Car Battery

Car Battery

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What’s Under Your Hood?

The battery is one of the most important parts under the hood. It is the heart and soul of your car and helps it start up and run. On average, a battery should last 3 to 5 years. However, our driving habits, frequent short trips and weather conditions can affect the life of the battery. Too many accessories added and/or left on can also drain your battery.

How does this little box under the hood work? A car battery has two terminals — one is positive and one is negative. These terminals are connected to the car and power a range of your car’s important functions such as the air condition and radio. A chemical reaction puts your car in action. Your battery converts chemical energy into the electrical energy necessary to power your car, delivering voltage to the starter. Not only does your battery provide the energy required to start your car, that energy also keep your engine running.

Many new car batteries are considered “maintenance free” but they still need to be monitored for a positive charge. These batteries usually feature an indicator eye. If the eye is green or yellow, the battery is fully charged. If the battery is black, it is discharged.

Warning Signs

  • Slow engine crank: When you try to start the car, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start.
  • Check engine light: The check engine light or system indicator lights sometimes appears when your battery power is weak.
  • Low battery fluid level
  • Dirty or corroded battery terminals – stops the flow of electricity into the battery

Tips

  • Keep jumper cables in your car
  • Keep your car on a regular maintenance schedule
  • Have your battery tested every 6 months to test the charge. Most auto parts and auto service centers will perform this test for free or a nominal fee.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!