So how often does your car battery need to be replaced? You might be surprised to know that it’s roughly 3 to 4 years. This is just the average and many batteries fail earlier and some even later. So, to make sure you don’t get surprised by a sudden no start condition. At Westside Transmission & Automotive our certified mechanics check your battery every time you come in for any auto repairs or maintenance. Even if your battery is testing OK, we’ll still recommend replacing it around 4 years old just to make sure you always get where you’re going; nobody wants to be left stranded!
AUTO BATTERY REPLACEMENT SERVICE WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST
All vehicles need a good battery to start and run well. The latest vehicles increasingly rely on computers to run every electrical system, and these computers need clean, consistent power to not only allow your car to start but keep running. Car batteries that are old, weak and leaking acid can cause serious damage to electrical components like wiring and computers.
SIGNS OF A WEAK AUTOMOTIVE BATTERY:
- Engine cranks slower than normal
- Clicking sound when turning the key to start instead of the normal starter sound
- Headlights dim when using electrical devices like rear defroster or blower fan
- Visible liquid or corrosion build up around battery terminals
- Bulging battery case on the sides
- Date code on battery case shows 4 years old
- Battery test is showing low Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) rating below 70% of original
TEMPERATURES AFFECT YOUR VEHICLE BATTERY
While it’s true that winter is a common time for car batteries to die, some sources suggest that more batteries die in the summer than in the winter. The science behind lead-acid battery technology shows how both hot and cold weather can be unkind of the life and operation of a car battery.
Anytime your car battery is operated outside the optimum temperature range, the fact is that there is a greater chance it will fail, whether it’s freezing cold or boiling hot outside. In the winter, one huge thing you can do in the winter is to keep your battery charged. According to Interstate Battery, a weak battery will start to freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, while a fully charged battery won’t freeze until about -76 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, it’s also a great idea to have your battery load tested, the electrolyte checked, and the connections checked for any signs of corrosion before the winter chill comes around.
You can help your battery last longer in the summer with a little preventative maintenance or catch a low battery before it leaves you stranded. You can trust the ASE certified technicians at Team Ryan Automotive to be at your service.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT STARTING, CHARGING & BATTERIES?
Your vehicle’s charging and starting systems are engaged in regulating multiple electrical processes to start your vehicle's engine and keep it running. The starting system consists of the battery, a starter motor, starter solenoid and cables responsible for starting the engine, while the charging system consists of an alternator and voltage regulator, battery and cables. The charging system is responsible for routing energy throughout the entire electrical process while sustaining the battery’s charge. The battery supplies the electric power necessary to start the vehicle. This process starts when you turn the ignition. Then, the starting system sends power from the battery to the starter solenoid to the starter motor, which turns the engine to begin the internal combustion process. The alternator powers the other electrical components in your vehicle while the regulator controls the voltage supplied to each component. The regulator also ensures that the alternator maintains the battery’s charge so that the entire cycle can continue.
YOUR VEHICLE STARTING SYSTEM
The battery supplies electricity to all the electrical system components, including the essential power required to start your vehicle. The starting system consumes more electrical power than anything else in your car, which is why most battery failures are noticed when you come out to start your car. The starting system typically consists of three components working in tandem with each other: the ignition switch, the starter relay (or solenoid), and the starter motor.
Slow cranking engines, dim headlights, and other electrical concerns can sometimes point to a problem with your vehicle’s starting and charging system. Because the battery is required for the electrical charge needed to start the rest of the electrical system, a weak or dead battery can also prevent your car from starting. If a jump start refuses to revive your battery and the starting system, our staff may need to take a closer look at the other components of the starting and charging system to determine whether you need a starter replacement or an alternator replacement. All components within your vehicle’s starting and charging system are necessary to ensure proper working order, and one bad link between them can render the entire electrical process useless. If you experience problems with starting your vehicle or maintaining its power even after trying a jump start, then allow our service staff to perform a starting and charging system check on your vehicle today.
CHARGING SYSTEM OF YOUR CAR
The charging system is responsible for replacing the lost energy back to the battery from starting the vehicle. It also supplies supplementary power when driving in high demand situations at night with all your lights and power accessories on like defrosters and windshield wipers. The charging system normally consists of two main components: the alternator and the belt that drives it. The alternator system is especially vulnerable to wear damage since it is always turning many times faster than the engine and functions in a high heat environment.
All these components require occasional attention and maintenance or auto battery replacement. It’s not always just your battery that needs to be replaced; if any of these electrical components fail, the entire system needs to be tested to make sure no other damage has occurred.
BATTERIES: TYPICAL WEAR AND TEAR
Driving habits such as frequent start and stop cycles will cause more wear on the entire electrical system than a longer drive:
- Driving style
- Weather conditions
- Vehicle age
- Excessive electrical draws like in-vehicle entertainment systems
- Running power accessories without the engine running
If you suspect that your vehicle may be having battery issues or issues related to your charging system. Call us today at 310-473-2235 or come by 2050 Cotner Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025 Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. Check out next week’s blog post about Daylight Savings Time Road Safety.
Until then, thanks for reading!
Laura @ Westside Transmission & Automotive