can considerably extend its life. If the vehicle is parked for a long period, or is not licensed during the winter, a drop in voltage and harmful deep discharge can be prevented with a suitable charger. Good battery chargers can detect the charging capacity of the battery and have an automatic charging current control. In case of sporadic use of the vehicle, charging at intervals of about two months maintains the performance of the battery and extends its life.
  • 2) Regular checks of the charging level
    Short journeys put an enormous strain on starter batteries – especially in cold weather. At winter temperatures, the performance of all batteries is restricted for chemical reasons and the generator can only provide an inadequate charge over short distances. It is therefore even more important to regularly check the charge level of car batteries. A headlight check gives an approximate impression of the charge level of the battery. If the headlights quickly become darker when the engine is switched off, the battery should be charged as soon as possible. Ideally, a professional check of the charge level should be carried out at regular intervals by your workshop.
  • 3) Safety is more important than economy
    Not using electrical consumers such as seat and steering wheel heaters reduces fuel consumption and puts less strain on the battery. Unless they are absolutely essential, only the electrical components which are used for comfort should be switched off whenever possible. This makes an essential contribution to better energy management in the vehicle and increases the amount of energy which is available for charging the battery. Priority should be given to systems which are used for road safety. Therefore, the headlights should remain switched on at dusk. Important, safety-relevant electronic assistants should also remain activated. During longer journeys the battery quickly recharges – even without traveling at high speeds. Even at 2000 rpm, the generator provides the battery with two thirds of its maximum energy.
  • 4) A clean environment for installation
    A clean environment at the battery installation location helps to minimize the tendency for self-discharge, because in combination with moisture dirt in the vicinity of the battery terminals can promote leakage currents. Cleaning the terminals and connections prevents corroded contacts, minimizes contact resistance and therefore improves charging and cold start capability.
  • Things to know about car batteries
    Almost all lead-acid batteries, regardless of whether they are classic wet batteries (SLI) or modern AGM batteries are now maintenance-free. This means that topping up with distilled water is not necessary. Anyway, this should not be done by amateurs, but rather by your workshop. However, a little care extends the life of the battery and a regular check of the charge level helps to detect a weak battery before deep discharge occurs.
  • Lead Acid Batteries (SLI) – Conventional and Economical
    Lead Acid Batteries, also known as SLI batteries, or Starting, Light, and Ignition batteries such as AMARON FLO (HI LIFE), AMARON PRO, AMARON PRO DIN, HOPPECKE SMF, FUJIKA DRYCHARGED, FUJIKA SMF Batteries. A conventional starter battery consists of six battery cells. A battery cell, also referred to as a plate block, consists of a positive and a negative set of plates, which in turn consists of several electrodes. A positive electrode consists of active material made from lead oxide and a positive grid made of lead alloy. The grid structure gives the electrodes a solid structure and at the same time serves as an electrical conductor. The active material is immersed in an electrolyte, a mixture of acid and distilled water. A negative electrode also consists of active material, however in this case made of pure lead, and a negative grid. The electrodes with different polarities are separated by a separator. The required battery capacity is achieved by connecting the individual plates in the cell in parallel. Connecting the individual cells in series produces the required voltage of 12 Volt. Conventional batteries such as lead-acid batteries are the most common types of battery. This technology is often referred to as SLI, which relates to the main functions of a vehicle battery: Starting, Lighting, and Ignition. They are suitable for vehicles without start-stop technology and a moderate number of electrical consumers.
  • Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB Batteries) – Continuous Charging Cycles & Start Stop Technology
    EFB batteries, such as AMARON EFB ONYX, OCEAN EFB & HOPPECKE EFB Batteries are an optimized, higher performance version of the SLI battery. The abbreviation “EFB” stands for “Enhanced Flooded Battery”. Here too, the plates are insulated from each other with a microporous separator. Between the plate and the separator there is also a polyester scrim. This material helps to stabilize the active material of the plates and extend the life of the battery. EFB batteries have a large number of possible charging cycles and provide more than double the partial and deep discharge performance in comparison with conventional batteries. EFB batteries are often installed in vehicles with simple automatic start-stop systems. Due to their superior performance batteries with EFB technology are also increasingly used as replacements for conventional lead-acid batteries.
  • Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries (AGM Batteries) – High Performance and Load Capacity
    AGM Batteries, such as AMARON AGM JADE, OCEAN AGM, HOPPECKE AGM Batteries, are Versatile, have High Performance and are designed for High Demands. In Principle, the Structure of an AGM battery is the same as that of a wet cell battery. However, in an AGM the electrolyte is no longer free-floating, but rather is bound in a special glass fiber separator – hence the name “Absorbent Glass Mat”. The large contact area contributes to the power output and also makes the battery leak-proof. Due to its construction, the battery is sealed airtight. This feature enables internal recombination of oxygen and hydrogen, so that there is no water loss. To protect against excess pressure, the individual battery cells are equipped with a safety valve, so that they remain safe, even in case of a fault. With regard to their service life, AGM batteries have significant advantages over simple starter batteries. An AGM battery can withstand three times more cycle life than a conventional starter battery. A further advantage of AGM batteries is that they are not dependent on their position, as due to the binding of the electrolyte, no liquid can escape. Even if the battery case is fractured, no battery acid can escape. AGM batteries are ideal for vehicles with automatic start-stop systems with braking energy recovery (recuperation), as a conventional starter battery is unable to handle the high power demands of these systems efficiently. AGM batteries are also the right choice for cars with high energy consumption and a large number of electrical consumers. These batteries are used mostly for Continental, European Vehicles and newer Japanese Vehicles.
  • Which Battery does my Vehicle require?
    New starter battery technologies extend the range available, but also make it difficult for some workshop employees to find the right replacement battery for the vehicle. It cannot always be assumed that the battery which is already installed in the vehicle is really the best technology for the vehicle – especially if the battery has already been replaced. This also makes it difficult to understand the workshop’s choice of replacement battery. We have summarized the most important points for the decision of when an EFB or an AGM is the best choice for a vehicle.
  • EFB batteries – for compact and mid-range cars with start-stop
    EFB batteries are a further development of conventional lead-acid batteries. The Polyvlies material on the surface of the positive plate guarantees that the EFB has a longer service life. EFB batteries have a low internal resistance and are characterized by twice the number of charging cycles in comparison with conventional starter batteries, as well as a high load capacity. EFB batteries are suitable for the power supply of cars: with simple automatic start-stop systems without start-stop, but with demanding driving requirements (e.g. in urban traffic), without start-stop, but with extensive equipment. If the vehicle is originally supplied with an EFB battery, an EFB battery can also be used as a replacement. If the car owner requires even greater performance or have a very demanding driving profile with a lot of urban traffic, a powerful AGM battery can be selected. ​
  • AGM batteries, for upper mid-range cars, SUVs and premium cars
    Maintenance-free and leakproof AGM batteries (“AGM” stands for “Absorbent Glass Mat”, because the electrolyte is bound in an absorbent glass fleece) are powerful batteries for automatic start-stop systems and have very good cold start characteristics. Thanks to the cycle stability of an AGM battery, a warm engine can be switched off and started again several times at short intervals, without the risk of difficulties when restarting. They also provide sufficient reserves to continue to supply electrical consumers during the frequent stops and still guarantee reliable starting. An AGM battery is the ideal energy storage unit for vehicles with automatic start-stop systems and recovery of braking energy (recuperation), for cars with premium equipment and sophisticated accessories.
  • Only replace an AGM battery with an AGM battery
    Cars with an extended automatic start-stop system are equipped with an AGM battery. Only an AGM battery may be used as a replacement.
  • What is the reason for the restricted choice of battery?
    Batteries with modern technologies such as EFB and AGM are monitored by a battery sensor and are closely linked with the battery management system (BMS). If a wrong battery is used, this can cause deficiencies in the automatic start-stop system, failures of comfort functions and reduced service life of the battery.
  • When is a change from EFB to AGM recommended?
