Auto Service Professional

JUN 2018

Magazine for the auto service professional

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18 A S P J u n e 2 018 B a t t e r i e s W While the latest high-tech amenities are adding numerous safety, comfort and con- venience benefits to a vehicle, they also are creating more battery-related issues for ve- hicle owners. J.D. Power identified the trend in its 2017 Ve- hicle Dependability Study. In a summary of its findings, the global consumer research company stated: "New to the top 10 list of problems report- ed in 2017 is battery failure. In fact, 44% more owners report a battery failure this year than in 2016. Batteries are the most frequently replaced component not related to normal wear and tear in three-year-old vehicles at 6.1% — up 1.3 per- centage points from 2016." e increase in battery-related complaints is continuing in 2018, according to Jason Searl of Johnson Controls International plc. Battery per- formance is a leading source of consumer dissat- isfaction with vehicles, and it has been increasing each year as vehicles become more complex. "A shop owner can offer consumers more value by helping them choose the right battery technology for the vehicle they drive, how they drive it, and where they drive it," says Searl, who is vice president, start-stop battery and products for Johnson Controls' Power Solutions division. Everything from the geographic area in which the vehicle operates to the aermarket gadgets a consumer adds to a vehicle affects the performance of the battery installed by the origi- nal equipment manufacturer (OEM). Searl is one of several experts who shared their perspectives with ASP. e others are John Mun- sell, product manager for General Motor Corp.'s ACDelco brand, and Hayley Horn, consumer in- sights manager for Interstate Batteries Inc. ASP: What is coming down the pipeline for battery technology from the OEs in the next 18 months or so? Munsell, ACDelco: At ACDelco, we believe that today's battery technologies — flooded lead acid and absorbed glass mat (AGM) — are going to dominate the market for a long time. But that doesn't mean change in the aermarket battery business isn't happening at a rapid pace. We're working very hard to shi the empha- sis away from cold cranking amps to a more balanced approach that includes reserve capac- ity. Reserve capacity is important today, and it's going to be critical in the future. at's because automakers are making it easy for consumers to plug more and more mobile devices into their cars, trucks and crossovers and use them even when the vehicle is off. For example, when Chevrolet redesigned its Traverse crossover for the 2018 model year, it in- cluded USB ports in all three rows of seating on some models, as well as wireless charging and a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot that stays active for several minutes aer the ignition is turned off. Horn, Interstate Batteries: Battery testing technology is getting an upgrade based on time demands of technicians; they need a quicker tes- ter to handle accelerated bay volume. How the latest technologies affect battery sales and service OEM By Ann Neal PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHNSON CONTROLS battery trends Johnson Controls manufactures absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries under private label for a range of auto retailers, OE manufacturers, distributors and mass merchants throughout North America.

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