What do a television remote, a hearing aid, and your car have in common? They all need a battery! Your car’s engine, lights, radio, and computer system are all powered by a 12 volt lead acid battery. The electricity is produced by a chemical reaction between the lead and the acid.
Getting Things Started. You may be surprised to find that a battery really only starts your vehicle. When you turn on your car, the battery gives an initial jolt of electricity that fires up your engine. When your engine is on, the alternator makes all the electricity that your car needs. The alternator also keeps your battery charged…most of the time.
Hearing that Click. Most people recognize the ‘click’ sound that a dead battery makes. A battery goes dead for many reasons, including:
- A drain from lights or other devices that don’t turn off when the engine does.
- A poorly maintained or weak battery.
- Loose or corroded battery connections.
- Extreme temperatures.
- If your battery is dead, you’ll need to recharge it with a battery charger, or by jump starting your car.
Keeping Things Going. Car batteries generally need to be replaced every 3-5 years, but in the meantime, they need to be maintained. The battery terminals need to be kept clean, and the connections tight. You need to make sure there isn’t a drain on your battery when the car is off. Your car should be driven regularly.
If you have questions about your battery, or if you want us to make sure that it is working as it should, give us a call, or drop by. We’ll check the voltage, check your connections, and look for other issues. From the battery to the exhaust system, our goal is to make sure your vehicle reliably and safely gets you where you are going.
Read How to Care for Your Car Battery.
Fun Fact: Your lead acid battery has six cells. When your battery is fully charged, each cell produces 2.1 volts. If you do the math, a 12 volt battery a misnomer – it really is a 12.6-volt battery!