Car & Truck Batteries
Your car’s electrical system powers everything from the ignition and fuel systems to accessories such as your radio, headlights, fog lights and wipers. The electrical system is, in turn, powered by the engine. The following is a brief overview of the electrical system that makes transportation possible:
When your car’s engine is off, the battery provides the required power to the rest of the system, as well as during start-up (cranking). It also supplements the power from the charging system during periods of high demand. Composed of a series of lead plates submerged in a 35% sulfuric acid/65% water solution, your 12-volt battery houses a chemical reaction that releases electrons through conductors, producing electricity which is then channeled into your vehicle’s electrical system.
The charging system is the life force of your vehicle’s electrical system, It consists of three main components: the belt-driven alternator, various electrical circuits, and a voltage regulator. The alternator supplies power to the electrical system and recharges the battery after your car has started. Just like it sounds, the voltage regulator controls the voltage, keeping it within the operating range of the electrical system.
This system consumes more electrical power than any other component in your car. The starting system consists of three components which work in tandem: the ignition switch, the starter relay or solenoid, and the starter motor. The ignition switch controls the starter solenoid, which activates the starter motor. The starter motor then turns the engine until your car starts.
Your Car’s Electrical Charging System.
Your vehicle’s battery primarily helps to start the engine. However, it also stores energy generated by the alternator, and runs the secondary electrical systems or additional components in your vehicle. To help you take care of your battery we recommend these simple preventative maintenance measures each time you pop the hood:
- Remove corrosion
- Check the alternator belt tension and wear
Here’s how it works:
Turning the ignition causes a small amount of current to pass through the starter relay, causing a stronger current to flow through the battery cables and into the starter motor. The starter motor cranks the engine, forcing the piston to create enough suction that draws a fuel and air mixture into the cylinder. The ignition system creates a spark that ignites the mixture and your engine starts.
Did You Know About Battery:
Car batteries last longer in cold climates than in warm. Cold starts put a greater demand on batteries, but heat is a big factor in car battery life. We can test you battery for how well it holds a charge and to estimate how much life it has left. At Willoughby Hills Auto Repair in Willoughby Hills we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 440-497-0999 and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road.
Willoughby Hills Auto Repair Tech Question On Your Battery
Willoughby Hills Auto Repair Tech Question:
I’m David in Willoughby Ohio. For the last year and a half I’ve had some battery problems. I had trouble starting my car so I bought a new battery at a parts store in Willoughby OH. At first everything was fine, then about six months later I had problems starting my car again, so I got a new battery. Again, everything was fine for another five or six months then I had trouble starting my car again. I went to get another battery and the parts guy said why do you need another battery, weren’t you in a few months ago? So he tested my battery and it was OK. Apparently I’ve been replacing good batteries. What’s wrong with my car?
Willoughby Hills Auto Repair Answer:
Look, we can’t fault David for not knowing what’s wrong with his car – he just didn’t have enough important information. And frankly, neither do I.
Let’s talk about where our friend went wrong and what he could have done. First, he was right to suspect his battery. But if he had asked to have his car battery tested when he first went to the auto parts store, he would have found out that his battery was still good and would have known he needed to take his car into Willoughby Hills Auto Repair for further diagnosis.
There could be any number of reasons his car wouldn’t start. Unfortunately, he had a year and a half of unnecessary expense and inconvenience and still doesn’t know what’s wrong. When you find yourself in a situation like David, do yourself a favor and talk to a professional at Willoughby Hills Auto Repair in Willoughby Hills. Your caring service advisor can get you on the right track.
When that car battery finally gives up the ghost and it’s time to replace it – brilliant Willoughby Ohio motorists have options. First, let’s be clear that you should always get a replacement battery that meets or exceeds your automobile manufacturer’s specifications. But, you may have some critical special needs. When they first put the battery into your vehicle at the factory, the car maker had no idea where it would end up over its life or how YOU would use it where you drive in OH. That battery was chosen to meet the needs of a wide range of motorists. Replacement time is a good opportunity to meet with your technician about how you use your vehicle so you can get just the right battery.
An obvious criterion is where you live – whether in Willoughby Hills or somewhere else. Cold starts require 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 is cold. If this sounds like you, meet with your Willoughby Hills Auto Repair service specialist about a battery with more Cold Cranking Amps.
The next consideration for Willoughby Hills drivers is reserve capacity. This is the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has under a particular load. If your driving is mostly short stop-and-go trips around Willoughby Hills, your battery may not have time to fully recharge while driving. You may need to tap into those reserves to get started again. Also, modern vehicles have a lot of always-on systems that draw on the battery – things like the security system, remote sensors, and vehicle computers. These combine with the electronic entertainment system, sensors, heated seats, and even chargers for phones, tablets, and computers to put a fairly high load on the battery. Your Willoughby Hills Auto Repair service specialist can give you his thoughts on the reserve capacity you might need.
Most standard batteries are “wet-cell” meaning they are filled with liquid battery acid. New Absorbed Gas Mat (AGM) batteries are “non-spillable” which makes them safer for Willoughby Hills motorists. They also have a longer life span and greater cycle life than wet-cell batteries. Willoughby off-roader’s like these batteries because their performance is not affected by steep inclines and odd angles. They are also well suited for Willoughby Hills RV and boat owners.
Lastly, a vital consideration for Willoughby Hills motorists is warranty. Premium batteries generally come with a longer warranty. Warranties are typically either full-replacement (the battery is replaced if it fails within the warranty period) 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 the battery is replaced, your caring Willoughby Hills Auto Repair service professional may commonly need to recalibrate some accessories such as power windows and sunroofs. Also, some vehicles may need to have the battery registered into the engine computer.
Your Willoughby Hills Auto Repair technician can help you know how to decide which battery is right for you and your vehicle.