Dual Battery Systems for Cars, 4 by 4’s and Campers

Dual Battery Systems for Cars, 4 by 4’s and Campers

A dual battery system is important for anybody who wants power out in the bush without the possibility of running your main battery flat. For example many campers will have a portable fridge, and keeping the fridge running while the vehicle is parked was  simply drain your main power source very quickly.  a camper may have other power needs such as lights radios another electric utensils, all of which need a reliable power source. This is where a dual battery system is essential.

 Some 4 x 4,s  will have included a space for an extra battery in the engine bay which is usually as strong metal tray designed to carry a heavy battery load. However if this extra space is not included with a few modifications we can make space for the extra battery.

 Basically what you want are the two batteries separated, want to run the car and the other to run your Utilities like your fridge and your mobile telephone and your mobile computer. While your car is driving it would be charging up both batteries. While the car is stopped the two  batteries are separated leaving one battery isolated for the car and the other available to  run your fridge and utilities. An automatic solenoid switching unit is usually used for this purpose and in some circumstances the second battery can be used to jumpstart your car by doing so will override the solenoid. There are disadvantages to the system however and a manual switching method may provide a safer system you can rely on.  The manual system would allow your  2 batteries to be either used to start the vehicle or power your utilities and equipment while at the same time completely isolating the other battery which is not being used. This also avoids the risk of flattening the other battery. The batteries can also be used in parallel which can be used to provide the extra power required to operate a winch for example.

 So  in short there are two isolators you can use, a basic isolator and a smart isolator. The basic isolator is really just a switch, a manual switch which connects the two batteries together and is controlled not by yourself but the ignition of a car the basic purpose is to isolate your starter battery which provides a safe way to use the second battery until it’s flat if necessary. The  trouble is when you start your car the flat and the battery also connects and there may not be enough power to start the vehicle. On the other hand as smart isolator works differently and turns on and off depending on the voltage and will keep the secondary battery isolated until your main starting battery is fully charged.

 Some other considerations with your batteries are the two different kinds of batteries you can purchase. The simple starting battery will provide a high shot of energy to easily start your car where is a deep cycle battery does not have as much instant power but will  last a lot longer and is designed to be used where the battery can be almost flat and recover completely after a good recharge. Of course a normal car battery will not provide this kind of power and you cannot run your battery to very low levels without permanent damage.

 Batteries

 Most cars run on lead acid batteries you find them in most vehicles and they are relatively inexpensive and as the name suggests they are full of acid and should be kept in an upright position.

 Another type of battery is the absorbent glass mat or AGM. The way these batteries are constructed provides a leak-proof method of power supply which means that can be installed and fixed at any angle and inside the cab of necessary. The rate of discharge  slow so they can be left for quite a while without being charged but they are not suitable to start a car but they are good for chatting up your utilities your friends your mobile telephone and your mobile computer.

 A gel cell battery is usually a little more expensive then the AGM batteries. They don’t use liquid acid which has been replaced with a gel acid. You can’t spill the acid and they do not need any maintenance. Again these batteries are not really suitable to start your car but are ideal for all your Utilities.

 There are many variations of dual battery systems and our advice is to speak to one of our technicians to discuss your exact requirements. We can provide advice on which system will provide you with the most efficient service, how to look after your batteries convertible how to get the peace of mind you need before you go on a long trip where you may not have the backup and services to keep you going with your power requirements.

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Servicing a Hybrid Car in Melbourne

Servicing a Hybrid Car in Melbourne

Having a hybrid car means you have two engines in one car and so servicing takes on an extra component, the electric motor and the battery.

Hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular and for good reasons, there is the fact that there is less impact on our environment in the form of CO2 emissions, and ultimately Hybrid Cars are very efficient.

When it comes to servicing hybrid cars, there is not a lot of difference between a regular petrol or diesel auto service. Our qualified mechanics go through a thorough checklist to ensure your car is in tip top condition.

So how does a hybrid car work?
The two engines work in tandem and while the petrol engine is engaged it will be charging up the battery for the electric motor. The brakes also play a part in charging up the battery, so it is a very clever combination in obtaining maximum efficiency from the two principals.

When it comes to servicing the petrol engine require servicing like any other petrol driven vehicle. Whereas the electrical motor does not have the same servicing requirement. In general a hybrid petrol engine does not have to work as hard and a normal petrol engine as it is assisted by the electrical motor. This means that oil changes tend to have longer intervals than normal. Always check your owners manual.

There is also less wear and tear on the breaks pads because of the inbuilt feature of energy generating brakes which convert a lot of the normal friction and wear into battery charging energy. So your brake pads last longer.

