CAR BATTERY FAQ
What is a Car Battery?
A car battery is a special kind of rechargeable battery that’s main function is to start the engine of the car. These batteries also power the car’s lighting and other electrically fed items such as the radio, power windows, locks, etc.
Why Do You Need to Replace Your Car Battery?
Just like any battery, a car’s battery, although rechargeable, becomes less and less efficient until it no longer produces enough electricity to perform the functions required by the car. After years of use, the alternator (recharging function of the car) is no longer able to renew the energy stores in the battery. The battery is also made of materials that become ineffective over time.
When Do You Need to Replace Your Car Battery?
It’s good practice to replace your battery about every 2.5 to 3 years. You may notice some signs that your car’s battery is wearing out, indicating that you should replace your battery. Difficulty starting your car and dull light produced by the headlights are some of the signs to be aware of.
How Often Should I replace my car battery?
This depends on how heavily you use your car and what electrical components you have hooked up. Large stereo systems and additional lights can tire out your battery more quickly than if you only use your car’s battery to power up normal headlights and the dashboard. Other factors include the car’s alternator and the efficiency it shows in recharging your battery when your car’s engine is running. Additionally, short circuits within your car’s electrical system can affect your battery life.
How long does a car battery last?
Car batteries typically last between 2.5 and 5 years, depending on the use of the battery and the factors mentioned above.
Typical Signs Your Car Battery is Dead or about to Die:
There are some signs that can help you notice when your car’s battery is dead or about to die. These include:
- It’s hard to start your car – Even on the first start of the day, your car should start easily. When your car doesn’t start with gusto, one of the first things to check is the battery.
- Low levels of battery fluid – You can check your car battery’s fluid level by looking through a translucent area of the casing. If the fluid is below the lead plates, you should get your battery checked.
- Leakage – Sometimes batteries that are about to give out leak, causing corrosion around the posts where the + and – cable connections are located. Try cleaning around the posts to see if you get a better start.
- Swollen Case – Extreme heat may cause your battery to swell, appearing bloated. This may decrease battery life and indicate that your battery is on the way out.
- Check Engine – Your car knows how much power it’s getting. Batteries are supposed to provide a certain voltage depending on the type of the vehicle and the power it requires. When the car isn’t receiving enough power, the “check engine” light may come on.
- Electrical powered features on the blink – If your lights are dull or the power windows appear to be on the fritz, the real culprit may be the battery. If the battery is not providing enough voltage, the electrically powered features will not work properly.
How do I buy a new car battery?
Make sure the place you go has good reviews. Car batteries need to be recently produced to yield the best results. Due to the nature of car batteries and the fact that they are continually recharged by the alternator, even when new, car batteries cannot sit around in a warehouse. Car batteries should be put to use as soon as possible after production. For this reason, be sure you also get a decent warranty on your battery. Normally warranties cover about 18 months. Additionally, be sure the make of the battery is compatible with your car. Batteries come in different sizes and with different voltage capacity. You’ll have to do your research beforehand or ask for assistance when picking out your new battery.