Category Archives: Battery Care

Cars are being left out in the cold this winter

In the UK, 69% of homeowners that have a garage do not use it for their car, instead using them for storage or converting them into extra living space. So cars are increasingly being left out in the cold. While modern motors are more weather resistant than ever, for drivers opting to leave them kerbside, there are maintenance measures for winter that will help keep their car in good condition. It might even avoid a frozen morning trying to solve car woes.

Garages being taken over

According to research by RAC Home Insurance, 69% of home owners don’t use their garage to store their vehicle. Instead, the majority are being used as extra storage, mainly for DIY tools, gardening equipment, sports gear and decorating kit. 9% of respondents to the survey said they had converted their garage into extra living space, with others using it as a gym or workshop for a hobby.

What’s more, many reported that their garage isn’t actually big enough for a modern car: many were designed for a 1950s-sized vehicle, and are no longer fit for purpose. Meanwhile, for many of us without a garage, the kerbside or drive is the only option.

The impact on your car

For motorists, it’s essential to take steps to help your car stay in good condition. Below are some things to be aware of if your motor isn’t kept under cover:

  1. Check your insurance. If you’ve stated that your car is kept mainly in the garage, but now it isn’t, it’s worth updating your insurer so that you are definitely fully covered if your car is stolen or damaged whilst parked up.
  2. Battery charging. Car batteries are far more likely to fail in winter, as the lower temperatures affect the battery chemicals. If your car is being kept outside, then the cold will have a greater impact. Regularly recharging your battery can keep it in good condition, and using a smart charger will help do just that, as well as repairing them. Ring’s smart chargers even have a winter charge mode, designed specifically for charging in cold weather.
  3. Tyre pressure. Cold weather can make tyre pressure drop, and for every decrease of 1°C in ambient temperature the tyre pressure drops by around 0.19 PSI. So when the frost sets it, it’s worth checking your tyre pressure, and topping up if necessary. A Digital Preset Tyre Inflator is the fastest and easiest way of doing this. As it is powered from your in-car 12V socket, it doesn’t need an extension cord from the house.
  4. Check your fluids. As you might expect, fluids thicken in the cold, including oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake and transmission fluids. Be especially sure to check your coolant/antifreeze, as this prevents the fluid in your engine from freezing.
  5. Risky deicing. It can be tempting to pour hot water on a windscreen for speedy defrosting, but if the hot water gets into any chips it can cause them to grow into cracks. Using an ice scraper or deicer is a better option.

Whether it’s a study, a workshop or a storage solution, if your garage is not being used for the car, make sure you don’t get left stranded this winter.

Ring’s Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Don’t know what to get your loved ones for Christmas? Not looking forward to the panic of last minute shopping? Take a breath – Ring has collected a few ideas so that you can give them what they want this Christmas, and they can use them well into 2018.

RIL80 – Extendable LED Lamp

Everybody has a DIY enthusiast in their life. Whether they enjoy fixing up cars or want to take their plumbing problems into their own hands, a trusty portable light is the ideal tool. The RIL80 Extendable LED Lamp also has a torch that can be angled up to 90° and placed onto any magnetic base for hands-free use.

RMS20 – 3 Way Smart USB

If you know someone who loves to go on road trips with friends, or would like to keep the kids occupied in the back of the car, Ring’s 3 Way Smart USB is an ideal gift. With three sockets, no one needs to be fighting over a charger, and the Smart Universal Fast Charging Technology charges any mobile devices at an optimal rate.

RAC630 – 12V Digital Tyre Inflator with LED Light

Whether a cycling enthusiast, a parent whose kids love to play sports outside, or someone that drives around frequently with soon-to-be flat tyres, a digital air compressor could be the perfect gift. Inflating a tyre to 35psi in under three minutes, this 12V Automatic Digital Tyre Inflator with LED Light can save anyone a tonne of time if they want to get back on the road quickly, or get their kids back out and playing.

RSC612 – Smart Charger

All vehicles have batteries that need some care. Whether it’s a motorhome, a 4×4, or a classic car, you can’t go wrong with a Smart Changer. For comprehensive battery care, whatever the vehicle, the RSC612 Smart Charger is a motoring essential. This one device will diagnose, recondition, service and charge vehicle batteries to makes them last longer, work better and be more reliable. It can be used on lead acid, gel, EFB, AGM and calcium batteries on vehicles up to 5.0L in size, including those with STOP/START technology.

 

RBGDC200 – Full HD 2.0” Dash Camera

If you have a loved one who has just passed their test, a dash camera could capture all of their first driving moments, as well as help keep them safe. The RBGDC200 Full HD 2.0” Dash Camera automatically switches on when you start the engine – so you never miss a thing – and turns off once you park up – meaning no risk of it draining your battery.

