Your vehicle’s engine is composed of many integral components. Every part of your vehicle’s engine is essential to ensure its proper function. One of these integral parts is your car’s battery, which is like the heart of the engine. Just like the human heart, it provides an electrical spark that ignites electrical components in the engine.
So what does the car battery do and how do you know it might be time to change it?
Let’s have a look.
The Power Storagehouse of the Engine
Car batteries come in different voltage capacities. The most common is 12 volts, which has six cells. Each cell produces about 2.1 volts in a battery that is fully charged. When the battery is not holding a charge, it results in reduced power for your vehicle. The stored power of the battery exists to start the engine. It is created to spark a chemical reaction that generates electricity and starts the car.
What is CCA?
When buying a new car battery, you may see the label CCA. This measures the cold-cranking amperes. More is not always better in this case. For many motorists, the CCA depends largely on the climate in which they live. In hotter climates, a higher CCA might actually cause faster corrosion and the loss of liquid.
Three Factors that Impact Your Battery’s Life
Because everyone’s driving needs differ, it’s difficult to pinpoint just what makes the difference when it comes to maintaining a long-lasting battery. Three factors are commonly known to impact how long your battery lasts include the following:
- Time in use. Like everything, a battery is not immortal. It has a shelf life. Sometimes, a battery has simply run its course and is ready to depart this world to battery heaven. Even when well cared for, a battery loses power and deteriorates over time. Vehicles that are parked for long periods without movement tend to lose charge on their own. So if you’ve had a car sitting out in the driveway for months, you may have a difficult time starting it.
- Climate. The climate where you live will have an impact on our auto battery life. Heat makes it easier to generate the spark needed for the battery. At the same time, it increases the chances for degradation. This is especially true because it gets much hotter underneath the hood of a car, which means the batteries are surrounded by very harsh temperatures.
- Vibration. If the battery is not properly mounted or the engine is showing way too much vibration, the battery might likely succumb to a lot more damage. Ensuring that the right hardware surrounds your battery and holds it in place is essential.
If you take frequent but short car trips, this may also shorten the lifespan of your battery. That’s because these short trips are not allowing the batteries to recharge. Also, if you have a vehicle that maybe doesn’t run because of a flat tire or something like that, you don’t want to risk the battery dying too. Consider starting it every once in a while to get that battery recharging.
Signs that Your Battery Might Need Replacement Sooner Rather Than Later
Most of the time, your car will provide you clues or warning signs that your battery is about to give out. This, however, is not always the case. It does happen that a battery will rebel from one day to the next and leave you hanging on the side of the road.
When you are lucky enough to get those warning signs, here is what they might look like:
- Slow to start. The most common way that a battery will reveal its waning spirits is a slow start. That is, at the turn of the key, it feels like your car refuses to wake up. In cold temperatures, they may be even more apparent. Get the battery tested to ensure that there is no parasitic drain and that the battery is still holding a charge.
- Leaks or corrosion. Be vigilant for corrosion or signs of leaking acid from your battery. This corrosion can cause damage to your terminal which can signal issues brewing with your battery.
- The famous click. Most people will be familiar with the sudden click of their battery. This familiar click means that the battery is failing to produce enough power to kickstart the engine. This click can happen even if your headlights are working.
Few Tips to Help You in a Pinch
There’s not a whole lot you can do to bring a completely dead battery back to life, but there are a few things that can help you extend the life of the battery. These few tricks can include turning off extras that might drain the battery or even carry a charger. These chargers can help you charge up a battery without overcharging.
Get the Right Battery for Your Vehicle
If you notice your car battery is acting up, it might be time for a change. Secure you and your vehicle’s safety. Don’t get caught off guard.
Call Interstate Batteries today and learn more.