Car battery failures are one of the leading causes of call outs for roadside assistance – many car owners simply fail to fully appreciate just how vital the role of the battery really is. Put simply, without a battery the car won’t start.
What Does the Car Battery Do?
The car battery is a rechargeable battery which supplies an electrical current to a motor vehicle, its main purpose is to feed the starter. The starter is a powerful electrical motor, its shaft carries a small pinion which engages with a large gear ring around the rim of the engine flywheel. The function of the starter motor is to crank the engine – when the engine begins to spin faster than the starter motor, the starter automatically disengages.
The car’s battery manages a range of devices, powering all the electrical components such as the ignition system, on-board computer, lights and windows etc.
How Long Does A Car Battery Last?
Battery life depends on a number of factors, such as maintenance and usage. However, on average a car battery will last anything between 3 to 5 years and in some cases a more distinguished brand may last up to as much as 6 years. It is easy to find out exactly how old your car battery is as each new car battery has a warranty which indicates exactly when it was manufactured.
How Do I Know If My Car Battery Needs Replacing?
There are number of possible signs that the car battery may be losing charge, things to look out for are included, but not limited to the following:
- Starting the engine may take longer than usual – as the battery fails, the engine will crank more slowly than usual.
- Loss of power to the electrical components, these may show signs of change and not work as well as expected on older cars, the lights may appear dimmer.
- Dashboard warning symbol – a battery warning sign may be an indicator of a failing alternator or damaged cable.
How Much Does A New Battery Cost?
The price of a new battery will very much depend on the make and model of the car – a garage/repair shop will be able to provide a quote.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Battery?
- Avoid leaving the car parked for long periods of time as this causes the battery to deteriorate sooner – this is especially important during exposure to extreme weather, such as snaps of cold.
- Drive the car frequently and avoid repeated short journeys.
- Avoid using any of the car’s electrical components, such as the air-con, heating, lights etc. while the engine is off.
- Check the car’s electrical system is in good working order.
- Visually inspect the battery at regular intervals.
- Protect the car from vibration – batteries are typically secured by a special hold down to prevent excess vibration whilst they are moving. Missing hold downs and rough travel can cause excess vibration which may ultimately shorten battery life.
- Always ensure your car is serviced regularly as this will help to identify and resolve any potential issues with any of the car’s components.
For more information on car battery replacement – contact Longmynd Service Station.