Replacing your Volvo's Battery
By: Jason McKinsey
Volvos today are equipped with advanced technologies. Some technology systems are designed to keep passengers safe, while others provide entertainment and useful travel and vehicle information. Regardless of what the technology systems are designed for, all of them require electrical power from the vehicle. While the vehicle’s battery does not directly supply power to these systems once the engine is running, the battery is a very important part of the electrical system.
With the introduction of Start/Stop Engine technology, Volvo now utilizes two batteries in every new vehicle. One battery is designed to start the engine, while the other battery is used to maintain the technology systems during the Start/Stop sequence. Volvo’s use of batteries will continue to evolve, as the automotive technology becomes more complex.
There are two main types of batteries in Volvos: Starting-Lighting-Ignition (SLI) and Valve-Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA). An SLI battery is lead acid based and has been used in Volvos for years, while the VRLA battery is an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM), a newer style that has a higher resistance to being discharged. If a lead acid battery is left in a discharged state, a chemical reaction will occur causing the lead plates inside the battery to become coated, and leaving the battery weak. If this happens just once, it can reduce the battery’s lifespan by a third. An AGM battery is not as severely affected by being discharged. Maintaining a charge on both types of batteries is very important.
If you plan to store your Volvo for more than 30 days, I would recommend using a trickle charger to maintain the battery’s state of charge. This will greatly extend the life of your battery. I would also recommend keeping a lead acid battery cool and away from high temperatures. A battery mounted in the trunk area far away from the engine, will last years longer than the same battery mounted in the engine compartment area.
When you find yourself in need of a replacement battery, there are several things to consider. First, you will need to determine which battery group is needed. The battery group refers to the physical size of the battery and the position of the battery terminals. The group is shown as a two digit number, or sometimes as a two digit number with a letter. For example, group 48 or group 51R. Secondly, you will need to properly install the battery with the correct Cold Cranking AMP (CCA) rating. The CCA rating is the amount of current the battery can supply at zero degrees Fahrenheit. An incorrect rated battery can cause false battery warning messages, and can be unreliable in cold temperatures. Finally, you will need to determine the length of the battery warranty. A good battery should have at least 2 years of full coverage on the battery and a pro-rated coverage of an additional 3 years. The length of warranty can be a good indicator of the battery quality.
Unfortunately, a battery doesn’t always provide a warning prior to failing, but thankfully, a battery’s current condition can be easily checked. If it has been a while since your last battery check, or you feel there is an issue with your current battery, please contact our service department for a complimentary battery check (offer ends 1/31/2018).
Call 717-755-7676 or go online to schedule your appointment. Happy Holidays from the Lehman Service Team!