Fleet News

Satnavs and phone charging increasing car battery drain

Research has the extent of ‘i-sapping’ caused by charging devices using the car battery.

According to the study by Kwik Fit, three in five (62 per cent) UK drivers are charging devices from their vehicle, with satellite navigation, smart phones and tablets all featuring in the top five most energy sapping devices.

The fast fit company warns that as temperatures remain low battery issues will continue to be a common cause for break downs and starting issues through to the end of winter. Using a vehicle to charge devices drains power from the battery and leaves vehicles short on the additional power needed to get started during the colder months.

The survey also found that over half (52%) of UK drivers do not get their car batteries checked during winter.

More than one in three UK drivers (36%) incorrectly believe that their battery’s health is checked during their car’s MOT. This misconception means millions of drivers are ill prepared for winter every year as MOTs do not cover the full operation of batteries.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit said: “Many motorists don’t realise the effect devices plugged into their cars can have on a battery. Satnavs, tablets and other gadgets that are designed to make our lives more comfortable can actually have the opposite effect, by cutting short the life of even a new battery and leaving us stuck with a car that won’t start.”

"one in five car batteries are over five years old, a usual turning point in a battery’s life where serious issues begin to show themselves", he added.


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  • Bob the Engineer - 22/02/2015 16:04

    Absolute and utter rubbish to try and scare people into going to get batteries checked and no doubt found needing replacement. A car has an alternator that constantly charges the battery and powers all the cars electrical demands, the load of these devices is tiny and absolutely insignificant in the scheme of things of vehicle electrics. Also most modern vehicles disable the 12 volt sockets when the ignition is switched off (and therefore the alternator is not running) preventing devices from draining the battery even if left connected. They should be ashamed publishing such biased and untrue information. But then coming from Kwikfit perhaps I am not surprised.

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