Not so many years ago no experienced motorist would be without a car battery charger lurking somewhere in the garage or shed. How many of today’s car owners can still say that? In fact, it would be interesting to know how many even know the exact location of the battery, never mind how to charge it. Automotive technology has brought us so many things but has also been responsible for the decline in knowledge about how cars work.
The Car Battery
The battery is, arguably, the single most important component of a vehicle. It is the beating heart that supplies the electrical power to the starter motor, the lights, the ignition system and the high-tech gadgets we take for granted. In this day and age battery science has come a long way, evidenced by the rise of the electric car, and modern batteries are to a large degree maintenance free. There are however circumstances whereby they can let you down; often at the most inconvenient times.
1. Those check engine and warning lights on the dashboard are there for a reason. Cars no longer have separate ammeter gauges which indicate the status of the battery, so if a warning light appears, find out why.
2. It takes a lot of power to fire up a car and a failing battery will usually mean difficulty in starting. This is due to the battery not having enough charge to motivate all the components in the engine. Loss or dimming of lights is another indicator.
3. Corrosion around terminals or any bulging in the casing are indicators of poor battery health. By making visual checks during routine maintenance, the symptoms can be spotted early.
4. An unpleasant smell reminiscent of bad eggs after shutting down the engine is a sign of damaged battery cells.
5. A faulty alternator means the battery is not getting charged during vehicle operation and with all the electrical requirements of modern cars this means breakdowns sooner rather than later. The same goes for loose connections.
Fortunately, many of these problems are rare in the 21st Century but they exist, particularly in older cars. It pays to be aware and ensure that all car components are regularly serviced.
Those car owners from years gone by would think nothing of simple battery jobs like topping up electrolyte or cleaning terminals. For the most part modern cars have sealed, no maintenance units to save us the trouble but that doesn’t mean they can’t go wrong and this can be from lack of use or simple old age. If a car is little used then the battery won’t get a regular charge; conversely if the car is a high mileage runner it will be working hard. Is it any wonder then that they run out of power. Fortunately, the solution is simple. Get a new one.
For most mainstream cars a new battery won’t break the bank. Changing the unit every few years could be argued to be good policy in the search for trouble-free motoring. The local motor factors or tyre service will fit one in minutes. Job done. In the meantime buyers who choose a car from one of the many and various vehicles we have in stock can rest assured that battery issues won’t be a problem because all our cars
get a full AA inspection
before being listed.