Car Battery Replacement Can Be a Gamble

A car’s battery can make your mechanic lose his passion for the auto repair profession. A clean, well maintained battery can look and test fine one day and the next day make you late for work, when it fails to start your car. On the other hand, an extremely derelict looking one can continue to start your car again and again.

So when is it time to replace the battery in your car? First, maybe for you it really doesn’t matter because it is not really a big deal. If you are up to the task, battery replacement is one job that can be handled safely once you have reviewed tips on the subject at Castrol USA . On the other hand if you are a member of an auto club offering battery replacement service why not let it fail and address the situation when it happens?

But if you have a type A personality this approach is probably not going to work. So the natural course would be to take a proactive stance towards battery replacement. Throw away the voltmeter and abort plans to load test the battery, instead check the calendar on your cell phone and compare today’s date to the date the battery was replaced.

If you didn’t buy the battery, estimate its remaining life by checking the catalog number shown on the battery which usually includes the warranty period. For instance, a Delco 786YR battery carries a 72 month warranty while NAPA’s 7578 version is expected to last 75 months. By the way the 78 part of the catalog number is the BCI group which is the type of battery that you need. If this is a DIY project read Battery Codes: The Way to Select a Car Battery for help with making sure you have the right one for your car.

There are a number of things you should know when considering the purchase of a new battery. The first is that the battery is only one component of the electrical system that is in charge of starting your car and supplying electrical power to run the various accessories such as the wiper motor and the heater fan. With the alternator there to recharge it, the battery is usually up to the job. The point is that the energy in the battery is not endless and without a functional alternator a battery is only as good as its reserve capacity which usually between 80 and 120 minutes.

The reserve capacity (RC) is indicated on the battery and is meant as an estimate of the time your car and its accessories can run off the battery in the absence of an alternator. If this happens to you be sure to shut down as many accessories as safely possible, like the daytime running lights or sound system to extend the life of the battery and raise the likelihood that you will reach your destination.

Most car owners associate battery failure with winter weather but actually your battery dislikes any extreme temperature. The Car Care Council says that extreme heat is the real villain in the degradation of a car’s battery as rising temperatures evaporate battery fluid and components like internal voltage regulators fail in summer heat causing the battery to overcharge. On the other hand, cold weather makes the job of the battery more difficult as motor oil becomes thicker and makes it harder for the battery to start the car.

Does battery replacement sound like playing the lottery? In a way it is, so the options remain – either be preemptive or “let the chips fall where they may.”

Hot Weather the True Culprit Behind Car-Battery Trouble, CARCARE.ORG

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