Most modern cars are now fitted with a low maintenance battery and these either require little electrolyte topping up and in some cases, none at all. This is a result of advances in automotive technology where alternators ensure that the battery is not subjected to an abnormal voltage charge.
The battery charger that you use in your workshop needs to be as versatile as your vehicle’s charging system to ensure that your battery’s life if not cut short by a defective process.
The big problem encountered with maintenance-free or sealed batteries is gassing, this is where electrolyte is lost as a result of too high a charge. Battery chargers designed to deal with these maintenance-free batteries are referred to as automatic and they cut off the voltage between around 13.8v and 14.5v to prevent gassing taking place.
Some of these automatic chargers allow the battery to be permanently connected, topping up the charge when necessary. This float charge is very useful when you have a motor caravan or a car that is laid up for a length of time. CTEK and some of the Gunsons range of chargers are designed with this function. These chargers also have reverse-polarity protection with a built in cut-out feature and are supplied with a decent length of cable and obviously, a decent pair of clips. CTEK produce a lead where the charger can be fitted to the engine compartment of a vehicle and plugged into the mains when required.
The Calcium/Calcium battery began being fitted to vehicles with SMART charging systems from 1997. Failure to fit the correct type of replacement battery could result in damage being caused to your vehicle’s electronic control unit; so it is absolutely vital that you fit the correct battery to your vehicle and invest in the correct charger to maintain it.