Everything You Need To Know About Car Batteries

Car batteries are the life force of your vehicle, the heart of the automotive and the soul of other mechanical parts. It powers everything right from the fuel pump to the headlights. You've probably stumbled across this article because you suspect a problem with your car's battery or recently had a breakdown at the most inconvenient time, or want to avoid such situations in the future.

According to a survey by RAC, 6% of drivers have suffered a post-Christmas flat battery. Of those, 58% say it was due to the vehicle not being used for several days and 13% claim to have fallen victim twice.

While there are many causes of a dead battery, manufacturing defects are rarely to blame. A little basic knowledge about how your car battery works and brace yourself when it fails can get you back on the road as quickly as possible. This is the essential battery guide that prepares you for the worst and shows you what is what when it comes to watts.

The Car Battery Basics: How Does A Car Battery Work?

Batteries are composed of ‘cells’ that contain the actual energy needed to start and run your car. When you turn on the key, a chemical reaction occurs inside the battery. The battery converts this chemical energy into the electrical energy that powers to start your car.

What Does Your Car Battery Do?

Car Battery Maintenance 101

Just like driving aggressively will wear down your tyres and brakes, driving without taking care of your battery will reduce its lifespan. To maintain your battery in a good state and extend its functional lifespan, use the following tips to get the most out of your car battery.

Battery Tip 1: Servicing your car at the recommended frequency can prevent the engine and other vehicle components from straining your battery

Battery Tip 2: Avoid leaving your lights or air-conditioning on when the vehicle is switched off. They can drain off your battery.

Battery Tip 3: Drive your car frequently to avoid your battery from getting drained off. Short trips can kill your battery as the generator isn’t running long enough to charge the battery fully every time the car is started.

Battery Tip 4: Check your battery after driving on a bumpy road; it can loosen its connections.

Battery Tip 5: Keep your battery terminals free from dirt, dust and grit.

Battery Tip 6: Avoid using lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries in extreme cold weathers. . It can freeze your batteries and make the side of the box bulged.

Battery Tip 7: A little vaseline on the battery terminals goes a long way to prevent corrosion.

The Do’s and Don’ts (The Positives and the Negatives)

Do’s

Battery should be rechared immediately after they discharge.

Must pay attention to the maintainance and inspection especially in winter.

Notice the signs of a bad battery, like battery light on your dashboard.

Wear safety gloves and googles while dealing with it.

If you plan to keep the car unused for a longer time, disconnect the battery.

Dont’s

Don’t leave your car to sleep outside of a garage.

Don’t use too much of lights, music or charging when the engine is off.

When removing the battery, do not disconnect the positive cabel first. Might lead to a short circuit.

Don’t cut of the battery cabels when the engine is functioning.

Don’t use your car’s alternator to charge a dead battery.

Ways To Revive A Dead Car Battery

Several things can shorten the life of a car battery, and the positive side is that most of them are preventable if taken actions earlier. Here we are talking about the dead battery that is unable to hold charge due to sulfation. Sulfation is a buildup of lead sulfate crystals and remains of battery plates that occurs when a battery is deprived of a full charge. This leads to the accumulation of large crystals that reduce the battery’s active material and hinders the battery’s performance.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to reverse hard sulfation. But still, there are a few things you can try to get yourself back on the road. Cars started using these methods should not be shut off in the middle until a new battery can be obtained. The below tips can help you bring your car to the auto parts shop or the mechanic shed for a new battery.

1. Jumpstart

Jumper cables, a second battery and a battery booster, are just enough to jumpstart your car. The dead battery won’t accept a charge, so shut the engine off.

Precaution: Do not try to jumpstart a frozen battery. It might explode.

2. Distilled water

If the electrolyte level is low, adding some distilled water might just be enough to fully submerge the plates and give the engine a few more turns.

3. Aspirin

You just need a couple of bottles and a few aspirin tablets. It helps you like magic to revive your car battery enough to get you on the road to a few miles until you find an auto parts store or a mechanic shed. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) can be used to alter the battery’s electrolyte mix chemically. Simply crush 12 aspirin tablets (325-mg or 500-mg) and dissolve them in 6 oz water. Add equal amounts to each cell to make sure the plates are covered.

4. Epsom salt

Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) can tip the chemical balance on the battery and deliver enough charge to start the engine. Dissolve one part Epsom salt with three parts of warm water until the plates are covered by 1/4” to 1/2” electrolyte.

Prevention is better than repair - The only way to deal with car battery hard sulfation is to prevent it in the first place. To prevent sulfation, always recharge your battery immediately after use and put an unused battery to a float charger to maintain full charge.

How Long Does A Car Battery Last?

Although car batteries last up to 5 years or more when properly cared for, most batteries worn down on an average of around 3 - 5 years of everyday use. However, your driving habits, the type of battery, the brand, the climate and the trips you take affects how long the battery lasts. If you are always driving in ideal conditions with no extreme temperatures and no humidity - it’s believed that a car battery’s life can last up to six years.

Signs Of A Bad Car Battery

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your car’s health to avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. Cars are intelligent enough to give us a few warning signs indicating that your car’s battery life is coming to an end. It is essential for car owners to understand these symptoms of a bad car battery to deal right with the approaching problem.

Here are a few telltale signs that your car battery is not in good condition.

Signs Of A Bad Car Battery

A crankling slow start engine

Swollen or cracked battery case

Electrical issues and dim lights

If the battery is 3 years old

Check Engine light on the dashboard

Corroded connectors of the battery

Car makes clicking sound when the key is turned

A bad smell in the car

1. A cranking slow starting engine

Over time, the components inside your battery will wear out and become less effective. This takes the battery longer to create a charge to the starter and takes a few extra seconds for the engine to turn over. This is a clear sign that you need to change your battery soon.