Winter Car Essentials

Winter Car Essentials

The unstable weather conditions around this time of year consistently cause problems for drivers. Whether your car is prone to be breakdowns or the roads where you live are hazardous in the snow, be prepared for anything this winter with Ring’s Winter Car Essentials.

Starting your car

A surprise snow storm and drop in temperatures is not an unlikely occurrence, especially with the variable weather here in the UK. Keep de-icer and ice scraper in your car and at home so you’re always prepared if the moment arises. Avoid using hot water to defrost your car as this could cause any chips or scratches on your windscreen to turn into cracks.

Make sure your wiper blades are up to scratch – it’s recommended that you change them every twelve months so that they keep your windscreen clear and your view unobstructed.

Keeping in contact

A completely charged phone is always a good idea when travelling – whether you’ve broken down or are lost, a phone may end up being your saviour. Don’t be one of those people that forgets to charge their phone before a long snowy journey, and get yourself a multi-socket and phone charger that will always be in your car.

Dealing with road hazards

When ice and snow can cover up much of the road small, sharp items, such as glass, can be hidden and cause punctures to tyres. With an Emergency Tyre Kit already in the car, you will be able to get yourself home without any need for tools or wheel changes, keeping you on the roadand moving until you can get your tyre changed.

Accidents are more likely in winter, and a dash camera may help to reduce the time taken to settle an insurance claim after an incident on the roads this winter. One with a GPS tracker will help to pin point where an accident takes place and give further information to insurance providers.

Restarting your car

It’s always a good idea to carry Jump Leads in your car in case of an emergency. In the summer months, waiting for a breakdown service may be fine, but in the cold, blustery weather, jump starting your car and setting off quickly is definitely more ideal.

If you do a lot of travelling by yourself, investing in a Lithium Jumpstarter is a great move. Small enough to fit in your glove box, and with enough power to jumpstart a 2.0L engine, you’ll be back on the road in no time.

 

 

Driving at this time of year can feel a bit nerve-wracking, but having these winter driving essentials at hand will give you peace of mind. Keep safe this winter, and happy driving!

The RSC612 SmartCharger

A Smart Investment

Vehicle batteries are becoming more and more sophisticated. In a modern vehicle, your battery could be lead acid, gel, AGM, EFB or calcium – and have START/STOP functionality. These advances have helped batteries to handle the ever-increasing quantity of vehicle electronics, and START/STOP capability has cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

These advantages are great, but with better functionality comes a higher price tag. Replacing a modern battery can be expensive – up to £200. And with as many as 85% of all new vehicles in Europe expected to be fitted with START/STOP batteries by 2020 – and worldwide demand for START/STOP batteries expected to be as high as 56 million by that time – it is essential that we have battery care that can keep up.

Smart move
To help prevent damage – and keep vehicle batteries healthier for longer – it can pay motorists to invest in a smart charger. These battery chargers are more advanced than a traditional linear charger, and are therefore suitable for a wealth of different battery types – including those with START/STOP technology.

Smart chargers have a multi-stage cycle that charges, protects and repairs batteries. This means that instead of just adding charge, the charger responds to the condition of the battery, then applies the fastest charge available. It also has a repair function, which removes sulphite build-up on the battery plates. It also protects from overcharging by switching to a lower voltage charge once the battery is full.

Plan ahead
If you’re putting your classic car, motorbike or caravan away for the winter, a smart charger could help you avoid a large bill in spring. Smart chargers that have a maintenance mode are ideal for vehicles that are used infrequently; the charger will keep the battery in good condition and ready to be used while it is being stored. This way, when you go to use your vehicle, you won’t find that the battery is flat, or worse – damaged beyond repair.

Knowledge is power
A smart charger can also analyse the health of a battery. This will give you a full picture of the battery’s health, and potentially an early warning of any problems. It’s an opportunity to address issues before they escalate and become a costly disaster.

See the results
By using a smart charger, you could avoid an emergency and an unplanned expense replacing your battery. You could also help your battery last for an extra few years, which means spending less on maintenance and more on enjoying your vehicle.

For complete battery care, take a look at the RSC612/RESC612 Smart Charger. This 12A smart charger is suitable for lead acid, gel, AGM, EFB and calcium batteries, including those with START/STOP technology. It’s ideal for all 12V vehicles up to 5.0L.

See the RSC612/RESC612 in action – charging a battery and running tests.

