Category Archives: Batteries

Bosch Start Stop Video 2017

Bosch Start Stop Video 2017

Battery Starter Compression Analysis with Bosch FSA

Battery Starter Compression Analysis with Bosch FSA

This video demonstrates how to analyse Batter Starter Compression with Bosch FSA

Battery Analysis with Bosch FSA

Battery Analysis with Bosch FSA

This video demonstrates the Battery Analysis of a vehicle using Bosch FSA

The role that battery management systems play in modern vehicles

Steve Umney, HELLA’s Electronics Product & Brand Manager, looks at the role of battery/power management in vehicles, using the current model types of the series Audi A6/A8 as an example.

Battery management systems are the brains behind batteries. They manage the output, charging and discharging, and provide notifications on the status of the battery. They also provide critical safeguards to protect the batteries from damage.

Despite improved quality and performance, one of the most frequent causes of vehicle breakdowns is still the vehicle battery. For this reason, battery monitoring and diagnosis is becoming more and more important. Taking control of this task is the vehicle’s power management system, which continually compares the power required with the total power available, made up of alternator power and battery capacity.

The main objective is to monitor the battery’s state of charge and to control the vehicle’s power consumers (such as infotainment, navigation, climate and heating systems, and telephone etc.) by means of the CANbus system (Controller Area Network), or even switch them off, if necessary. This prevents excessive battery discharge and guarantees vehicle start-up at all times.

Battery state
There are certain parameters that are important in order to be precise about the battery state, including battery temperature, battery current and battery voltage. These parameters are used to determine the battery’s SoC (State of Charge) and SoH (State of Health).

The control unit is the most important component for battery management. For example, in the Audi A6/A8 estate model the control unit continually checks the battery’s state of charge (SoC) and start-up ability.

When the engine is running, it regulates alternator voltage and can increase the idling speed in the event of increased power requirements during idling. Even when the engine is not running, the control unit can switch consumers off (such as infotainment) via the CAN-bus system in order to limit the current draw on the battery.

The control unit’s tasks are divided into three functions which are active in the different vehicle states. These are:

The battery manager (function 1)
This is responsible for battery diagnosis and is always active. The battery manager requires the following parameters for battery diagnosis:

  • Battery current
  • Battery voltage
  • Battery temperature
  • Operating times

With the engine switched off (function 2)
When the vehicle is at a standstill, the current has to be reduced to such an extent that the engine can still be started up, even after a longer standstill. If the battery’s state of charge drops, the power management control unit sends a switch-off request to the various control units. The hierarchy according to what’s switched off is stored in the respective control unit.

In the Audi A6/A8, there are six shut-down stages. The switch-off stage increases as the state of charge diminishes. For example, Stage 1 includes washer fluid heater, and in Stage 6 everything but vehicle access is switched off to ensure that it’s still just possible to start the vehicle. As soon as the engine is started up, all the switch-off stages are cancelled.

Dynamic management (function 3)
This is activated when the engine is running. It ensures that the power generated by the alternator is distributed to the individual systems according to their requirements and that there is always sufficient charge current available for the battery. The battery manager and the dynamic management work together in a powerful partnership that regulates battery voltage.

Other functions of dynamic management include load shedding during acceleration, for example, to reduce the alternator’s power consumption and thus the engine load; regulation of high-power heating systems, and an increase in idling speed to generate best possible battery charge to supply the power network.

Strong support
A global supplier in automotive electronics, HELLA is a market leader in battery management systems for 12V lead-acid battery sensors and has an all new battery range for the independent aftermarket.
Hella’s programme of support includes hands-on and online training, a technical hotline and a dedicated online portal, HELLA TechWorld –

It’s in the CAN 
CAN stands for Controller Area Network. A CAN-bus facilitates data exchange in all directions between several control units. It can be compared to a normal bus: just as a bus transports lots of people, the data bus transports large amounts of information. Without a data bus all the information has to be guided to the control unit via a number of cables. This means a cable would exist for each piece of information. With the data bus, the number of cables is significantly reduced. All the information is exchanged via a maximum of two cables between the control units.

Diagnostic equipment servicing tips: the need for battery support

The advent of advanced diagnostics may lead many technicians to believe they’re buying luxuries for their workshop. However, capable diagnostic equipment is a must to carry out even the most basic of tasks.

