Saturday, August 2, 2014

Panasonic Maintenance Free Car Batteries

When one thinks of Panasonic, electronic/electrical home appliances comes to mind and not car batteries. Well Pana makes not one but two different grades of maintenance free car batteries for N16s and most other popular cars sold in Bolehland. In fact, the Panasonic is the recommended oem replacement battery for MYDM Hondas.

I first used the Standard Grade Pana in 2012 while Slowtra was being transformed into Sharkie. It has a white casing and black top. Picture below on Sharkie sometime in 2013. Just look at the size of the battery in comparison with the K&N air filter.

IMHO the battery size is the worse design on a N16 apart from the wheelbarrow rear suspension. Like most Jap cars, Nissan decided to put such a heavy component on the front corner mostly for convenience as having the batt in the boot/trunk takes up free space. Unfortunately, while most C segment cars of the same period use a NS60 sized batt, Nissan decided on a bigger and heavier NS70. So much for mass centralization and better weight distribution for better handling. Family oriented sedan mah! Picture below of a smaller Pana batt in my wife's Civic. Older gen Civics have the batt next to the firewall which is even better.

Weight below of the Pana Std Spec maintenance free battery. You didn't see wrong. That's 17 kilos (not pounds) of flab in a place where you would least want it to be :(

I recently decided to replace the Std Spec Pana I was using with a High Spec model. The whole batt is black in colour to differentiate it from the standard spec. Panasonic uses Silver Alloy technology to strengthen the battery against high temperature which is a plus as Sharkie's engine bay is way hotter than any regular N16. The reserve capacity of the High Spec is also longer @ 75Ah vs 65 Ah for the Standard Spec. Having said this the Standard Spec Pana lasted me a good two years or so and had not yet failed when I replaced it. Picture below of the High Spec in its packaging.

I did weight the High Spec but was totally demotivated to take a pix at this point as it weighs 1kg more than the Standard Spec (~18kg). Super Sigh!!! :( Cost is also more than the Std Spec @ MYR 350 for the High Spec vs 260 for the Std Spec. Picture below of the High Spec installed.

My long term upgrade plan is to relocated the batt to the boot and/or try a dry cell Lithium Ion Phosphate battery. The only problems are finding a suitable CE to undertake this (relocation) work and the massive cost of a lithium ion batt. RM3 to 6K+ anyone?

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