Batteries aren’t lasting: Battery failures are a sore subject for most car owners nowadays. With
all of the electrical loads put upon them by the vast array of electronic devices loaded into
modern vehicles and the awful stop-start feature (alleged fuel saving), most cars have, it’s a
wonder that they hold up as long as they do.
Battery retailers polled by us at Lets Talk Wheels have said the average is three years. Drivers
that take short trips and drive less usually have to replace them sooner. In other words, the
more you drive your car, the better it is for your battery.
In an Interview LTW did with Tony Zeal, the Global Training Manager for CTEK Battery Chargers,
Tony told us that short trips do not allow your car’s charging system to recharge your battery
fully before being parked. The greater number of stop-start cycles your engine makes during
your short trip will lower your battery’s level of charge slightly. Doing this enough times
damages the battery and eventually causes a failure.
In our interview, Tony explained that while sitting, your vehicle has several systems drawing
slight amounts of power to maintain their memory, called parasitic draws. This means that even
when sitting, your car uses a tiny amount of battery power. So, if you make short trips, park it a
little low on charge, and let it sit a few days (like my wife does), you will need a $300 battery
There is a way to solve the problem: After talking to Tony Zeal from CTEK, I found that the best
thing to do was to attach a small trickle charger to my vehicle to bring the battery’s charge up
to the correct level. The problem with most trickle chargers is that they do not turn off. And
after a few weeks will cause the battery to overheat and fail. CTEK battery chargers will NOT do
I have a farm with eleven agricultural and power sports batteries to maintain. I have used CTEK
battery chargers for three years without a failure. (This is a first for my lawn tractor batteries)
Best of all, I don’t have to worry about leaving the charger hooked up too long and damaging
my battery. I have found that the CTEK CT5 and the MXS 5.0 were the best suited for me. They
were available through Amazon or CTEK.
If you have any questions: Mike@letstalkwheels.com
Here is a link to our 04/15/2023 Show where we interview Tony Zeal, Global Training Manager
for CTEK Battery Chargers.