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FACT and FICTION

FACT and FICTION

 

Especially in the world of motoring, which for many enthusiasts is a DIY world, rumours spread easily and myths abound about what is good for your car or bike, and what you should or should absolutely not do to keep it in shape. Some stories are true, many are doubtful and some are plain nonsense, often arising out of insufficient technical knowledge, hearsay, or the eagerness of some suppliers to sell their products.

 

In this chapter we help you to separate the facts from the fictions.

 

Charging and discharging of batteries

 

There is a persistent rumour that every battery should be discharged regularly. However, this applies ONLY to nickel-cadmium batteries like the ones used in mobile phones. Where batteries for vehicles are concerned, it is ABSOLUTE RUBBISH.

 

 

Gel and lead batteries, as used in vehicles, should NEVER be discharged!

On the contrary:

 

 

To keep gel and lead batteries in good condition, the voltage should never fall below 9.6 Volts. As soon as the voltage is lower than 9.6 Volts a chemical process will start which can cause irreversible damage to the battery.

Moreover, the loading cycle must be such that the battery is always loaded to its maximum and not to only 80% (as occurs with automatic chargers).

 

If these two conditions are met the battery will have a maximum (although not unlimited) life and – which may be even more important – it is always ready to go! You can fulfil these conditions by using a suitable charger.

 

Car covers and condensation

 

Some suppliers of car covers state that their covers will prevent condensation forming on the car. This is in fact impossible, and they either don't know what they are talking about or they’re just trying to talk you into buying one of their products.

 

Condensation

 

Condensation takes place when humid air comes into contact with a colder surface. The moisture in the air will condense on the colder surface. This can happen both indoors and out. Putting even a breathable car cover over your car (or bike) will not stop this natural process. It would truly be a miracle if a car cover could defy the laws of nature.

A quality car cover has excellent breathable properties which will allow for condensation that has formed to escape through the cover. Remember, however, that this condensation first needs to evaporate before it can escape.

If you have a very damp garage it is highly recommended that you use a specially designed storage system instead of a car cover, as only a storage system can prevent the formation of condensation!

 

Car covers and cotton

 

Cotton used to be a popular material for car covers and you can still find partly or even 100% cotton covers. Cotton is a nice soft material with excellent breathability, however...

although at first glance cotton has the perfect properties for a cover, it has one property that ruins it all: cotton is highly HYGROSCOPIC, in other words, it attracts and absorbs moisture from its environment. If you use a cotton car cover in an unheated room, you will find that the cover quite often feels damp. This won’t help to keep your vehicle in good shape. Cotton or partly cotton covers can only be used in perfectly dry, heated garages. In any other circumstances cotton should be avoided.

 

 

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