January 9, 2018

Proper Battery Care in Winter

Having a reliable vehicle is important, especially in the winter. You will want to make sure that the battery is in the best condition possible, so it is able to start your vehicle effectively. In the winter, there is an increase in failure for the battery. This is because, when your vehicle gets so cold, it requires more power from the battery to get the engine going. Therefore, if for whatever reason your battery has not been properly charged then your car is more likely not to start. It should also be considered that there are a number of other factors that could put strain on your battery. This can include if you have left your car lights, radio or heater on while the car’s engine was off then this will all require energy from your battery. You should always make sure that all of these things are turned off when your car’s engine is switched off. Similarly, it is best to make sure that they are off before starting up your car so as to reduce the amount of power that is required of your battery upon start up. During the winter months you are likely to be using your lights, fans, windscreen wipers and rear wipers more often, all of which require power from the battery and will slow down its ability to charge. If your car fails to start first time around, you may still be able to get it up and running. Try to start the ignition in five second bursts and allow around 30 seconds between attempts. You also need to think about how old your battery is. Over time, batteries lose their ability to charge and eventually it will get to the point where it will no longer be able to hold charge at all. Therefore, if your battery is around five years old then it may be time to change it so as to avoid battery failure. If you notice an issue with your vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment with us. We can inspect the vehicle and the battery to ensure they are in the best condition possible. By having the battery working efficiently, you can help to improve the chance that the vehicle is reliable this winter.
September 14, 2017

Inspecting the Battery Regularly is Important

  The battery is an essential part in order for your vehicle to run. The alternator of the vehicle helps by charging the battery. This will then allow it to operate and run properly. Without either of these two components you would not be able to run the vehicle. Your battery provides electricity to start the engine, ignite the fuel, operate the lights and heater, as well as any other mechanisms. Batteries are lead-acid based and come in a variety of voltages, depending on what your car specifically needs according to the owner’s manual.     Car batteries have components made of different materials. Materials used to improve the cathode, anode, and electrolyte performance are nickel, magnesium, cobalt, and silicon tubes. The anode is rich in lithium ions and the chemical reaction between the electrolyte and anode cause ions to move to the cathode. This process causes the electric current that helps the car run. Lithium iron phosphates make up the cathode. These increase the electric range and performance of the vehicle. These components are essential for helping all elements work together to create the motion of the vehicle.     The leading cause of vehicle breakdowns is battery failure. There are ways to prevent frequent breakdowns and to keep your engine working efficiently. If a battery is being undercharged it causes sulfating. This means that there is a chemical breakdown of battery electrolytes. When this occurs, it reduces the battery’s ability to hold a charge and provide energy. When a battery is not used over a period of time it loses its electrical charge. Periodically using or starting a vehicle can prevent this issue. Heat can cause batteries to fail as well. When temperatures reach over 100 degrees, the rate of internal discharge increases and causes battery malfunction. This can happen over a short period of time with high heat.     It is important to do everything possible to prolong the life of the battery. One way of doing this is to make sure all of the electronics are shut off before turning off the engine. Common things to check are the headlights, radio, air conditioner, and G.P.S. device. Turning these off can help keep the battery from being drained. It also can help minimize the risk of damaging electronics while starting the car. Corrosion can interrupt the electrical current and lead to failure. Loose cables can also lead to an interruption in electrical current. Always make sure the cables and brackets that hold the battery are tight. If you notice that the vehicle is becoming difficult to start, make sure to contact us.  
March 30, 2017

Knowing if the Battery is Losing Charge

  The battery is an important part of your vehicle because without it, your vehicle does not even start. The battery is usually taken for granted until it begins to show signs of an issue. The battery for your vehicle should be inspected on a regular basis. You can also bring in your vehicle so we can inspect the battery for you. If the battery is not inspected regularly, it can wear out more quickly. There are some signs you can notice if your battery is starting to wear out.     When you start your vehicle and turn the ignition key, the battery will supply the power to the starter. From there it cranks the engine quickly for a few seconds until it turns over and starts. If you notice your vehicle is starting more slowly than usual, it may be a sign there is an issue with the battery. If this happens frequently, make sure to bring it in so we can inspect the battery over and replace it if necessary. Another issue with a dead battery is that your vehicle will not start at all. You can jump-start your vehicle, but this is usually only a temporary fix. This is the sign of a failing battery, and it may need to be recharged or replaced.     If you cannot turn on the headlights or interior lights, your vehicle may have a decrease in accessory power. If the lights come on but appear dim, the battery may be starting to fail. If you notice the dim lights as you try to start it make sure to turn off all the accessories. This way all the power generated from the battery is being sent to start your vehicle. The battery having small amounts of power can be caused from several things. It is always best that if you notice dim lights on your vehicle and poor battery power, to bring your vehicle as soon as you can. With the battery and connection points being inspected, we can diagnose what the issue may be, and advise you on the options you have.     Sometimes you may be able to tell if the battery is bad by just looking at it. Make sure the terminals are not broke or damaged. Also make sure the terminals are clean. The battery’s connections should be clear of any dirt and dust buildup. Also make sure there is no corrosion on the battery anywhere. The corrosion can lead to battery failure. Make sure there are no cracks or ruptures in the battery case. This can lead to the battery leaking. Cracks, splits, and punctures in the battery will not only cause it to stop working, but it will also be safety concern. If there is an issue with the battery, make sure to contact us, and we can inspect the battery for you.
December 20, 2016

Having a Battery in Good Condition

  A battery that has a clean connection and is fully charged can help benefit you and your vehicle. If the battery is starting to get weak and it is hard to start your vehicle, this may be an indication your battery is starting to fail. When you bring your vehicle in for regular scheduled maintenance inspections, a battery test can be done to determine what condition your battery is in.   The most important thing you can do to help maintain your battery is to make sure it is clean. It is equally important to make sure all of the battery’s components are clean and clear as well. If the battery is showing signs of corrosion, a replacement may be needed in the near future. If any dirt or debris on the battery starts to form, it may cause the battery to drain. This is especially common in tight spaces of the battery. It is also important to clean the terminals of the battery where the connections are. The harness clamps should also be looked at and cleaned if needed.   An important part to a well working battery is to make sure it is holding a charge properly and efficiently. You should have your battery brought in to have it tested if you start to notice that your vehicle is starting slow, or does not start at all. It is possible to have a battery that is overcharged, which will result in it not working as well or efficient as it should be. This can be hard to diagnose because an overcharged battery will act like a battery that is losing power.   Without the battery for your vehicle, you will not even be able to start your vehicle. If your battery fails when you are traveling, it can be a stressful and inconvenient issue. By keeping the battery in good condition and making sure it, as well as all of its components, is clean you can help to preserve the life of the battery as long as you can. If you are experiencing any issues with starting your vehicle or the battery losing charge, bring your vehicle in so we can inspect the battery to see what the issue might be.