Car Batteries: Everything You Need to Know

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Most of us are relatively clueless when it comes to car maintenance. We spend so much time simply learning how to operate the vehicle itself that we just want to get behind the wheel when we finally pass our test. But whether we purchase a brand new car for our first vehicle, or opt for a secondhand option that is a little older, it’s still a good idea to have a working knowledge of how cars actually work. This can help us to easily identify and rectify problems that may arise down the line. Now, there are various components that have to work all at once in order for a car to function properly and it would be nigh on impossible to address them all in just one article. So, for now, let’s focus on your car’s battery. Here’s everything that you need to know about car batteries!

What Role Does the Battery Play?

A car’s battery provides your car with the electricity which is necessary to power many of the different components within it. Your battery converts chemical energy into the electrical energy that is necessary to simply get your car started. It delivers voltage to the starter, so while your car’s battery may be small, it is an essential component of any working vehicle. While your car is in action, your battery works to stabilize the voltage, which is necessary to keep your engine running!

What Flattens the Battery?

Now, one of the most frequently asked questions about car batteries is “what flattens the battery”? It’s not surprising. Having a flat battery is a major inconvenience, as you won’t be able to drive your vehicle. This is particularly problematic if you were about to head somewhere that you need to be for a certain time, or if you’re already out and need to return home. So, what causes this? Well, while there are various mechanical problems that can interfere with the battery, the most common reasons for drainage tend to be down to human error. Perhaps you left your lights on. Maybe you left something plugged in and charging through the USB or 12v outlet. You might have left the heating on. Try to avoid all of these situations by being particularly vigilant and turning everything off before you exit the vehicle.

Do I Need to Get My Battery Changed?

A battery should last from three to five years. However, sometimes it will have to be changed sooner. Warning signs of battery faults include a slow engine crank, low battery fluid levels, a swelling or bloated battery case, a pungent rotting egg-like smell coming from the battery, and the check engine light displaying on the dash. Check in with a professional mechanic if you have any concerns regarding your battery’s health.

These are just the basics when it comes to car batteries, but hopefully, the above information has given you a brief understanding of how your car battery works, what causes it to drain, and when you might need to look into getting your battery changed!

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