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What You Need to Know About Your Car Battery

Posted in Bigbox Service Tips

What You Need to Know About Your Car Battery

Your car's battery is a small but essential component that plays a crucial role in ensuring your vehicle starts reliably and runs smoothly. Here is everything you need to know about car batteries, from their lifespan to proper maintenance, to help you understand why they matter and how to take care of them. 

1. Weather Can Affect Your Battery 

Cold Weather:

Extremely cold temperatures can significantly impact your car's battery. The chemical reactions within the battery slow down in the cold, reducing its overall capacity. This means that in winter, your battery may not hold as much charge and can become weaker, leading to potential starting problems. 

Hot Weather:

On the flip side, hot weather can also be tough on car batteries. It can cause the battery fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure and potentially leading to battery failure.  

2. Car Batteries Should Be Checked During Your Regular Service 

During routine maintenance, ensure your mechanic checks your car's battery. They'll inspect it for signs of corrosion on the terminals, ensure the cables are securely attached, and measure its voltage and capacity. Regular service visits can help identify battery issues early and prevent unexpected breakdowns. 

It’s especially important to inspect your battery before winter and summer so that you’re sure it is ready for the changes in temperature.     

3. Lifespan 

Car batteries have a finite lifespan, typically ranging from 3 to 5 years. However, this lifespan can be influenced by various factors, including climate, driving habits, and maintenance. Extreme temperatures, frequent short trips, and inadequate maintenance can all shorten your battery's life.  

4. How to Properly Dispose of Them 

When it's time to replace your car battery, it's essential to dispose of the old one properly. Car batteries contain hazardous materials like lead and sulfuric acid, which can harm the environment if not handled correctly. Many auto parts stores and recycling centers accept old car batteries for recycling. Recycling not only prevents environmental harm but also allows for the reuse of valuable materials.  

5. Battery Will Die If You Don’t Drive Your Car 

If you leave your car unused for an extended period, your battery can slowly discharge over time. Modern vehicles have various electrical systems that draw a small amount of power even when the car is off, which can contribute to battery drain. To prevent this, consider using a battery maintainer or disconnecting the negative terminal if you won't be using your car for an extended period.  

6. Signs of a Failing Battery 

Recognizing the signs of a failing battery is crucial to avoid being stranded with a dead car. Here are some common symptoms: 

  • Slow Cranking: If your engine turns over slowly when you start the car, it may indicate a weak battery. 
  • Dim Lights: If your headlights and interior lights are noticeably dimmer than usual, your battery might be struggling. 
  • Electrical Issues: Frequent electrical problems, such as a malfunctioning radio or power windows, can also be a sign of battery trouble. 
  • Warning Lights: If your battery warning light on the dashboard illuminates, it's time to get your battery checked. 

Your car's battery is a vital component that deserves your attention. Weather, regular service, lifespan, proper disposal, driving habits, and recognizing signs of a failing battery are all essential aspects to consider. By taking care of your car battery and staying informed about its health, you can ensure reliable starts and smooth rides, reducing the risk of inconvenient breakdowns on the road. 

If you’ve noticed any issues with your car battery or know it’s been a while since your battery has been checked, get in contact with our team and make an appointment.   

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