In fact most of the electrical components in a hybrid car are designed to be maintenance free.

Good service practice is to check power cords, connections and leads every service.

Servicing a Hybrid Vehicle

Oil recommended for hybrid vehicles is usually of a low weight meaning and more viscose. It is a balance between high lubrication and better fuel economy to those oils usually associated with normal petrol fuelled vehicles. So oils around 0W-20 are recommended. The nature of the hybrid car is of stop and start where the electric takes over from the petrol and vice versa. Under these conditions a lighter oil is conducive to oil flow when the engine starts and reaching the optimal running temperature as quickly as possible.

The Battery
When hybrid cars were first developed they were using nickel-metal hydride batteries but since then they have been replaced by lithium-ion batteries which are smaller and lighter for better efficiency. Hybrid batteries and hybrid spare parts have a warranty of eight years or 160,000 miles. There are many stories of the Toyota Prius being driven over 260,000
km on the original battery. The batteries are lasting up to 10 years in normal circumstances

If your Prius or hybrid is having power issues, this could be an indication that your battery is nearing the end of its life. You can bring your vehicle down to Moneltham Auto Electric and we can diagnose the problem for you.

Your car will be back on the road in no time

So what are the signs that your hybrid battery is dying?
One of the clearest indicators is a drop in KPG. If you are doing less in kilometres per litre of petrol, this could be a sign that the battery is not playing its full part in the powering of the vehicle.

You may also notice that the petrol engine is running more than usual.

There is a state of charge indicator, SOC, if you notice high fluctuations in this indicator there may be battery issues. Of course if you see you battery bars falling for no apparent reason this could also be an indication of a failing battery. What ever the reason we can do a diagnosis in place and fix the problem.

We service hybrid cars not only in our local area of Eltham, Greensborough and Diamon Creek, but throughout the Melbourne area we will be happy to help.

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How to get the best out of your Car Air Conditioning

How to get the best out of your Car Air Conditioning

From the Monteltham Auto Electric engineers ways to be more efficient with your auto air conditioning unit. With the summer coming up soon and the temperatures rising, your car air conditioning is going to get turned on to the max.

Many of these tips are common sense and the first one is when you first get into your car and its boiling hot, open all the windows first before you turn on the air conditioning. Here in Melbourne it gets hot in the summer and a car with its door and windows closed, sitting in the sun, heats up like a furnace. Open the windows and get your car moving down the road first to get rid of all the super hot air that has accumulated in the interior of your car. This is a priority before you turn on the car air conditioning.

There is a trend to cool your car down before you move, this is a mistake your car air conditioning work much better when car is moving and the engine is turning over at a decent revs. the A/C compressor runs better when the engine is running at a higher revs.

Another tip is to use the Auto button as this does exactly what it says on the button, it make the process of stabilising the temperature automatic is is an efficient mode.

Although there is generally no need to use the car air conditioning in the winter it is still a good idea to run it for a few minuets every so often during this time as this will help keep the system running in good condition.

It goes without saying that mechanical systems need servicing, they have parts that wear out and need to be renewed. Filters need to be changed and in some cars this is not difficult and you can change your air condition filter without much trouble. With other vehicles this may be more difficult and you will have to get a professional job done. Here at Monteltham Auto Electrics we specialise in Car air conditioning and provide a specialise service for this.

Here are a few things that can go wrong and tend to be seen to regularly:

  • The refrigerant gas need replacing. There is a natural loss over time.

  • The air is filtered before it is blown into the cabin of the vehicle and these filters get clogged and require replacement

  • There are many tubes and pipes that may leak and Monteltham Auto Electric check them all in our regular service

  • Included in this inspection are the drive belts, pulleys and all hoses and associated components.

  • We check everything and include an anti bacterial treatment for all the air ducts

Where ever you are from in Melbourne give us a call or book a service, we are here to help and provide the very best in service and reliability.

Bosch Car Service

Bosch Car Service

Melbourne Bosch Car Service

Checking your car before you leave for a long trip or holiday

Remembering that when you go on holiday your vehicle is unusually heavily loaded and will have to cope with faster speeds, perhaps hotter weather and if you do have a problem a repair garage or call out can be some distance off and costly.
So here are a few pointers to check before setting off for your dream break.

