Batteries are a huge part of everyday life. They power a range of everyday essentials from our phones and computers to life saving medical equipment. Our vehicles are no exception, without a working battery your vehicle can’t even start!
No one is ever happy to end up with a dead battery, over 70% of batteries die before the 4-year marker. There are some things you can do to prolong to life of your battery. The easiest way to extend your batteries life is to keep it clean. If it’s getting dirty or greasy, let your service advisor know so it can be cleaned off. A dirty battery runs hotter and that shortens its life. If your battery terminals are corroded, let us know and we’ll take a look at that too. We can clean them, and if the battery cables have corroded, we can replace them.
Running your battery way down is bad for it too. Running your headlights or listening to music with the vehicle off can quickly deplete your battery. The typical battery can only take about 10 of those depletions before it dies completely.
When you’re running driving around town making lots of stops, your battery doesn’t get a chance to fully recharge just by driving around. That also shortens your battery life. You can hook up a good quality automatic battery charger at home from time to time. Eureka Brake & Automotive recommends charging once a month during the hot months and every three months during the colder months.
When it comes time to replace your battery you do have some options. Replacement time is a good opportunity to talk to your service advisor about how you use your vehicle so you can get the right battery for you.
Let’s start off with where you live, whether in town or up in the hills. Cold starting requires a lot of power from your battery. The colder the climate, the more power needed. This comes from a combination of cold sluggish oil and the slower chemical reaction within the battery itself when it’s cold. If you consistently are cold starting your vehicle talk to your service advisor about a battery with more Cold Cranking Amps (CCA).
Another thing to consider is reserve capacity. This is the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has under a particular load. If you’re driving mostly short stop and go trips (like errands) your battery may not have time to fully recharge while driving. You may need to tap into those reserves to get your vehicle started again. Also, modern vehicles have a lot of always-on systems that drain the battery, for example your security system, remote sensors, and other computers in your vehicle. These combined with your electronic entertainment system, sensors, heated seats and even chargers for phones, tablets and computers put a good amount of stress on your battery. You can ask for a battery with a higher reserve capacity to help meet your busy lifestyle.
Most standard batteries are “wet-cell” batteries, wet-cell batteries are filled with liquid battery acid. A safer option are Absorbed Gas Mat (AGM) batteries which are “non-spillable”. They have a longer life span and greater cycle life than we-cell batteries. Off-roaders like these batteries because their performance is not affected by steep inclines and odd angles. They are also well suited for RVs and Boats.
It’s also important to consider what type of warranty your battery has. Premium batteries come with a longer warranty. Warranties are typically either full-replacement or pro-rated (a partial credit is given for the failed battery depending on how far into the warranty period you are when it fails).
When it comes time to get your battery placed stop by Eureka Brake & Automotive and let one of our friendly Service Advisors help you find the best battery for your needs.
Safe driving from us here at Eureka Brake & Automotive!
Revised from Content Contributed by NAPA Service Assistant