It’s a diagnostic world

Diagnostic expert, Hella Gutmann Solutions (HGS) warns that as workshops are being rapidly overtaken by advancing vehicle technology, they are failing to understand the vital importance of diagnostics, and how the tools can be used to improve business efficiency.

“It has always required skill to diagnose vehicle problems,” says Neil Hilton, HGS Product Manager at HELLA, “and adding diagnostics to your armoury doesn’t change that; what it does give you is a means to produce a quick and accurate assessment of the likely cause of the problem, then it’s down to the technician to utilise the data and repair.

“Motor technicians are well aware of advancements in electronic control systems,” adds Neil. “However, more recently, these systems have been extended to lane detection, adaptive cruise control, rain and light sensors and even tyre pressure sensors. Only two years ago it would be unusual to see a car in the workshop loaded with this technology, but today it is commonplace.”

Powerful partnership

Another impact of advancing vehicle technology is related to the vehicle’s battery. This is without doubt the beating heart of the modern motor vehicle, but as new technology places ever higher demands, its vital role in vehicle diagnostics is often overlooked.

A new aftermarket distribution agreement between HELLA and leading manufacturer of smart battery charging systems, CTEK, offers garages access to a professional range of battery testers and chargers as part of the Hella Gutmann Solutions range. This partnership underlines the vital role battery performance plays in vehicle performance.

Despite increasing demands on the vehicle battery though, batteries themselves are getting smaller as manufacturers look for an improved power-to-weight ratio to create better fuel efficiency. Commented CTEK’s, Peter White: “Because of its size, the battery has virtually no spare capacity, and has to be maintained at optimum performance to prevent problems. In diagnostics, with the engine off, the vehicle’s systems are operated solely from the power of the battery. “Maintaining optimum battery charge is critical to avoid unnecessary down time, lost vehicle data or even damage to sensitive electronics. Should battery voltage alter significantly during diagnostic activity, the programme can fail, meaning a time-consuming restart, or worse still, the ECU can be damaged, risking expensive replacement.”

Vehicle life support

HELLA likens the CTEK charger to a life support machine for the vehicle while the diagnostics process is underway. “The CTEK MXS25, for example, provides a stable voltage and up to 25A of fully regulated power to prevent loss of charge and damage to the battery. It’s ideal for a wide range of vehicles with average power consumption. Other units can provide up to 70A of battery support suitable for high specification vehicles with greater demands,” concludes Neil.


HELLA and CTEK’s ‘Must Do’ Diagnostics Checklist 

Go Global
✔Always perform a global check. This will show how many other systems are affected by the fault. Don’t limit yourself to an individual system. CAN-Bus technology, present on virtually all modern vehicles, dictates that a single fault code can quite easily be scattered across multiple systems causing numerous symptoms on a variety of systems.

Don’t Guess 
✔ Fault codes are the ECU’s best guess at what the fault could be. Confirm this diagnosis by checking live parameters and reach your own conclusion – don’t become a fault code jockey!

DPF Dangers
✔ DPF faults are a common problem so don’t be tempted to start the interrogation by performing a regeneration as this is the end result of a problem further back in the system. Other components such as oil quality, general maintenance, EGR valves, heater plugs and turbos are all critical to a smooth running system and need to be checked first. The previous components are usually the cause of a failed regeneration attempt, so it makes good sense to check these first.

Send Smoke Signals 
✔ A good partner to electronic diagnostic equipment is a smoke tester. This should be used as the second check to identify potential physical leaks causing electronic faults, therefore aiding correct diagnosis.

Learn to Adapt
✔ After diagnosis and a part is replaced, the vast majority of systems require an adaption or basic setting; without this the ECU is not aware the part has been replaced and will continue to run with the previous settings of a failed or failing component.

Batteries Included
✔ Don’t forget the battery. Use the right equipment to maintain its performance. Slave batteries and boost packs can be unreliable and may struggle to cope with sudden increases in current demand. Standard battery chargers are not recommended either as they can increase battery voltage beyond normal operating levels, affecting diagnostic procedures and possibly damaging sensitive equipment.

Clean Up
✔ Keep it clean – use a charger that will deliver a smooth, surge free electrical current to protect sensitive ECUs.

No Standing
✔ Don’t leave it standing. Drain from loads such as tracking devices and alarms means that a battery can potentially become flat in a matter of days. If you know that a vehicle is going to be standing for more than a day or so consider giving the battery a condition charge to ensure that it is charged to maximum capacity.