Top Technician and Top Technician 2016

Top Technician rewards the UK’s top mechanics

Here at Ring, we have been supporting the automotive aftermarket for more than 40 years. So sponsoring Top Technician 2016 was a no-brainer for us.

Top Technician is an annual competition created in 2002 by Aftermarket Magazine to reward the best vehicle technicians in the UK.

We know that top mechanics are committed to raising standards and to delivering the best possible service, which we believe should be endorsed and recognised. Just like the professionals taking part, we are also committed to raising standards in the workshop, by developing trade tools that have been designed to help mechanics and technicians to be the best they can be.

Here’s a few ways in which our products support technicians across the UK and beyond.

Bulbs
Bulb technology is at the heart of our business and is supported by unique product testing facilities. Standard, Longer Life, Performance and more recently Xenon HID bulbs all feature within the Ring bulb range. The flagship Xenon130, as an example, continues to outperform its competitors and put 130% more light on the road.

Inspection Tools
Retaining our position at the forefront of innovation – which includes utilising the latest ‘Chip on Board’ (COB) technology for superior output – Ring offers an extensive range of award-winning inspection lamps. Ring’s inspection tools have been built to last, and have light sources to suit most work spaces, whether compact, heavy duty, high power or intended for inspection.

Importantly, every item developed is designed with the professional, working environment in mind. This includes the recent additions to Ring’s MAGflex and Ergo ranges – the MAGflex Twist and Ergo Robust.

Battery Analysers
Assessing the need for replacement or recharge, Ring offers an extensive range of Battery Analysers that accurately diagnose and repair faults. These help professionals get the complete picture of a battery’s health.

Smart Chargers
Our SmartChargePro is two tools in one. It has a multi-chemistry function that adjusts the charge to precisely match the specific battery type. Acting as a battery support unit, this product provides constant battery voltage for when vehicle diagnostic equipment is connected and requires power.

Power Packs
Compact and heavy duty, Ring’s range of power packs is capable of jump starting multiple cars, and commercial vehicles – including buses, trucks and agricultural vehicles – from one charge. With safety features including reverse polarity, short circuit and anti-spike protection, our power packs are designed to be safe and easy to use.

Entries for Top Technician are now closed with semi-finals due to take place in mid-July. However, tickets are still available for Top Technician Live, which is a one day interactive training event, allowing technicians to learn from some of the leading companies in the automotive aftermarket. The day will feature classroom and practical sessions as well as presentations from industry experts and panel discussions. To order tickets visit the Top Technician website.

Top Technician Live will also feature the announcement of the winner of Top Technician 2016.

The RSC612 SmartCharger

Big battery freeze

It’s a common thing: on the coldest day of the year, you get in the car and the battery won’t start. You might think “just my luck”, but it’s not coincidence. When the temperature plummets, your battery has to work harder. A battery in good condition can handle the temperature changes – one that isn’t, simply can’t.

Under pressure
Of course, it’s not just the cold that puts more strain on your battery. As winter takes hold, we use the heaters, lights and wipers more. Add to this demand from charging smartphones, tablets and sat navs – often all plugged in at once – and you’ve got a battery that will quickly be put under a lot of pressure. However, you can take steps to make sure you don’t get left out in the cold.

Out and about
A battery will naturally discharge if it is left unused – and if you leave it for long enough, it will go flat. It could be that you take your car out every day – but if you don’t, be aware that after a long period of time you might find your battery flat.

If this does happen, you will need to jump start it to get back on the road. You might think that taking it for a drive will replenish it – however, this may compromise the battery’s ability to hold charge in the long run. You need to attach a charger to make sure it is properly replenished.

Charge ahead
You don’t have to wait for your battery to go flat before taking action. By charging regularly as part of your routine car maintenance, you’ll make sure your battery is in tip top shape and resilient against the dropping temperatures. You have two battery charger options – a traditional charger or a SmartCharger. The traditional charger simply attaches to your battery and keeps putting in charge until it is disconnected.

A SmartCharger is a cleverer machine altogether. Instead of just charging, it will run diagnostic tests on your battery to see how it is performing. The best – like the Ring RSC612 – will charge and:
Measure the battery’s voltage, and show you the potential for your battery as a percentage.
Check the alternator, to measure how well it recharges and to give an indication if there might be some issues.
Assess the cranking performance, to see the starting ability of the battery.
Carry out a start power test, to see how much the voltage drops during an engine start.

It will also select the fastest charging programme for your battery, and then carry out a multi-stage charging cycle. Once the battery is full, it will automatically switch into maintenance mode – allowing for long-term connection. And it is compatible with lead acid, gel, calcium, AGM and EFB batteries, as well as engines with STOP/START technology.

