An electrical system or a car battery malfunction can be really damaging. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up in a bad situation. For example, the worst scenario would be being stranded on your way to a crucial meeting because your car battery was dead. If you pay attention to your car battery and know what to do, you’re unlikely to find yourself in a predicament like this. A car battery typically lasts three to five years but driving styles and exposure to harsh conditions may reduce its lifespan.
Factors that may decrease the life of a battery
As mentioned earlier, some factors affect the lifespan of your battery. Here are some of them:
- Extreme heat
High temperatures can cause battery fluid to evaporate, resulting in internal structural damage.
- Extreme cold
Just as extreme heat can be damaging, extreme cold makes the engine oil thicker, requiring more energy to keep the engine running. As a result, the battery is forced to work even harder when capacity is at its lowest.
- Leaving electric accessories on
One bad common driving habit that people do is leaving the lights, air conditioner, or any other electricity-dependent car accessories open when we are parking. This act tends to drain the battery quicker than normal.
- Moisture and corrosion
Some electric shorts occur when there is moisture in the engine bay. This results in corrosion forming on some electrical connectors and battery terminals. When this occurs, it can result in shorts and added resistance, draining your car battery quickly.
- Faulty alternator
This is a no-brainer; if the alternator is defective, it causes the energy of the battery to drain more rapidly.
How car batteries work
Your vehicle relies on the car battery to provide electrical power for all of its components. Your vehicle, for example, wouldn’t run if it didn’t have battery power. A car battery converts chemical energy into electrical energy; voltage is provided to the vehicle’s components as needed and a continuous flow of electricity is maintained to keep the engine running. You can use the energy from your car battery to start your car or operate other electrical components such as the air conditioner.
When should you change your battery?
It is very easy to know when your battery needs to be changed. You have to look out for the following signs:
- The car is not starting or has a slow engine. This is a potential sign that your battery should be changed.
- A blotted or swollen battery case. Happens when the battery has been exposed to high temperature or overcharged.
- Low battery fluid. May result from a leakage when the battery is damaged.
- An unpleasant smell from your engine. Is a sure warning sign that should not be ignored. A damaged battery or an internal short can cause gas leaks. A leaking battery may be the culprit if you smell rotten eggs when you open the hood.
- Engine warning lights. This includes battery lights. When this is on, it often points to a charging system problem.
Any of these issues may indicate that your car’s battery has died or experienced problems.
Steps to remove your battery before installing a new one
Installing a car battery is a simple task, but it must be done correctly. There are basic essential steps that should be taken.
Step 1: Take safety precautions. Work in a well-ventilated area and always ensure you wear eye and hand protection.
Step 2: Turn off the car. Ensure your car engine is turned off, and you apply the parking brake.
Step 3: Locate the battery. It’s usually located in the engine compartment, but in some vehicles, it can be in the trunk area or even under a seat in the passenger compartment.
Step 4: Disconnect the ground cables and remove the battery restraint. The cable usually is red, and the battery restraint can be a bar across the battery.
Step 5: Remove the battery. Lift the battery and keep it leveled as you remove it from the vehicle.
After you’ve taken the steps above, you’ll need to install the new battery. It’s important to get it right, or you may end up causing damage. Seek a professional to ensure that the installation is correct. K & M Tire & Auto can professionally install Interstate Batteries in your vehicle. We also provide other services such as engine diagnostics, wheel alignment, oil and filters, tires, etc.