2. Electrical issues and dim lights

The battery powers all the accessories and electronics in the vehicle. From your dashboard lights to the music system, the battery is vital to back these systems. If your battery is losing its power, it will have a hard time running all these at full capacity.

3. Check engine light on the dashboard

Sometimes, when the car battery’s power is low, the check engine light appears on the dashboard. Get your battery tested by a mechanic.

4. Car makes a clicking sound when the key is turned

If your car makes a ticking noise when you turn your key in the ignition, it’s a definite indication that your battery is dying.

5. Swollen or cracked battery case

Wild climate can misshapen your battery case. Exposure to extreme heat or cold can swell or crack your battery. This indicates that your battery is nearing its expiry period

6. If the battery is 3 years old

Car batteries typically last 3-5 years. Doing a regular battery checkup is essential to ensure that your battery is in good condition.

7. A bad smell

Damage to the battery or an internal short circuit can cause the battery to leak gas. If you open the hood and smell like rotten eggs, then your battery is the culprit. Get it replaced as soon as possible.

8. Corroded connectors

If you notice a white, ashy substance on the metal parts, you have a corrosion issue. This can lead to voltage issues and cause trouble to start the vehicle.

How Much Is A Car Battery? Should You Buy A Cheap Battery?

New car batteries costs vary based on the battery type and the brand you pick. A typical car battery costs range from £100 and £350. That’s not expensive when you consider your car battery to be the essential aspects of your vehicle. Installing cheap car batteries into the car might sound like a great idea to people who want to cut back on costs. But these cheap batteries may last only a year or two and start giving problems again. Rather than going to the cheap route, you should always choose reliable, high-quality brands when it comes to car batteries.

How To Change A Car Battery?

Step 1 : Disconnect the negative terminal cable first if your car has a negative ground. (refer to your manual if your car has a negative or positive ground). Then remove the positive cable. Do it vice versa if your car has a positive ground

Step 2 : Remove the screws and fasteners holding the battery in place, then remove the battery out.

Step 3 : Inspect the tray holding battery, remove any corrosion with baking soda and some water.

Step 4 : Replace it with a new battery. Position it on the battery tray.

Step 5 : Reconnect the screws and all the cables in reverse order in which you took them off. Reconnect the positive cables first and then the negative wires. (if your car has a negative ground).

Step 6 : Dispose of the old battery properly as it can be toxic and corrosive.

Step 7 : Test your car electronics, crank up the engine, if everything is smooth, you are done!

How To Change A Car Battery?

STEP 01

Disconnect the negative terminal cabel firstif your car has a negative ground. (refer to your manual if your car has a negative or positive ground ). Then remove the positive cabel. Do it vice versa if your car has a positive ground.

STEP 02

Remove the screws and fasteners holding the battery in place, then remove the battery out.

STEP 03

Inspect the tray holding battery, remove any corrosion with baking soda and some water.

STEP 04

Replace it with a new battery. Position it on the battery tray.

STEP 05

Reconnect the screws and all the cables in reverse order in which you took them off. Reconnect the positive cables first and then the negative wires. (if your car has a negative ground).

STEP 06

Dispose of the old battery properly as it can be toxic and corrosive.

STEP 07

Test your car electronics, crank up the engine, if everything is smooth, you are done!

Things To Know When Replacing Car Battery

Once you decide to get your car battery replaced, there are some factors you must consider.

1. Group Size - Each vehicle is compatible with only one group size of the battery. Check the group size of your existing one using its label or refer to your car manual.

2. Manufacturing Date - Checking the date of manufacturing is essential to avoid sooner health issues cropping up. New cells that you buy should not be older than 3 months from the manufacturing date.

3. Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) - CCA of the battery refers to the amps it can power for 30 seconds at zero degrees Fahrenheit. For cars that operate in colder regions, it is essential to have a high CCA rating to make it less challenging to start the vehicle.

4. Brand - There are hundreds of companies that manufacture car batteries at a cheaper rate. However, these batteries encounter failure and high maintenance costs after a while. Ensure you shop for batteries from good brands that last long.

5. Warranty - Car batteries contain a free replacement and a prorated warranty period if your car battery fails due to a manufacturing defect within the given period.

6. Installation - You could risk damaging a car even if you make one mistake during the new battery replacement. It is always better to approach a professional to get a new car battery installed.

According to national averages,the hourly rate for a mechanic in the London area is £78, and for those operating outside the capital, it’s £72. At Warranty Direct , our professionals use world-class automotive part replacement tools to attend to your needs at the right moment and provide free roadside assistance with the extended warranty plan.

Car Battery Warranties: By the Manufacturer

Despite most vehicles being covered by the manufacturer’s warranty for 3 years or 36,000 miles from the date of purchase under the bumper to bumper warranty, batteries that are worn out typically have a full guarantee of only 2 years or 24,000 miles, after which you will have to convert it to a prorated warranty. If you suspect a battery problem in your car, check your car warranty manual to determine the coverage and have it checked before the warranty expires.

If you want to protect your car against any mechanical or electrical failures and ensure peace of mind motoring, Warranty Direct is here to help. Warranty Direct provides you with an extended warranty for your motor vehicle to protect you against unexpected repair costs and provides roadside assistance.

Unlike other car warranty providers, Warranty Direct gives you comprehensive cover while allowing choice of how much excess you want to contribute in order to reduce the overall cost of the warranty. Get your quote now in just 30 seconds and apply for an online car warranty cover in just a few clicks.

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