Battery chargers and testers play an important role in today’s automotive aftermarket, particularly on account of changing battery technology. Mobile distributors had the opportunity to learn about new chargers, testers, analyzers and related equipment during a training session by Associated Equipment, a 65-year-old equipment manufacturer, at the Ace Tool Co. national dealer expo in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Kim Cottle, president and COO, began the presentation noting that the company does 100 percent of its own line testing and has a full line of smart chargers. Cottle noted the company goes to great lengths to ensure its products are delivered in good condition. This includes wrapping products in foam packaging to minimize shipping damage. Custom Associated tape is also used on pallets for security. “It minimizes freight damage and problems for the customer,” she said.
Joe Mocerino, distribution sales manager, noted the company’s Intellimatic chargers include standard duty, heavy duty, commercial duty and smart chargers. “Is your customer’s shop missing some pieces to the puzzle?” Mocerino asked his listeners.
Mocerino then focused on one of the most significant issues in today’s automotive aftermarket: changing battery technology. AGM batteries offer longer power supply than traditional lead acid batteries. AGM batteries have little to no electrolyte, he said, and do not vent like traditional batteries.
Mocerino said every automotive OEM is now using AGM batteries. He predicted that the number of new vehicles with AGM batteries will grow by 10 percent in the next three to five years.
“They retain a charge better, and that’s important,” he said.
AGM batteries are also needed for the emerging start/stop technology, he noted. In addition, AGM batteries are vibration resistant. “The AGM batteries are a must for that type of technology.”
The typical charger puts out 16 to 18 volts per day, he said. By contrast, an AGM charger puts out 14.2 to 14.4 – charging AGM batteries at higher voltages will severely or fatally damage them.
Mocerino said all Associated Equipment Intellamatic chargers are microprocessor controlled. Once the charger hooks to a battery, it tests the battery four times. If the battery is not capable of charging, a red light comes on and aborts the charge. “It’s a great charger and it’s also a great battery diagnostic tool,” he said.
Stable power is necessary to do reflashing, Mocerino noted. “A reflash can take two to 12 hours to be performed,” he said.
The Associated Equipment charger features a separate power supply, Mocerino said, which gives the unit more memory, an important consideration in today’s repair shops. “Everything he (the technician) needs to do the service of today’s shop is right there in that box,” he said.
Cottle noted the Intellimatic unit comes with battery terminal cable covers, and all memory saver cords have fused ends. The fuse is replaceable, which is necessary for safely working with electrical systems in vehicles.
Most Associated Equipment Intellimatic units have dead battery override, she added, a feature that was added due to technician feedback for product improvements.
Cottle then reviewed some of the different Intellimatic units: 9410, a bench top unit; 9425, an OE-approved charger for Chrysler; 9640, a 40-amp bench top unit; 6058, a niche unit with 8, 12 and 16 volt charges; 6366, a gang charger with four independent, fully charged channels that control voltage and current up to 20 amps per circuit.
Associated Equipment also has a small volt meter with AGM conversion and a 12-volt digital tester, the 12-1012.
Another new unit is the digital tester with printer interface, model 12-1015.
Model 6033 is a digital volt meter with 125 amp load that computes the CCA of the battery.
During the question and answer session, Cottle noted the company does all its powdercoating and painting inhouse. She also said they use all steel cabinetry, galvanized steel bases, and chrome-plated steel handles for quality and durability.
Ace Tool Co. has over 30 years of automotive and industrial tool distribution experience, as well as over 25 years of direct international sourcing and product development experience. A pioneer in the...