EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAR BATTERIES

Car batteries are the lifeforce of your vehicle. It’s what powers your car and keeps it moving, so it’s important to make sure you look after it as the last thing you want is for your battery to die.

Lights, heaters and wipers put high demands on the car battery. If your driving is mainly dark rush-hour trips, the battery will give out eventually.
Batteries rarely last longer than five years. Replacing one near the end of its life can save a lot of time and inconvenience at the side of the road.

How do I know if I need to replace my battery?

A slow starting engine
Over time, the components inside your battery will wear out and become less effective. When this happens it takes the battery longer to create a charge for the starter and you’ll have to wait a few extra seconds for the engine to turn over. If this starts to become a frequent occurrence, it might be worth checking out your battery.

Dim lights and electrical issues
The battery powers all of the electronics in your car including lights, radio and your dashboard computer. If you’re noticing the electronics in your car are struggling to run at their best performance, it’s possible your battery is losing charge and can’t power everything at once. The more things you plug into your car whilst driving, the faster your battery will die.

A bad smell
If there’s a bad, rotten egg type smell that appears when you open the hood of your car, it might be that your battery has experienced some damage or that it might be leaking gas. Take it in to get checked ASAP if this happens and replace the battery if necessary.

The check engine light is on
The check engine light can mean just about anything and whilst some of us might ignore it, it could be coming on because your battery is running out of power. It’s best to check your manual and get your battery tested by a mechanic.

The battery case has changed shape
Exposure to extreme environments such as extreme heat and cold can cause the battery case to become misshapen and the battery to swell and crack. If your battery is anything but rectangular, chance are it isn’t working properly.

Corrosion on your connectors
If you’re noticing that the metal parts of your battery are covered with a white ashy substance, your battery has a corrosion issue. Corroded terminals (the positive and negative connections at the top of the battery) can lead to voltage issues and trouble starting your vehicle.

Your battery is old
Car batteries typically last 3-5 years. Climate, electronic demands and driving habits all play a role in the lifespan of your battery. It’s a good idea to get them checked every 3 years just to be safe.

Below are a few tips to get the most from your battery:
• Avoid running electrical systems any longer than necessary – turn the heater fan down and switch the heated rear window off once windows are clear.
• If the car stands idle most of the weekend a regular overnight trickle charge is a good idea to give the battery a chance to revive.
• Turn off non-essential electrical loads like lights, rear screen heater and wipers before trying to start the engine.
• Use the starter in short five-second bursts if the engine doesn’t start quickly, leaving thirty seconds between attempts to allow the battery to recover.

Pop in for a free battery check up today, we are always happy to help!

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