Today’s complex German engineered vehicles have one thing in common—they all require clean, consistent power to operate properly. Whether you drive a Porsche, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen or Audi, your vehicle needs a very stable power source to operate and run properly. Unlike older model vehicles, these newer vehicles have upwards of seventy (70) computers and control modules on board. Just like your computer at home, any glitch in power will cause that computer to crash and drop off your vehicle’s internal network. Similarly, the traditional lead-acid battery that you purchased at your neighborhood auto parts or big box store will no longer suffice.

Most German engineered vehicles of today including Audi, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Volkswagen utilize a VRLA battery as opposed to the traditional lead-acid battery. These batteries are design to adjust the voltage based on demand as well as accept varying levels of charge from the vehicles charging system based on age and condition of the battery. Additionally, many vehicle models such as the Mercedes Benz S-Class, Mercedes Benz E-Class and the Mercedes Benz GL and ML trucks as well as the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg carry two batteries on board—one for starting and one for running all the electronics and comfort features.

Battery basics:

A VRLA battery used by BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen and Audi is a “value-regulated lead-acid battery” commonly referred to as a rechargeable sealed battery. Most are made from Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) which as the electrolyte absorbed in a fiber-glass mat. This is similar to a gel cell battery which has the electrolyte mixed with silica dust to form an immobilized gel. These batteries do not require additional water to be added to the cells as they vent far less gas than a traditional flooded lead-acid battery.

Since AGM VRLA batteries use much less electrolyte (battery acid), they do not require refilling as part of their service. These batteries are sensitive to charging current and in overcharging situation, electrolysis of water occurs reducing the batteries effectiveness. Care must be taken to prevent short circuits and rapid charging. The alternator on your BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen or Audi is designed to adjust charging levels based on the demands and health of your battery. When changing a battery, manufacturer diagnostic tools must be used to reset the old battery values and program the values specific to a new battery. Not doing so will cause your BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen or Audi to exhibit a variety of electrical issues including A/C and other comfort modules shutting down, lights not working properly and voltage/battery warning lights to appear on the dash board display. This may occur weeks after the battery has been replaced.

Whether you drive a Porsche, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi or Mini, it is important to remember that today’s German performance vehicles will serve you for many miles and years to come as long as they are properly maintained. Follow these simple suggestions and listen to Porsche, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi service experts in Austin. If you have any questions, simply come by and visit Austin German automobile repair experts at German Auto Center and we will be happy to assist you.

German Auto Center

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