A SmartCharger can’t jump start a completely flat battery, but it is the best option for battery maintenance. It’s also a good idea to attach one if you know that you won’t be driving your vehicle on a regular basis – using a SmartCharger will keep the battery healthy.

Longer life
By using a SmartCharger, not only are you less likely to find your battery flat, but you can extend its life by two to three years – saving you money. Find out more about Ring SmartChargers here.

Ring’s RPP900 Lithium PowerPack reviewed by Paul Woodford

Paul Woodford – host of rally TV show Special Stage – has started to do reviews on Ring products. The first product up was our RPP900 Lithium PowerPack. He looks at why every motorist should have this product in their car boot.

Here is a snap shot of what he had to say.

“There’s nothing worse than coming back to your car to find it’s got a flat battery.
Now, for less than the price of a breakdown membership, and less space in your boot than a pair of hair straighteners, you can get hold of this Ring Automotive compact lithium power pack.”

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To see the full video click here.

Check your tyre pressure. There’s a lot riding on them

RIng Air Compressor Campaign - 400 x 155px

According to the latest research published by TyreSafe.org*, thousands of British holidaymakers could be putting themselves at risk by failing to check their tyre pressure before setting off on long journeys.

The latest advice has been issued by Tyre Safe, who estimates that approximately 9 million cars in the UK are being driven with seriously or severely under inflated tyres, which can be a major cause of tyre failures, particularly in hot weather or when vehicles are heavily laden.

Figures from the Highway Agency reflect the scale of the potential problem with 8,700 tyre related incidents occurring on its network between July and September 2013.

Research also carried out by Landsdowne Market Research*, stated that 47% of female motorists admit to never checking their tyre pressure.

Making sure your vehicle’s tyres are inflated to the correct pressure before you travel is a simple process and is one of the most important maintenance checks to your vehicle. Tyre Pressure levels are crucial, not only to the longevity of your tyres, but also to your personal safety when using your car. Drivers need to remember that their tyres are the only contact they have with the road.

The legal minimum tread is allowed to be 1.6mm, but this is in the red danger zone for breaking distances.

Under or over inflated tyres suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure and need to be replaced more regularly.

Under inflated tyres can result in imprecise cornering, reduce ability to support the load, incur higher running temperatures, irregular tread wear at the edge of the contact patch, fatigue cracking, overstressing and splitting in the sidewall. Under inflated tyres also increases the rolling resistance that requires more fuel to maintain the same speed.

Over inflating tyres will result in a hard ride through the transmitting of shock loads to the suspension, reduces a tyre’s ability to withstand road impacts, and may cause accelerated tyre wear in the centre of the contact patch.

How Do I Inflate My Tyres to The Correct Pressure?
Every car has recommended tyre pressure levels, which can be found in the owner’s manual. If not, you can always ask at a garage or do a search on the Internet. In most cases, two different pressures are given – one is for driving with a laden vehicle and the other is for ‘normal’ driving conditions.

To help you check your tread depth, you will need a gauge. Ring’s range of tyre pressure gauges will ensure you never exceed the minimum limit of 1.6mm. We offer a variety of analogue and digital gauges to ensure accurate inflation.

Once you know what your tyre pressure should be, set the appropriate PSI/BAR pressure on the machine (there should be instructions on how to do this on the machine and it is usually very easy to do).

Ring has a range of award winning air compressors that can easily be stored in the car to check and inflate your tyres as part of your overall car maintenance before a journey.
Analogue and digital compressors are included to suit individual motorist’s needs from DIY enthusiasts through to professionals.

Our Analogue Air Compressor, RAC620 will inflate your tyres within approximately 4 minutes, and comes with a high intensity LED light and SOS light for night time illumination.

Our award winning Digital Air Compressor, RAC630 enables you to inflate a tyre in less than 3 minutes and includes a pre pressure mode with automatic cut off, so that desired pressure can be pre set and it inflates tyres quickly and automatically switches off when that pressure is reached. Neat tidy storage for fused 12v cigarette lighter plugs and the flexible air hoses means that all the compressors will store away easily in the car.

Attach the air hose to the tube on your tyre – you should be able to see the tube near the outer rim of the wheel. Remove dirt caps if applicable. Repeat until all 4 tyres are correctly inflated.

For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufactures recommend replacing at 3 millimeters.

In the event of an emergency, we also offer our Emergency Tyre Kit which contains essential items such as an air compressor and tyre repair sealant to get you on the move again.

*Research statistics carried out by www.Tyresafe.org, and Landsdowne Research