MANY motorists do not remember the batteries in their vehicles until they stop working. However, with timely maintenance and checks, they can last for a sustained period.
The battery supports the starter motor, lights, and the ignition system of the engine and is an important component that is continuously recharged.
Duane Ellis, general manager of the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), said of the more than 170 roadside assistance calls that the organisation receives monthly, the majority are related to battery failures, which are most commonly due to improper maintenance.
“We find that some of our members develop problems and when our technicians arrive at the location to investigate, all that the motorist requires is a jump-start,” Ellis said.
“The technical requirements for jump starting motor cars have changed tremendously and in many cases it is recommended that this is be conducted only by a technically trained individual, such as our roadside assistance technicians,” he said.
Mr Ellis explained further that some traditional practices used to jump start batteries with a jumper cable connected to another battery may increase the potential for damage to the vehicles Engine Control Module (ECM).
“There are some specific technical steps to be observed for different types of vehicles and some models should not be jump started,” he added.
Hugh Henriques, Ford brand manager at Kingston Industrial Garage, the distributors of Motorcraft batteries, explained that it is important that persons conduct periodical checks on their battery at least twice per month “because you do not want your battery to fail you when it is most inconvenient for you to change it”.