Have you ever tried to start your car in -20°F weather and nothing happens? This is likely because your battery has died. The primary function of a car battery is to supply energy for the starter motor, so if there’s no charge in your battery, your car won’t start. The automotive experts at Théo Gosselin pneus | mécanique in Laval, QC can help you if your battery needs to be charged or replaced.
How Does a Car Battery Work?
In order for your vehicle to operate, your electrical components require a constant supply of electricity, which is supplied by the car battery. Your vehicle will not start until a chemical reaction has taken place. Providing voltage to the starter, the battery transforms chemical energy into the electricity needed to run your vehicle. Your car's battery not only supplies the necessary energy to start the engine, but it also maintains engine power by maintaining a constant voltage.
Signs that Your Battery Needs to Be Replaced
Watch for these signs that may indicate that your battery needs to be replaced:
· You have a three-year-old battery - a car battery typically lasts between three and five years; therefore, it's crucial to keep track of your battery's age. You can check the four- or five-digit date code on the battery to determine its age.
· You've had to get your vehicle boosted - your need for a boost should be quite infrequent. You should get a new battery if you find yourself constantly requiring one.
· It takes a while for your engine to start – if your car is taking longer than normal to start, then you should consider replacing your vehicle’s battery.
· Your car won't start at all – if your car isn’t starting at all, then it is likely that your battery needs to be replaced.
· Low battery fluid level - car batteries often feature a translucent area of the shell, allowing you to monitor the battery's fluid level.
· Check engine light is on – sometimes a check engine light will come on if there is a problem with your battery.
· You see a swollen battery case – if your battery case looks swollen, excessive heat could have caused this and decreased your battery life.
· You smell rotten eggs – if there is a pungent smell coming from your vehicle’s battery, this could be from a battery leak. A battery leak can cause corrosion around the posts and wreck your battery.
We can check your battery’s voltage to help determine how long your battery will last and ensure it has no defects.
What Causes a Battery to Die?
A significant amount of battery failures are caused by deep draining, which occurs when you use the battery to power your car's audio, lights, or other electrical equipment when the engine is off. When your battery is used in this way for an extended period of time and then recharged through driving, the sulphur in the electrolyte solution may adhere to the lead and cause further harm to the battery plates. This can greatly decrease the life of your battery, so we recommend limiting the use of your vehicle’s electronic components when the engine is off.
How to Prevent Your Car Battery from Dying
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to keep your car battery in excellent condition:
· Avoid only making short trips - driving your car for 10 miles or more at least a few times per week will help keep your battery in good shape. When you drive, the alternator is working hard to recharge the battery and restore the energy used to start the engine. Your battery's lifespan will be shortened if you let your car idle in the driveway and only take short trips.
· Consistent battery testing - you should check your battery on a regular basis, especially throughout the winter. You can determine the battery's condition and whether a replacement might be necessary by having it tested regularly.
· Use a battery charger - if you need to use your car occasionally for short journeys but are unable to routinely take it on long outings, a battery charger may be a useful option. A battery charger is mounted underneath the hood, similar to a block heater, and a plug protrudes from the front of your car. To charge your battery and prevent it from running out, simply plug it into a regular electrical outlet.
The automotive experts at Théo Gosselin pneus | mécanique in Laval, QC are always here to help you with your vehicle battery testing and replacement services.