If you have ever suffered the panic of a weak or dead car battery, you’ll know what a frustration it is. If the battery dies for no obvious reason, it may be time for a replacement. Like any other battery, car batteries need to be replaced when they begin to wear out. Here are some battery facts that may help you decide if you need to replace the battery:
- The battery is a vital component of all cars. A car without a battery is like a human without a heart. Car batteries are made in different qualities. A good battery can last for over five years with proper care. However, battery failure can occur in as little as three years, depending on the usage, maintenance and seasonal temperatures. Repeated drain, such as forgetting to turn off your lights, can cause a battery to fail much earlier.
- Premature battery failures can be caused by defective charging systems that cause the battery to be over, or under-charged. Other electrical fault can also contribute to premature failure. If you are having battery or other electrical problems, get your vehicle checked out by your mechanic immediately. This may prevent total replacement of your battery along with your repair.
- Modern vehicles are equipped with a number of on-board computers that control and monitor various systems. These often place a constant small drain on batteries even when the vehicle is parked. It can mean that when the vehicle is left standing for a long period, when left in an airport parking lot for example, the battery can slowly discharge.
- For the DIY person, ensure you get the correct battery for your vehicle’s specification. Depending on the level of equipment fitted, the battery specification can vary. It may help to make a note of the brand and model numbers on the existing battery. However, be aware that if it’s not the original battery, it might not even be the correct battery type for the car. You can check the owner’s manual, and most parts stores have index books. Check with your mechanic or an expert when in doubt.
- More and more vehicles now come with “Stop-Start” technology. This significantly helps drive down fuel consumption, saving you money on fuel and lowering the impact of driving on the environment. “Stop-Start” technology places greater demands on car batteries. These batteries are specialty items for hybrids and all electrical vehicles and they need to be special ordered or replaced by your vehicle certified tech and can cost quite a bit more, however the advantage is saved gas.
- Just because the battery is under the hood, it doesn’t always mean it is easy to replace. The location of the battery differs depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Batteries are fitted in various locations under the hood, under seats, the trunk, and in some models on the sides of the engine. It’s always a great idea to have a certified technician install the battery so the warranty will be honored by the manufacturer.