Your Car’s Battery – A Start Up Guide

Most of us take our vehicles for granted. We turn the key or push a button, the engine starts, and then the car goes. Your car is a big investment, however, and it really does help to know a bit about the inner workings, starting with the battery, which turns chemical energy into electricity that gives power to various parts of your vehicle.

Battery Parts. The outside of a car battery is a plastic box with a red positive and a blue negative terminal. Inside are six cells, each holding sets of positive and negative metal plates called electrodes. The positive plates are covered in lead oxide and bring electrons in. The negative plates are covered in lead, and they release electrons. The plates rest in a chemical solution of 65% water, and 35% sulfuric acid.

Battery Works. To produce a charge, the negative plates in the battery react with the positive plates, and the electrolytes conduct electricity from one cell to another, until there are over 12 Volts of power ready to work.

Your car battery provides electricity to make lights high, seats to move, radios to sing, and air conditioners to cool. Its most important function, however, is to start the car! After the engine is started, the fuel system takes over and keeps it going.

Battery Recharge. The cool thing about the car battery is that once your car starts, it is recharged by the alternator, which sends electrons through the negative terminal, reverses the chemical reactions, and recharges the battery.

Dead Battery. There are several reasons that your car battery may die, but even with the best of care, your battery will eventually wear out. The rule of thumb is to get a new one every three years. Your mileage may vary.

At Norris Automotive, we understand batteries, and we can spot issues, tell you what to do to fix them, and how to avoid problems in the future. We can also tell you when your battery needs to be replaced.

If you’ve started to think your battery needs attention, stop by Norris Automotive. We’ll make sure that your battery is in tip top condition, ready to start your vehicle, and take you and your family wherever you want to go!

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