When to Change Your Car Battery?
Published: 02/17/2011 by AutoShopit
Your cars battery is the most important part of the automobile, without which you cannot even start the car. It stabilizes, filters and provides power to the entire electrical network in the car. Hence keeping your battery safe is essential. But since they have limited shelf lives, at a certain point of time when the car has traveled thousands of miles you will have to change the car battery. Frequent engine stoppages and trouble in initially starting the car are a few symptoms which tell you to change the car battery. So it is important to know how often you should change your car battery.
How Often Should You Change Your Car Battery?
In order to ensure that your battery lives long, frequent checkups are very essential. Also buy batteries according to the climate of the place you live and drive. In a hot climate you generally need to add water once in a while, so buy unsealed ones. Even with all the maintenance, you need to change the car battery once every 3 years. However, circumstances could determine how often you should change a car battery, rather than the warranty. If your circumstances fall into one of the following categories, expect to change the car battery sooner.
1) When moving from hot to extreme cold climates
Every car battery has a “Cold Cranking Amp” rating, which defines its ability to start the engine in cold weather. The engine needs higher cold amperage to start the engine in cold weather. In normal conditions, the battery can start the engine easily, but as the exposure to extreme cold climate increases, there is a steady reduction in the engine’s power. So ultimately, there is not enough power to turn the flywheel, which is frozen due to harsh weather. If you are planning to shift from a hot place to an exceptionally cold place, this is the time to change the car battery.
2) Excessive redundant use
Most of the people tend to forget to switch off the headlights when not in use. This may drain all the power from the battery. Although the car can start from the power supplied to the engine by the alternator, such excessive needless use can certainly damage the battery. With such careless use, a time comes when you need to change the car battery.
3) When the casing of the battery is ruptured
Some accidents can severely damage the battery exterior. If left unattended, there may be dangerous leaks of chemicals. To avoid such a possibility, change the car battery as soon as possible.
4) Reduced capacity to hold charge
Starter is a powerful motor, which helps to start the engine. When you turn in the ignition key, the circuit between engine and starter is completed. This helps a small gear called bendix to connect to engine’s flywheel. With excessive use, bendix fails to do this. This is actually due to the weak battery that is unable to charge the starter. If this is the reason, the engine will not start and thus you know it is time to change the car battery.
Regular maintenance can help your car battery. You also need to know the above points to change the car battery at the right time to avoid difficulties. If you need more advice, speak to an expert mechanic or car battery specialist to ask specific questions