Affinity Auto’s Guide To Battery Maintenance, Testing & Replacement
Eventually your car battery will fail and you will need to replace it. In fact, 70% don’t even make it four years. However to make your battery last a little longer, perform a battery service by having it tested, terminals cleaned, and the terminals tightened once per year. Also driving the car regularly (3-5 times a week min) for over 20 minutes at a time will also extended the life of the battery.
It’s all about the flow of electrical power. When you start your car, the battery uses power to get your engine cranking. As your engine runs, your alternator generates electricity to run all your electrical systems: like lights, a half dozen computers, anti-lock brake system, traction control, power windows, electronic fuel injectors, stability control, air conditioning, transmission servos – the list goes on. Any leftover electricity goes to recharge your car battery. Then you turn on your radio and seat heaters; maybe plug in your cell phone and computer; the kids watch a DVD and pretty soon there isn’t much extra electricity to go back into the battery.
Now, if you were on a long UT road trip, no sweat – you’d have plenty of time to fully recharge your battery. But not if you’re making stops around Bountiful. Every time you start your car, your battery takes that big hit again. Multiple starts – multiple hits. By the time you get home, you have less than a full charge.
When the battery is continuously in a discharged state, it loses its ability to fully recharge. This starts a downward spiral in your battery life. Now when your battery is on its way to getting this bad, your alternator is working overtime trying to keep it charged – which causes the alternator to wear out prematurely. A lot of experienced technicians suggest replacing your battery after five years, even though it hasn’t yet failed, as a maintenance item to extend alternator life. Having your battery tested can also add to the life of the cars alternator and electrical system.
Now, there is something you can do to help your battery last longer by hooking up a battery charger once a month in the summer and every three months in winter. This will ensure your car battery routinely has a full charge. You can do this less often in the winter because the electrochemical process slows down when it’s colder and less damage is done when your battery is low. Computerized battery chargers are real easy to use because they monitor and control the charging rate to keep the battery from overheating while it’s charging.
We recommend that you schedule a FREE BATTERY PERFORMANCE TEST with us, to test your battery so you know how much life is left. If it’s good but needs a maintenance service, we suggest a battery service for $24.99 to get it cleaned up and make sure the connections and cables are good. If it’s looking like you ought to replace it, we can help you with a battery that’s right for your car and driving needs.
We sell a complete line of NAPA Premium batteries that come with a 75 month and 84 month warranties. With the purchases of a new battery from Affinity Auto we will have one of our ASE certified technicians install it for FREE (most models) 801-292-1331
Today’s vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos.
Plus there are all the family car engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. And of course, summer heat can take a real toll on battery life. Fortunately, battery technology has given drivers resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is car batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your car. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have developed a leak.
Replacement batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some cars have limited space that requires a specially shaped battery to fit. Larger engines require more powerful batteries to get them started. If you live in a cold climate you will need a more powerful battery because engines are harder to start when it is cold.
batteries come in “good”, “better”, and “best” grades. More expensive batteries may have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. Ask your considerate Affinity Auto service advisor to test your battery and advise you on how much life it has left. We also offer battery service, trip inspection and battery service.
Battery Replacement In Bountiful
Car batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things car owners should know when looking for a new car battery: one is cold cranking amps and the other is reserve capacity.
Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold family car engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live around Bountiful, specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors are that the colder an engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with. The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient in the cold.
So the colder it gets in Bountiful, more power is needed, but the available power drops.
If you live where it’s cold, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s moderate or hot. You should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as the manufacturer recommends, but may want to upgrade at Affinity Auto if you live where it gets real cold.
An important note: Batteries may also list the Cranking Amps – CA – number. It is the Cold Cranking Amps – or CCA – that is the important number here. CCA is the number to use in your comparisons.
Now with all this talk of cold temperatures in Bountiful, it’s important to note that heat is the real enemy of long battery life. In other words, the damage that’s done over the hot summer months in Bountiful shows up with the increased demands on the battery when the weather turns cold.
Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off. So the power drawn by the family car security system, the remote start system, even the power the family car computers require to maintain their memory.
Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around. You’re not driving long enough for the battery to recover the energy it used to start the family car engine.
So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer and upgrade if you need more. Talk with your considerate Affinity Auto service advisor about options. If you need more from your battery, a larger capacity battery may be called for.
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