Johnson Controls, the battery manufacturer behind the VARTA brand, estimates that by 2020 every third car that enters a workshop will be equipped with start-stop technology. Despite the proliferation of this technology in the aftermarket, workshop professionals have not fully got to grips with it. Luckily for them, the VARTA Partner Portal is an online tool that is claimed to turn technicians into battery experts. PMM finds out more.
Not only are vehicle electronics becoming increasingly complex, but battery testing and replacement is getting more difficult for workshops, too. Battery service time has also increased drastically because batteries can be installed in the boot, under the seats, or in other places that are hard to access. Technicians face more complexity during a battery service, with some vehicles – the VW Touareg, for example – requiring 28 steps to change the battery. That’s a big challenge for workshops that are not adequately prepared for servicing start-stop vehicles yet.
Johnson Controls aims to prepare workshops for these new situations. To this end, the VARTA Partner Portal offers a convenient, accessible online service that enables every workshop employee to change a battery as quickly and as accurately as possible. With this tool, workshops can save valuable time and costs.
Access to the VARTA Partner Portal is available via all internet-enabled devices. After a quick, one-off registration, each workshop employee has free and unlimited access to step-by-step instructions, including photos, the right part number and battery location, so that the correct battery is installed in the quickest time possible.
What does the VARTA Partner Portal offer workshops?
After logging in, servicing can start without delay. Workshop employees have various options for entering the individual vehicle’s details to immediately obtain all the key information for replacing the battery, in four transparent modules:
1. Battery position
50% of modern vehicle models have a complex battery location – the battery is not necessarily under the bonnet any more. Using the VARTA Partner Portal, the workshop technician can see at a glance where the battery is installed. Further details can be called up at the click of a button, such as how to reach this position in the fastest possible way.
2. Battery selection
While conventional vehicles are mainly equipped with standard, flooded batteries, start-stop vehicles require AGM or EFB batteries. The challenge lies in choosing the right battery technology for each individual car model. Thanks to the VARTA Partner Portal displaying the correct replacement battery, the technician saves valuable time. Alongside the OE fitted battery, an alternative upselling option for special requirements is recommended in certain cases.
3. Fitting instructions
In some cases, it can take 28 steps to replace the battery. The VARTA Partner Portal’s step-by-step instructions make the replacement process easier for start-stop vehicles and show the estimated service time. In the process, the system follows every single detail and indicates whether you have to connect to a specialist diagnostics or reset tool.
4. Battery knowledge
Anyone who wants to become a real battery expert can acquire even more know-how here. How has the battery’s role changed? What do you have to take into account when testing batteries in start-stop vehicles? What makes the VARTA Silver Dynamic AGM the perfect battery for start-stop vehicles?
In addition to these facets, Johnson Controls has recently included some new functionality to further enhance the tool and make it even more useful for workshops. For example, if different vehicle variants have multiple battery locations, there is information relating to the location of the auxiliary battery if there is one, the location of OBD port, and how to open the bonnet on each vehicle.
Complex fit battery replacements
The table above highlights a number of the most difficult battery replacements on modern vehicles. As you can see, some vehicle models have particularly complex fitments due to the accessibility and location of the battery. The VARTA Partner Portal aims to assist technicians with these difficult-fit replacements and achieve the quickest changeover possible.