As good as it is to be eager to get on the road and behind the wheel, it is also of great import to know everything there is to know about your car in order to reduce/ evade annoying moments with your car.
One such important part is the Car Battery.
Knowing the basics will be of great help to the driver; knowing the things to look out for and what to do per time will save such a lot of stress.
To start with, an automotive battery is a battery which supplies electrical energy to a vehicle, it is recharged by the alternator which is the generator of a car and it converts mechanical energy into electrical power, it also supplies additional electric power to radio, lights, air conditioners, etc. and its main purpose is to get the car running, once the engine is running, electrical energy is supplied by the alternator.
It is important to note that when the engine is not running, the battery should read 12.6 volts at a full charge but when the engine is running, it should read 13.7-14.7 volts, if it is lower than 11.8 volts, it is an indication of battery failure or battery gone bad.
To check the voltage of the battery, one can make use of the multimeter. Also, if a battery indicates signs of acid leakage or terminals’ corrosion, it is also an indicator of a battery gone bad.
It is also of importance to read the information contained on the stamps on the batteries, it will provide the owner with information such as the month and year the battery was made and expiry date, most of the batteries have a lifespan of 3-6 years. Also, the battery has a date stamp code which gives the date the battery was made, this information comes in handy when purchasing a battery; it is good to generally avoid buying batteries that have been shelved for more than six months.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A Car Battery
When choosing a car battery, there are some factors that must be taken into consideration:
- Size: this refers to the height, weight, and length of the battery. Batteries come in different group sizes, made to fit a car’s battery tray. It is of great essence that the battery is tightly secured in the holder and not loose. Before purchase, it is important to refer to one’s car manufacturer’s manual in order to know the car’s specific battery group size, thereby helping one to make an informed decision. To help further, here are some specific group sizes for their models;
- Chrysler cars – size 34
- Latest models of Honda, Nissan, and Toyota – size 35
- Big-bodied Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury cars – size 65
- General Motors cars – size 75
- Age: the date the battery was ‘born’ helps to generally place its performance level; if a battery remains unused for more than 6 months, then it’s not considered as “brand new”. Remember to look out for the date codes stamp which contains the month and year of production usually indicated with a letter (standing for the month) and numerical (standing for the year).
- Brand: this refers to the trademark given to a certain product. Most batteries come with their manufacturer’s brand/name, therefore, purchasing the battery brand specified in the owner’s manual is the best bet but in situations of financial constraints, it is better to adhere to the specified requirement enclosed in the owner’s guide. In purchasing batteries, it is not advised to go for the cheapest ones as they may be loaded with defects and have low performance, buying such might lead to a frequent change of batteries which will incur more money than one was avoiding afore.
- Cold-Cranking Amps (CCA): this is responsible for measuring the battery’s capacity to start the car especially in extremely cold weather conditions. The car’s engine oil thickens and chemical reactions slow down during very cold periods and knowing the number of amps a battery will be able to support for 30 seconds at 0-degree temperature is very important. Therefore, choosing a battery with a higher number of CCA is better especially for vehicles being driven in cold climates from time to time.
Other tips on car batteries are:
- Learn how to install and remove batteries properly, it will cut costs, also, don’t install used batteries, it can be quite dangerous.
- Be sensitive, don’t ignore signs of battery trouble, prepare to purchase another one after three years of initial purchase.
- Know more about the warranty that covers your car’s battery- that is, if there is one- if it is total replacement within a period of years or partial reimbursement.
- Place the battery hold properly in order to secure the battery on its tray.