Understand Your Car Battery

As we approach the winter months it is important that your vehicles battery is in first class condition. Knowledge is power when it comes to your vehicles battery and electrical system. The last thing you want is to be left stranded with a dead battery. The greater your knowledge about your battery and electrical system, the less likely you will find yourself in trouble. Many leading garages such as A1 Clutches are here to help you and will provide a free battery check to establish the condition of your battery and we will estimate how much battery life you have left.

Battery Picture

In general, a good quality battery will last 3 to 5 years, however driving conditions and exposure to extreme weather can shorten the life of your vehicle’s battery.

  • How does a car battery workYour vehicle’s battery has immense responsibility it gives the burst of electricity needed to power all the electrical components in your vehicle. Without the power from your battery your car, as you are probably aware, will not start.A chemical reaction fires your vehicle into action, your battery converts chemical energy into the electrical energy which is required to power your vehicle, delivering the voltage to the starter motor. In addition to providing your battery the energy required to start your car, it is also stabilising the voltage (the energy supply) that is required to keep your engine running. So much rides on the battery it may be small, but it does a big job.
  • Symptoms & ProceduresWe have all said “Had I know my battery was failing I would have replaced it” Fortunately, there are many signs and symptoms that your battery may need replacement:
    1. Slow engine crank:If when you attempt to start your vehicle, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start. You’d best describe it as the “rur rur rur” starting noise sound.
    2. Check engine light:The check engine light sometimes appears when your battery power is low. Strange system indicator lights–such as check engine and low coolant lights can mean there’s a problem with your battery. (It could also just mean you need more coolant in your radiator).
    3. Low battery fluid level:Car batteries typically have a part of the casing that’s transparent allowing you to quickly and easily check your battery’s fluid level. You can also inspect it by removing the caps if they are not sealed (most modern car batteries these days permanently seal these parts).If the fluid level is below the lead plates (energy conductor) inside, it’s time to have the battery and charging system tested. When fluid levels drop, it’s typically caused by overcharging (heat).
    4. Swelling:Signs of swelling on your battery case can indicate your battery is coming to the end of it’s life, the swelling can be caused by excessive heat which shortens your battery life.
    5. Strange smells:If you notice a pungent, rotten egg smell (sulphur odour) around the battery. This may mean your battery is leaking which causes corrosion around the terminals (the + and – cable connections) It is advisable to clean your terminals and apply some grease otherwise one day your vehicle may not start.
    6. Battery life:A well cared for battery can last well beyond 3/5 years but, it is recommended to have its current condition inspected at least once a year. Battery life cycles range from 3/5 years depending on the battery. However, driving habits, weather and frequent short trips (under 20 minutes) can drastically shorten the life of actual life of your battery.

Take care of your battery and your battery will take care of you.