• Oil, check your oil and top up if necessary
• Your windscreen is going to get dirty with insects and other dirt, make sure your screen wash is topped up and working.
• What if you get a punctured tyre? Make sure your spare is in good condition and make sure its fully inflated. Check your jack is working and your spanner and other tools are in place.
• Going somewhere hot? You will need auto air conditioning to be in good working order and Monteltham Auto Electrics specialise in Car Air Conditioning servicing.
• In case of personal accident it’s a good idea to make sure you have a small First Aid kit in the car.
• Check your tyre pressure for a loaded car as it will be slightly higher than normal, this information can usually be found in the rim of the driver’s door frame or in the manual.

Having your tyres inflated to a higher pressure will help cope with the heavier load and will save on fuel.
Loading your car and the best way to arrange your luggage.In parts of England they have this saying “Ship shape and Bristol fashion which came from the old sailing ship days when if it wasn’t lashed down you would loose it in the next storm. The same precautions need to be made when packing a car for any distance travel, as any emergency breaking could cause any loose items to fly through the interior of your car at the same pre-breaking speed of your car, not good!

Have heavy items packed at the bottom. Do not have any items sitting on levels higher than the front seat head rests. If you can lash the luggage down all the better. Make sure the driver can see properly and is not obstructed by any internal packing.

Roof rack luggage and things to consider

Auto Electrics MelbourneIf you have a roof rack it will always be handy to maximise the internal space for the passenger’s but there are several things that will make your journey safer. Never overload the car and it’s easy to do, our advice is to load the lightest luggage on the roof rack and make sure it is well tied down and secured.
It is a good idea to check all your ropes and lashings every now and again during your trip as these can easily become loosened during the trip.

We provide top quality service for your car

We are Bosch Car Service agents which provide you with top quality spares that will not let you down.
We service cars throughout the Melbourne area and based in Briar Hill we are close to the surrounding areas, Eltham, Greensborough Diamond Creek. We have the latest auto technology and expertise and service all makes and models. Repairs and car servicing is thorough and professional.
We can look after any of your four wheel drive needs and can advise on off road requirements.

• Outstanding car service.
• Advice, repair or service work
• Famous Bosch expertise
• Latest automotive technology
• Auto maintenance and repair.
• Auto Air Conditioning servicing and installation
• Dual battery experts
• Four wheel drive servicing and repairs
• Off road guidance and advice
• Providing local car servicing and repairs to Eltham, Briar Hill, Diamond Creek, car servicing in Greensborough, Bundoora, Watsonia, Mill Park, Plenty, Macleod, Montmorency,, Monsalvat, Templestowe, Ivanhoe, Heidelberg

Auto Dual Battery Systems

Auto Dual Battery Systems

Based in Montmorency we provide auto electrical services for the surrounding area including Greensborough, Diamond Creek and Eltham. The dual battery system for your car or four wheel drive, offer significant advantages over the single battery, as we will explain.

The dual battery system we provide you will depend on your vehicle, caravan or camper and how much you use it. We customise your system, whether it is an under-the-hood system, or just the battery system in your camper. It is fitted so that it is isolated from your car starter battery. It can also work in conjunction with solar panels or chargers.

Some dual battery system may require a DC-DC charger and this is most likely in late model vehicles having variable voltage and various compensating alternators. The point being that with some alternators it is just not possible to fully charge a second battery, the voltage outputs are just too low.

Fullriver Dual Battery SystemsThe main advantages of the dual battery system is to provide an alternative power source while off road or away from an electrical supply where you need that extra power for the camping fridge, camp lighting, or 250 volt power inverter. If you have ever try to do this with a single car battery you will soon realise that there just is not enough stored power in a single battery to power all your utilities without seriously draining your car battery to the extent that you will be unable to start your engine.

There is always the alternative to keeping your car engine running so it is constantly charging your car battery while providing power to the camping fridge, but in most circumstances this is an impractical solution.

The answer to this power gap is the dual battery system. The principal behind the dual battery system is that the two batteries are connected together and both get charged while the engine is running. Whilst you are stationary and the engine is turned off, you can plug your utilities in using the secondary battery which is isolated form your primary battery, so there is never any chance of draining you main auto power source.

Fullriver Dual Battery Systems Eltham Diamond Creek GreensboroughWe provide two products which we can discuss their individual merits with you after finding out your requirements. The two dual battery systems we provide are: Full River USA and Radarc

All our batteries are maintenance free and come with warranty.


Redarc Dual Battery Systems Eltham Greensborough Diamond Creek

Redarc Dual Battery Systems

We use REDARC in-vehicle Battery Chargers which is the latest in DC to DC charging technology.
REDARC in-vehicle Battery Charger feature a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) solar regulator, and will charge from solar sources and the alternator simultaneously and the ‘Green Power Priority’ feature will select solar charging first, alleviating alternator load.

For more details click here