Often times, a car’s battery can go overlooked. We hop in our cars, start the engine, blast the A/C and turn up the radio without giving thought to the fact that all four of these features would not operate without the battery. That is, until we are faced with that dreaded moment, when we turn the key and nothing happens. Everyone knows that leaving your lights on overnight will drain your battery, but there are other ways to care for your battery that can extend its life and keep your radio blasting (along with several other things).
Most car battery commercials will make you think that only the winter is hard on your vehicles battery. The cold weather can cause your batteries charge capacity to drop, making engine starts to become a little tricky if your battery is older. But extreme heat can bring a handful of battery problems as well, such as increased corrosion. Furthermore, heat can cause electrolyte evaporation, which can leave some of the panels inside of the battery exposed, ultimately leading to the end of your battery. Refilling the electrolytes during the summer months is a great way to avoid this issue. Also, try to park in a garage as often as possible during the summer or winter.
Like we mentioned before, everyone has left the lights on in their vehicle at one point or another, causing the battery to drain overnight. These problems are easy to solve, because there is a physical clue that something is on in the vehicle. However, there are types of electric drain that can go undetected, until it is too late and the battery is dead. If you consistently have a dead battery, there is a good chance that you have an electrical drain that is undetectable to the naked eye, and need to have a mechanic test your electrical system.
Not something that is typically mentioned when it comes to battery life, but vibration can cause loose connections that can lead to battery drain. Whenever you open your hood to check your oil, give the battery brace a good shake and make sure it is tight and secure.
Most of the power in a battery is used to initially start the engine. After that is complete, it is typically the alternator (which generates power while the engine is running) that will run many of the electric systems in your car and recharge your battery while you are driving. This is where short trips can be dangerous for your battery. The alternator needs to run for a certain amount of time in order to recharge the battery after it has started the engine. Short trips do not allow ample time for this process to take place. If you take short trips frequently, you could be slowly draining the life out of your battery without even noticing.
Dirty connections can cause your battery to not provide power to your starter, making it impossible to start your engine. Furthermore, it could cause your battery to not receive a recharge from the alternator. Disconnect your battery and give the connections a good scrub with a wire brush every so often to avoid these issues.
If you think there may be an issue with your car battery, contact us at Master Tech Auto Repair. We will be happy to get you and you vehicle back on the road.