    An upgrade to an AGM battery is always advisable if a large number of electrical consumers cause an increased power demand or if maximum availability for use is required. One advantage of AGM batteries is the fuel saving which is achieved with the effective operation of the automatic start-stop system – and therefore saving money. All consumers in the onboard network benefit from a good power supply, even during stop phases and also operate reliably under unfavorable weather conditions.
  • Lasting Longer
    When it comes to charging a battery outside of the vehicle or application, the right treatment can make all the difference. To get the most out of your vehicle battery, there are a few tricks to keep in mind. ​ 1. Disconnect the cables This is very important: Disconnect the cable leading to the negative terminal first! This will prevent a short circuit between the positive terminal and ground. Then proceed to disconnect the red cable from the positive terminal. 2. Check the battery’s state If you are dealing with a lead-acid battery that is not considered maintenance-free, please visit a professional workshop. Do not check the electrolyte level by yourself. Maintenance-free batteries like AGM, EFB and SLI typically do not require any acid level checking. Just clean any dirt off the vent pipes. 3. Start charging If you need to remove the battery from the car to charge it, it is important to keep it in an upright position when handling it. If the battery can remain in the vehicle, be sure to switch off all electrical consumers before connecting the charger. Also be mindful that the charger is connected to the battery before the mains. Start by fastening the red cable to the positive terminal of the battery then connect the black cable to the negative terminal. 4. Stop charging When the charger indicates a fully charged battery, first switch off the charger before removing the cables from the battery. Back in the vehicle, the red cable must first be connected to the positive terminal followed by the black cable connected to the negative terminal.
  • Vehicles with start-stop
    Charging an AGM or EFB battery follows the same principles. However, it is important to use the right device and charging method that is suitable for the technology. For example, some chargers have a special mode for charging gel batteries that is not compatible with AGM technology. In any case, please refer to the information in the operating instructions.
  • The right charging time.
    Charging a battery takes time. Typically, 12 to 24 hours is a sufficient charging time. For example, a common 70AH battery needs approx. 15 hours to fully charge with a 5A charger. A brief two-hour charge will only get the battery to 15%. That will suffice for a quick boost but will not fully charge the battery. To calculate the total charge time for a battery, take the AH-rating of the battery and divide by the charger rating (A). Then add about 10% for the extra time to totally top off the battery.
  • The perils of float charging.
    When using an automatic charger, it will indicate when the battery is fully charged. Most automatic chargers also feature a mode called float charge. Float charge means to keep charging a battery after it is fully charged to compensate for self-discharge the battery is exposed to. The lead acid battery is an electrochemical system, which is never switched off entirely, so some side reactions cause the self-discharge. The float charge mode should only be used for short periods of time, as it was originally intended to compensate for a battery’s natural self-discharge. Some chargers might charge an amount of Ahs during float charge, which is more than what is needed to compensate self-discharge. The reactions inside a lead acid battery may lead to an early failure. To ensure a long battery life, avoid extensive float charging. If possible, limit the float charge time by corresponding charger settings. If a battery is not used for a longer time, prefer a full charge before storing it and check its OCV (Open circuit Voltage) regularly (at least every 3 months). Recharge if necessary (latest at 12.4V). If you bear these few simple things in mind, you will get the most out of your battery and can be sure that it will support you on all your journeys for a long time.
  • What long term effects does it have on the battery?
    Having your battery checked is now more important than ever because many cars have not been used as regularly as they normally would have, over the last year. Most private vehicles clocked up fewer miles due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and a drop in commuter journeys. As a result, batteries faced major challenges last year. With continued restrictions in 2021 this looks set to continue for now. When in addition to this we have warm weather outside it accelerates the degradation of the battery’s health, and so there are lots of cars out there with a weak battery.
  • The effects of a long standstill
    Many cars have been stood still for months on end; therefore, the alternator has not had chance to recharge the battery. This along with a hot spring / summer and the cold winter have led to many batteries failing and leaving people stranded, particularly over the winter months where cold weather means the battery has to work harder to start the engine.
