Power Up!

Batteries may be a fit and forget item until they fail. But, if you want the best, then Australian-made Century Yuasa Batteries should be your first-thought purchase. 

If you are the type of person that views the idea of replacing worn tyres as a grudge purchase, then it’s highly likely you leave the servicing aspects of your vehicle to your local dealership and basically hopes it never breaks down.

Tyres are the components that literally keep your car on the straight and narrow path. They influence how the car moves, corners and more importantly stops. Yes, you can buy the cheapest-priced replacements in town, but the chances are they will lack the technology that provides the best cornering, handling, performance and ultimate safety, plus they’ll be noisy. In the long term the cheap tyre will not stay the lowest-priced alternative as it will wear out more rapidly and need replacing earlier.

Service intervals are on the increase, meaning you have to concern yourself less than used to be the case even perhaps ten years ago. From a time when every 5000 km meant an oil drain, replacement filter, new spark plugs and a brake adjustment, it’s not unusual to see those regular service intervals now extended out to 25,000 km and, in some cases, even further.

Reliability is now expected, but even though the engine makers have extended their service intervals, there’s still the need to check some items regularly, such as tyre pressures, fluid levels such as the oil, water and windscreen washers, brake lights, indicators, parking lights and headlights.

There’s one more component that seldom gets a mention, and that’s the battery. While the function of the battery remains to provide an electrical charge to the vehicle, there’s so much else that’s changed along the way that the battery has now taken on a lot more responsibility for the overall performance of the vehicle.

No longer is it a weekly requirement to unscrew the caps from each cell and check the level of the electrolyte. Today’s sealed battery cases minimise evaporation, but there are still things that need to be checked, albeit now more commonly on a monthly, rather than a weekly basis.

The modern auto battery has to cope with so many variables of power requirement that are way different from simply making sure the starter motor turns over the engine and the lights work. It’s also now imperative that you fit the right battery for the job and don’t buy on the basis that the cheapest will be the most appropriate. That premise changed a long time ago.

A recent visit to Century Yuasa, Australia’s leading aftermarket supplier of vehicle batteries and the sole manufacturer of batteries in this country, provided much food for thought.

At its Brisbane factory, Century Yuasa manufactures 1.5 million batteries each year, providing a high percentage of its annual total sales of 1.9 million units. With 600 employees, this is a viable and profitable Australian manufacturing operation that ensures Australian motorists have the opportunity to buy Australian products that are designed not only for our conditions, but also for the specific vehicles we drive.

Not all batteries are equal, and, as the experts at Century Yuasa are quick to point out, the technical abilities of different batteries make it now necessary to choose the appropriate unit for a specific application if you want to ensure that you get the best performance.

For standard passenger car application, choose the Hi-Performance battery, for an on-road SUV choose the Ultra-Performance version, for heavy-duty off-road 4WDs choose the Overlander 4×4. If you are a truck operator, there’s a different battery design for short haul, around-town delivery trucks, compared to a further version for long haul interstate work in multi-trailer B-double and road train configurations. Then there’s a version for marine use in boats and a smaller unit that’s ideal for motorcycles and ride-on mowers.

And there’s more, in the form of a unique tougher version that’s able to withstand the constant starting requirements of what manufacturers now call idle/stop/start or intermittent stop/start (ISS) when the engine shuts down, as the vehicle is stationary at traffic lights. The engine may not be turning, and even if it is, it needs to run in excess of 1000 rpm before the alternator delivers a charge in return to the battery, which during this period of inactivity is still providing the power for lights, heating, air conditioning and the entertainment system.

Batteries that supply the internal power requirements for motorhomes and caravans are yet another variation that demands a battery design that can specifically handle long periods of supplying constant power without recharging. These deep cell batteries are a totally different design from a typical auto battery.

In Europe batteries need to be able to cope with minimum temperatures as low as -18 deg. C. In Australia the upper limit of temperature tolerance for Century Yuasa batteries is +60 deg. C.

The development work completed in Australia is what lies behind the ability of the new Overlander 4×4 battery. Its hybrid technology design, incorporating both calcium and antinomy plates, produces dependable starting power plus added semi-cycling capabilities. This allows the battery to handle the discharge from additional accessories without damaging the internal components and affecting the overall life of the battery.

Furthermore, 4×4 batteries are subjected to pretty torrid conditions. Not just extreme hot and cold temperatures, but endless corrugations and bumps. These conditions create havoc for batteries, attacking critical internal components, which in inferior design batteries can lead to early failure.

Century has addressed this with thicker full frame cast plates improving the strength and durability of the battery. Additionally, the Overlander has Century’s exclusive Platelock Technology, an adhesive that binds the battery plates securely together to provide superior vibration and impact resistance. This is a vastly different construction to your normal car battery, and essential if you want reliable power in your 4WD on rough terrain.

All claims about the Century Overlander 4×4 battery have been tested at 75 deg. C. This is much hotter than the universal battery standard of 40 deg. C, and far more realistic to the under-bonnet temperatures of Aussie 4×4 vehicles.

Being able to resist the affects of extreme heat or cold are just part of the features and benefits of a Century Yuasa battery. The double-layered lid and advanced labyrinth lid design aid in the retention and condensation of water vapour that is produced in the battery during operation and charging. It prevents leaks during tilting and vibration, and, if the battery is overcharged, the excess gases it produces are safely discharged by the integrated central venting system.

The design incorporates an integrated flame arrester to prevent the risk of a reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. Water loss is reduced by 40 percent, and this in turn extends the service life of the battery by up to 30 percent.

Century Yuasa has been making batteries in Australia for 88 years. The company’s in-depth knowledge of the climatic and operating conditions that are unique to our country have been instrumental in the final designs of the batteries it makes here for our use.

When it comes to specifying a replacement battery, Delivery Magazine has no doubt that the specialised research and development work completed by the Century Yuasa team has produced a range of battery products that stand out from the crowd, and from the competition that simply imports units from overseas.

In celebrating 88 years of quality production the company can rightly congratulate its workforce for its achievements, and in particular for its recycling programmes that enable 98 percent of the products they make to be recyclable.

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