At the core of your cars electrical system is your Battery. Your Battery is responsible for powering your Stater Motor to get your car up and running, but also powers your electrical devices such as your Car Radio, Car Alarm, Headlights, Interior Lights, Central Locking, Dashcam and your Central Locking. A Car Battery has a service life of between 2 and 5 years, and most car owners will need a battery replacement over the life of the vehicle. Did you know there are differences between the various Car Batteries available?
There are a bewildering array of Car Batteries available, so choosing the right one can sometimes be a complicated task. Not only do you need the correct shape and voltage for your car, but there are usually several ratings available and many different brands. How do you know what to choose?
How a Car Battery works
It's useful to understand some basics about how a car battery is different from normal alkaline batteries you purchase for your torch or MP3 player. Rather than being made of a solid material, Car Batteries are made up of a collection of plates, submerged into an electrolyte solution. A chemical reaction releases electrons, which flow through the battery's conductors to generate electricity.
Older styles of Car Battery required regular top ups to replace the liquid electrolyte. Fortunately, modern Car Batteries come as a completely sealed unit, with little user intervention required.
If you accidentally leave your lights, radio or other accessories on, your Car Battery will slowly drain until it is no longer capable of starting the car. Using specialised equipment, an Auto Electrician is sometimes able to recharge a Car Battery, and while the Battery will never hold the same amount of charge, it will provide the owner with time to plan for a battery replacement.
Once a Car Battery is discharged past a certain point, a permanent change occurs due to a chemical reaction, and it will no longer hold a charge. A Car Battery in such a condition is considered "dead," and needs to be replaced.
Checking During Service
An Auto Electrician is able to check your batteries performance during a regular service. Special tools are used to understand how well a battery is holding charge, how well it is recharging with current supplied by the Alternator, and to estimate the remaining life of a Car Battery. By understanding the state of your battery, and Auto Electrician is able to recommend replacement before your battery fails, potentially leaving you stranded.
Car Battery Quality
As with most consumable products, there are a number of options available with varying price points and capabilities. At Complete Automotive Solutions, we recommend Car Battery brands we use ourselves, and have installed into hundreds of vehicles. Where there are capability options on the Car Batteries available for your vehicle, we will provide you with information and advice as to if, in our opinion, the additional cost is justified.