Correct Car Battery Maintenance
Maintenance is crucial to extending the life of your car battery
Regular testing and inspection will help to maximise your battery's life and performance. Here are some simple things you can do yourself:
- Keep your battery clean
- Inspect the terminals
- Top Up
- Check & charge
Built up dirt around the top and terminals can cause unwanted discharge through the grime.
Check all connectors, screws and cables for breakage, damage, corrosion or loose connection.
Apply a thin layer of high temperature grease to the connectors and posts for added protection from corrosion and the elements.
Check the battery case for any signs of damage or warping as this may indicate overheating or overcharging has occurred.
Check that the battery's fluid levels are above the plates. Top them up to the correct level (marked on the battery) with demineralised or distilled water.
If your car doesn't seem to start as quickly as it should and you have maintained your battery correctly then you may have a different problem, perhaps a faulty alternator. Check it with a volt metre to be sure and charge it if appropriate. If the battery holds the charge and everything seems ok, but runs down again in the next week or month then perhaps you have another issue. Take it in and get it checked out to be sure.
We sell quality new car batteries!
At Everything Automotive we supply a large range of replacement car and automotive batteries and are happy to discuss the requirements of your vehicle in selecting a suitable replacement. We'll even install it for you! Give us a call today on (07) 4054 6661. We look forward to serving you.
Buying a new battery?
If you have checked your battery and it simply won't hold charge then it may be at the end of it's life. For most of us it will be a simple matter of replacing it with the same type of battery recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle. But for some it may be a decision worth a little investigation. Have you recently added a stereo system with large speakers or are running a lot of electrical equipment? Did you get a larger starter motor installed? Have you had any modifications to your engine done? Do you do a lot of towing?
What are some things to consider when choosing a new battery?
- CA or MCA
- Always check your vehicle manufacturer's requirements
Cold Cranking Amps (amperes) is the result of a standardised test in which a fully charged battery is tested for 30 seconds at 0°F or -18°C and the discharge load is measured in amps. While some think that bigger is better, this is not always the case.
Cranking Amps or Marine Cranking Amps is simply the same as CCA but performed at 32°F or 0°C. Seeing that the battery is not at such extreme temperatures it tends to have more power and the number will be higher than CCA. Once again bigger is not always better.
Reserve Capacity is a very important rating. This is the number of minutes a fully charged battery at around 27°C will discharge 25 amps until the battery drops below 10.5 volts which will give you an idea of sustainable performance.
Amp Hour is a rating usually found on deep cycle batteries and also some starting batteries. This rating is a little more complicated but will tell you a lot about the battery. The AH rating might look like this '100AH @ 20Hr rate'. This means that the battery provided 100amps in 20 hours before running out. So if you deliver 100amps in 20 hours it equates to an average of 5amps per hour. If you place a higher load on the battery it will run out more quickly as the faster a battery is drained, the less overall amperage is available. Therefore if you drained 20amps per hour the battery would not last for 5 hours. The standard comes from the time frame (20 hours for deep cycle or 10 hours for starting batteries) in these tests, and by doing the math you will be able to devise the amount of continuous drain before the battery runs out.
As we have said above, bigger is not always better. The key here is to make sure that any battery you use meets the minimum requirements of the vehicle and perhaps a little in reserve. If the manufacturer requires 300 CCA for your particular vehicle then you may be wasting a lot of money buying a 600 CCA battery.
Perhaps it is more important once you have the minimum starting power needed to find a battery that will last longer and push out a higher amount of amps before going flat. This will mean a more stable power supply for your vehicle that can handle the demands of extra drain without breaking a sweat. As long as you upkeep your battery maintenance it should last you for the manufacturer's duty period and perhaps even longer. Batteries will last from 6 months to around 3 years, but please note that they will always eventually break down and are considered a consumable item for your car.