  • Today’s increased demands on the battery
    This is also reflected in the latest ADAC roadside assistance statistics: Nearly 46% of all car breakdowns are caused by the battery in poor state of health. This underlines that batteries face greater demands than ever before, as they have to serve increasingly complex and power-hungry car electronics. Whereas Start-Stop systems, digital dashboards, inbuilt screens and parking cameras used to be limited to high-end vehicles, they are now commonplace on even entry-level models, all placing additional strain on the battery. Many drivers are also plugging in their mobile devices to charge them whilst on-the-move, again drawing power from the vehicle. Therefore, it’s paramount to ensure the battery is in a condition to support all the comfort and safety features; it’s the heart of the car. It’s been a challenging year for all of us and also for batteries. To avoid further troubles, have your battery tested.
  • Automatic Start-Stop A technical innovation which helps the environment
    The idea behind the start-stop system is simple: If the engine is stopped for short periods, for example while waiting at traffic lights, fuel consumption and emissions are reduced. In this way, the automatic start-stop system helps to save fuel and protect the climate. With this technology, CO2– emissions can be reduced by 3 – 8%. The benefits to the environment and improved efficiency have caused a rapid spread of automatic start-systems to all classes of vehicle. In view of the more stringent EU regulations on pollutant emissions of motor vehicles, automotive manufacturers are also increasingly implementing intelligent start-stop systems in their ranges.
  • How automatic start-stop systems work
    The start-stop system detects when the car is stationary and on the basis of sensors it determines a series of other factors about the operating mode of the vehicle. If the driver has stopped at a traffic light and sets the transmission to neutral, the start-stop system stops the engine. With some more recent models, the engine even switches off if the speed falls below a certain value. Although the engine, and therefore the primary source of power for all systems is switched off, all of the electrical consumers and assistants are still supplied with power. This is provided by the battery of the vehicle. As soon as the clutch is actuated, the automatic start-stop system restarts the engine. For vehicles with automatic or dual clutch transmissions, the automatic start-stop system responds to actuation of the brake alone. If the vehicle is braked to a standstill and the driver’s foot remains on the brake pedal, the automatic start-stop system stops the engine. When the brake is released, the automatic system starts the engine again.
  • Sensors control the automatic start-stop system
    An automatic start-stop system obtains its information about the driving status from various sensors. A neutral gear sensor, wheel speed sensor and crankshaft sensor provide information about whether the car is moving or stationary. The engine controller coordinates the start-stop processes and harmonizes them with the engine management system. The electronic battery sensor (EBS) communicates data about the state of charge, voltage and battery temperature. As the voltage in the onboard network briefly falls each time that the engine is started, compensation is necessary to ensure the proper function of important devices and electronic assistants. . In order for the starter to withstand the stresses which are associated with the increased number of starts and not wear out prematurely, components of the starter unit which are subjected to particular stress are reinforced and designed for a long service life. This applies to the bearings, gear unit and engagement mechanism of the starter.
  • Recuperation and automatic start-stop systems. New battery generations for innovative technologies
    While conventional batteries reach their limits even in vehicles with automatic start-stop systems, batteries with AGM technology were specially designed for vehicles, which not only have start-stop technology, but also an energy recover (recuperation) system as well as other fuel-saving systems. A battery with AGM technology is able to accept the energy which it receives via recuperation with high efficiency. In contrast, batteries with EFB technology are only designed for cars with entry-level automatic start-stop systems. ​
  • Recuperation – how electricity is generated from braking energy
    During recuperation, or recovery of braking energy, electrical energy is generated as soon as the vehicle brakes and the engine goes into thrust mode. In cars with recuperation, the generator feeds the recovered energy back into the battery in order to use this to operate the comfort functions during the subsequent stop phase. With the use of this efficient technology and a powerful AGM battery, greater fuel savings can be achieved and emissions can be reduced further than with simple start-stop systems. To increase overall efficiency even further, in some vehicles, the generator, which normally runs all the time (and consumes engine power) is decoupled during acceleration phases. Therefore, the entire motor power is available for acceleration and the engine can work especially efficiently. In this phase, all electrical functions are powered by the battery – which again shows the importance of a powerful battery which is matched to the energy management system of the vehicle for modern onboard networks.
bottom of page