Support Means Success
✔ Finally, when choosing a diagnostic device, investigate the support, development and training available. This is critical in an industry that is morphing from mechanical to electronic. HGS has in place over 45 Master Technicians and nearly 200 research and development engineers. This allows the mega macs range of equipment to deal with the new challenges that workshops face both now and in the future.

Starters & alternators technical bulletins – Various models

On Jaguar XJ and XK models (1996-2003) when an alternator problem is diagnosed, some customers have experienced charging problems – even after the fitment of a replacement unit. This is due to the battery being fitted in the boot of the vehicle. Consequently the wiring connections in the boot, passenger foot-well or false bulkhead under the bonnet may have high resistance. These should be checked and cleaned thoroughly. The part number primarily affected is AEK2286.

If the replacement alternator is overcharging after fitment, the cause may be due to no signal to the ‘C’ terminal of the connector plug from the ECU.

If there is no signal to the ‘C’ terminal on the alternator from the ECU, the alternator will show an overcharge of approximately 15.7 Volts. Possible causes of this are a broken wire in the loom, connector pins in the plug being damaged or open too far to make a good connection, or there may be an ECU fault. Part numbers affected are: AEK3195, AEK3196 and AEG1066.

3. VAUXHALL VECTRA 2007 ON 1.9 CDTI DIESEL BOSCH ALTERNATOR PULLEY FAILURE (see example images above and below)
Check the clutch pulley on the alternator that has been removed from the vehicle. If the pulley is seized, spinning freely in both directions without the alternator turning, collapsed or is missing, this will indicate a vehicle fault which has caused failure of the alternator. Fitting the new alternator without rectifying the vehicle fault will result in premature failure of the replacement alternator. Check the belt tensioner for correct operation and ensure that the belt has been correctly routed. The part number affected by this very common issue is AEK3125.

Check for faulty seat modules on Mercedes applications from 2000 onwards. A flat battery can lead to an incorrect diagnosis and subsequent replacement alternators can be fitted with the flat battery problem persisting. Often the problem is later found to be an electrical drain caused by a faulty seat module. Part numbers affected are: AEC1752 and AEG1142.

Technical help from Autoelectro
Autoelectro’s website ‘catalogue’ section lists specific technical information for many applications. All you have to do is click on the red ‘i’ that accompanies the product specifications.

How to fit modern car batteries

Today’s batteries need to be installed correctly or the customer may soon need to return to the garage. Without battery coding, the car’s battery management system won’t work correctly and some vehicle functions will cease. The worst case scenario is that the vehicle may not even start.

In this guide, we’ll use Bosch’s ESI 2.0 software to demonstrate the fitting of the battery. ESI 2.0 is capable of installing several brands of batteries, but the list of battery brands changes by application.

You should fit a battery support unit before starting any work. This retains the car’s electronic memory. Without a support unit, the car’s system may reset to the factory default.

It’s important to follow the entire installation process from start to finish, as the coding section of this process can’t be omitted.

Select the correct battery for the car.

Connect a battery support unit, such as the BAT490, to retain codes and instrument display information. This should remain connected throughout the battery fitting process.

Remove the old battery, ensuring you take off the negative terminal first, followed by the positive one.

Install the correct new battery, ensuring the positive terminal is connected first and the negative second. If there is a vent tube, ensure it is fitted to the new battery.

Ensure the battery is correctly located in the tray and clamped into position.

Plug the Bosch KTS unit to the car’s 16 pin DLC (Data Link Connector).

Turn on the KTS unit and select vehicle details manually or via VINlook up.

Click on the ‘Diagnosis’ tab and select ‘Energy Management’ from the drop down list.

Select ‘Electric Energy Management System’ in the drop list and press enter.

Check the error memory for fault codes. If no codes present, continue to the next stage, but make a note of any fault codes before clearing them and starting the battery coding process.

From the list, select ‘Service adaption’.

Then select ‘Battery replacement’.

You will then see a note on the screen. Please read this carefully.

Select the correct vehicle details.

Enter the brand of the new battery.

Select the new battery ampere hours.

When prompted, enter the battery serial number. On a Bosch battery, the serial number can be found on the barcode. This is a 13 digit number, but you’ll only need to enter the first 10 digits.

The next screen will display a confirmation of selection criteria. Press continue, then close the programme and remove the battery support unit.