How about a stop start battery in your car? Auto experts say that its main function is to handle the transition between start and stop when the car passes a traffic light, so as to save fuel better. Then for more start stop battery understanding, the following will tell you.
Your car contains about 30,000 parts, counting down to the screws. In newer cars, at least one of these parts is the battery, which could be the stop start (or start stop) type. Many drivers do not know about stop-start batteries and how they differ from the standard starting battery. This article examines what stop-start batteries are, what they do, and much more.
1. What is a stop start battery?
Newer car models are designed to be as efficient as possible, and one of the components that helps them achieve this is the stop start battery. Its job is to supply power to your car when you temporarily turn off the engine.
Stop-start systems in cars stop your car automatically when you are stationary and start automatically when the brake is disengaged for automatic cars, or you actuate the clutch in manual vehicles. The stop-start battery simply becomes the power source when you stop the engine.
2. Why do you need a stop start system in your car?
The two main reasons are efficiency and costs. When you come to a stop at a red light or in traffic, your engine continues to run if you don’t turn it off. In the cases mentioned here, stopping and restarting your engine may not be practical, and many drivers will simply leave their engines running until they move.
However, with stop-start, your fuel can be more efficiently used because your car automatically stops the engine and restarts when you have to move on. This means you conserve your fuel.
The more fuel stop-start saves for you, the less you spend on refueling, which is great with the recent increase in fuel prices.
In addition, a stop start battery helps the environment because it helps to reduce the emission produced by your car. When the engine is turned off completely, there is no exhaust production. Stop-start can reduce your emissions by between 3 and 8 percent and net you a similar amount of efficiency.
Your engine will stop running, but the electrical systems in your car will continue to function. This means your music continues playing, and you can continue following the satellite navigation.
3. Why does a stop start system need a special battery?
A standard starting battery supports your car running until you stop completely. This means starting the engine is a one-off event, and the battery can only discharge a large amount of power in short bursts and recharge through the alternator before you turn off the engine.
However, when it comes to stop-start, the engine will be turned on multiple times, requiring many large drains on the supporting battery. Using a standard starting battery, there won’t be enough time to charge it through the engine.
In addition, a start stop battery bears more load because it is responsible for powering the electronics in your car while the engine is shut down. Else, your lights and even AC will go off.
Stop-start batteries are designed to be compatible with regenerative braking, meaning it charges from the kinetic energy generated when the car brakes.
Most importantly, stop-start batteries can charge way faster than standard starting batteries.
All these reasons are why you can’t substitute your starting battery with a stop start battery.
4. What are the types of stop start batteries?
There are three types of stop-start batteries; absorbent glass mat (AGM), enhanced flooded battery (EFB), and lithium-ion. The former is regarded as the most powerful stop-start battery and works well with heavy-duty vehicles because it can do deep discharges without damaging the battery. It can charge faster because of the lower resistance. Also, it requires practically no resistance.
EFB is an enhanced version of your standard starting battery and is modified to fit the demanding power requirements of stop-start systems. They use wet electrolytes.
EFBs are used in many passenger cars because they are more affordable.
An important point to note is that cars designed for EFBs can be upgraded to AGMs. However, you can’t replace an AGM stop-start battery with an EFB. Similarly, a standard starting battery cannot be used as a replacement for an EFB.
Lithium-ion batteries come with several chemical compositions. One of the most popular is LiFePO4. This type has multiple advantages over the others, including a higher number of cycles (3000 again 300). LiFePO4 batteries are also more stable at higher temperatures, making thermal runaway rare.
LiFePO4 batteries offer higher energy density, meaning they weigh less than the other batteries (about 70 percent less). They are also more environmentally friendly.
5. How long do stop start batteries last?
How long your stop start battery lasts depends on the type. A typical starting battering lasts between 4 to 6 years if well maintained. However, they may not last as long because of the increased stress on EFBs. You can expect 3-5 years.
AGM batteries are more powerful and rugged, so they may last longer. They may serve for up to eight years before you have to replace them.
LiFePO4, however, can easily last twice as long as lead-acid batteries, making them more ideal.
6. Can I replace my stop start battery?
The answer is yes. However, you must be aware that the step is not as simple as swapping the standard battery. It takes time, and you may have to carry out almost 30 steps before you are done. This is why it is advisable to let a professional handle it.
However, if you insist on doing the replacement yourself, the first step is locating the battery. Some years ago, this was as easy as lifting the bonnet, but some modern cars now hide their batteries in the trunk or under a seat. Removing a seat can be complicated because of the airbag system.
Also, since your car will be complete without power during the replacement, you must take some steps to ensure the battery will work properly after the replacement. This involves noting important operating settings.
Stop-start batteries are several benefits, including increased fuel efficiency, refueling cost savings, and lower emissions. The different types of stop start batteries are AGM, EFB, and LiFePO4. Also, even though you can replace your own stop start battery, the task is better carried out by trained professionals.