Most of us take our cars for granted. Yes, they are fantastic pieces of machinery and without them life would be unexplainably difficult. However, how many of us take the time out of our days to learn a little about how our cars work?
A basic know-how about the key components of your car can be very helpful, especially at times when your car breaks-down or you notice something amiss in its function.
At times, little issues which mostly go unnoticed, can blow up and lead to huge repair costs running into several hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
In this two-part blog post, the core component we are going to cover is the car battery. The electrical “juice” your car needs to start is, after all, provided by the battery.
So, a better understanding of what the car battery does, how it functions, and core problem areas, could help you not only take better care of your car battery but, more importantly, help you offset any possible or potential issues from happening in the first place.
Understand Your Car Battery
- Your car battery sits in a rectangular box.
- Car batteries come in various sizes and can have different types of terminals (standard post, side terminals, or square bolt-through).
- It is important to choose the correct battery for your car; choosing the wrong size battery could easily damage your car.
- What you should also know is that even if the battery fits in the holding tray, this does not mean that it is the right battery for your car.
- When a car is started, the battery generates an electrical charge which in turn powers up the car ignition and the electrical systems in the car.
- If your car won’t start or if it hesitates, one of the most possible causes could be the battery.
How Does Your Car Battery Charge and How Long Will It Last?
One of the most common concerns that car owners have with respect to their car batteries is when they should go in for a change. Here are a few things you should know:
- Depending on a few factors such as climate, driving habits, maintenance and tune-ups, car batteries typically come with a shelf life of 3-5 years.
- After three years, it is advisable to have your car battery checked on a routine (minimum once a year) basis.
- Routine checkups will help identify any potential trouble areas, so you can effectively avoid facing bigger issues like faulty or dying battery.
- It will also give you a fair idea of how long the battery will last before you need to have it replaced.
- Driving your car long distances or running it for long periods allows your battery to charge completely.
- If you run your car for very short distances, it impacts the charging ability of the battery which in turn can impact its life term.
- If your car is working fine, and you haven’t faced any battery trouble, even after three years, it is prudent to have a reliable mechanic run a few diagnostics to gauge the longevity and general status of your car battery.
Battery Trouble – Signs to Watch Out For
If you have run your car well and are particular about car maintenance, it is highly unlikely that you will face any serious battery issues. At the very least, they will not happen out of the blue. Here are a few important indications of potential car battery trouble.
- If your car engine hesitates or is slow to turn on, then it could indicate a faulty or dying battery.
- If you notice a check engine light, it is always best to have your car checked up by a professional mechanic because in addition to battery trouble, it could also mean a variety of other issues such as faulty spark plugs or sensor trouble, or even a poor catalytic convertor issue.
- Strange smells and corroded battery posts could indicate battery leak so have it checked-up.
- Drop in the fluid level could again signal a weak battery, or that your battery is overheating.
Smart Car Thinking
Preventive maintenance is one of the best ways to avoid any serious car trouble. This holds true for the car battery as well. Remember, any issues with the battery, if ignored for a long time, could leave you with a dead battery. And a dead battery means a dead car.
Meridian Automotive – Professional Car Repair Service You Can Trust!
If you have been facing car battery issues or if your car battery is draining too quickly, then it might be time to have it checked by the all-star mechanics at Meridian Automotive.
If you are looking for professional car repairs service give us a call at (208) 297-5573 or schedule an online appointment today!