Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mr. Battery and Mr. Alternator

This happened last Monday (just four days ago).

It is near 9 AM and I am in a Rush Mode to be in the office for an important meeting. Hmmn, weird, I couldn't open the driver's door although I already disarmed the car's central locking. I just proceed to unlock it manually and managed to open driver's door. I tried to start the car and nothing happen. No wonder. It must be the car's battery. I tried to get the voltage reading from my Apexi Pen Turbo Timer but the display just flicker, nothing meaningful.

This actually surprised me as I bought the battery just six months ago. It is a NS60 maintenance-free Yokohama battery (Made in Malaysia) that still has six months to go before its warranty is over. Nevertheless, for me, it died prematurely, before its time, just like Michael Jackson and Brittany Murphy. So sad.

I tried to support locally-made product.

I send a text message to my boss and told him that I will be very late, he said okay, luckily he is very sporting. Ten minutes later, the battery is with me, in my wife's Proton Satria Neo, heading to the place where I bought it so I can just get it replace under warranty. Unfortunately, they need two or three days to have it analyze before they can arrange for a replacement. Honestly, I just feel like I want to stuff that battery in one of their worker's throat. Furious, I told them to take their time analyzing it, forever if required as I do not feel going to that shop again or to collect the replacement battery. Not only that, I would not even buy another locally-made Yokohama batteries ever again. Never.

AC Delco. One of the leading manufacturer for car batteries. This is the first battery that popped to my mind when I am thinking of buying a new battery for my ride, but, where can I find this highly-recommended battery for car lovers? Most of the shops nearby my house just sell either GP Atlas (Korean-made) or Yokohama. It is not that I heard bad things about GP Atlas, but in my heart, I just want to have an AC Delco, at least it make me feels better after a bad day.

I bought a maintenance-free NS60 AC Delco.

I searched at Google, contact AC Delco distributor's (very helpful and friendly) and they told me that there is a shop quite near to my location that sells AC Delco batteries. Fast forward, I went to that shop, bought it at a very good price (just RM30 more than Yokohoma's) and return home.

Just like a child with a newly bought toy, I opened the box and stunned with the battery's exterior. You can actually feels it is a very quality product, produced with enough love and care. It took me around 10 minutes to install the new battery, just to make sure it is properly seated and wired to the right positive/negative side. The car explodes to life at the first crank. Great!

On the next day, I did some research whether the problem might be related to a weak alternator. The Yokohama's battery that I bought is a Calcium-Calcium type. Several articles in the internet indicate that car batteries using Calcium-Calcium required certain level of voltage delivery from the alternator to get it properly charged. If that's the case, my AC Delco may also died prematurely if the real problem is with the car's alternator. Voltage reading from my Apexi Pen Turbo Timer shows 12.8v-13.0v reading when I am driving the car at 3,000 RPM in fifth gear. It is quite low from what I do understand as a good alternator should deliver around 13.8 volts.

No problem, my Glenmarie's office is quite near to a Bosch Service Center. I went there so I can get the altternator serviced. It is not that I don't want to replace the alternator but it would cost near 700% more than just have it serviced. Nonetheless, they told me that they will just do a voltage check first before doing anything to it, as the reading from the Apexi Pen Turbo Timer might not be that accurate. It is indeed not accurate, below is the reading done by the Bosch personnel using a very complicated looking device just to measure my battery voltage.
Ignition On, Air-conditioner Off, Headlights Off= 13.8 volts
Ignition On, Air-conditioner On, Headlights On= 13.8 volts

They told me that my car's alternator is working fine and I don't need to service or replace it. Another good news for me. I thanked them for their honesty and professionalism and they don't even charge me a single cent for this.

My points are, AC Delco and Bosch are both foreign-based company, US and Germany respectively, but they managed to show their quality control although in a branch that located thousands kilometers away from the HQ.

Why can't Malaysian-owned company be the same as they are actually operating locally?

What is the actual problem?

I wonder...


mr.eims @ perfume said...

my friend just bought century battery. well. but i thought i still interested in bosch s3 calcium battery.

you r right. thats why foreign-based company, US and Germany like bosch & ac delco keep their quality. only authorized dealer can sell their product not like other brand which we can easily buy at many sparepart shop.

Wolverine said...

I really suggest you to get an AC Delco or Bosch. You know, dead car battery is a very troublesome and annoying thing to experience.

After you bought the Bosch S3 Calcium, appreciate if you can provide some information on the price, place to buy it and etc.


Anonymous said...

where you buy your delco battery and how much was it?
Izzit tropicalized? There are claims on the net saying import batteries not suitable for malaysian weather and its lifespan will be drastically shortened.

Int to buy one as well.