Car Batteries

Car Batteries Information

Never expect to get as many months as is listed on the car battery when you buy it. If a car battery says it is a 72 month battery odds are you will not get 72 months out of it. A good rule of thumb is a good car battery should last 5 years maximum. No matter what the battery says it is best these are replaced every five years as after this time they are weak and could fail at any time.

Car batteries are full of toxic chemicals and have to be dealt with especially when they die. The green thing to do is to squeeze as much life out of them as possible and decrease the overall amount of car batteries that you are going to need in your lifetime. Here are some tips for that:

  • Park in a Garage

    A thoroughly insulated garage will keep your car battery warm in the winter

  • Keep Your Battery Clean

    Remove the clamps and clean away grease, dirt and oxidation. A filthy car battery connection will weaken the charge.

  • Insulate Your Car Battery

    If you don't have an insulated garage, you can always insulate the battery. It's a cheap way to protect the battery.

  • Recharge it with Solar

    You can purchase an inexpensive solar charger for your car battery. The charger refills your battery's charge with solar energy.

  • Add Distilled Water

    If you're stretching the life of a conventional Car battery, you may have to add some water to it.

  • Secure the Battery

    If your car battery is jiggling around, it could tip over. A loose car battery bashing against other parts of your engine is bad. Car Battery acid spilling all over your motor is also bad. Keep the car battery tray clean. Make sure the car battery sits correctly.

Car batteries go flat for lots of reasons, here are a few;

  • Battery getting old
  • Car has been standing for a while
  • Alternator not charging
  • Lights have been left on

Charging Your Car Battery

Two things are needed to charge a car battery and a voltage source strong enough to move current through a car battery & time. The more current we can push into a car battery, the faster we can charge it. Charging at too high a rate however can overheat and damage the car battery. To reduce the chances of this happening, charge at a slow rate.

The rate/time a car battery recharges also depends on a couple of factors, how discharged is the battery and if the car battery is cold. Check the battery temperature during charging. If the battery is hot to the touch, stop charging immediately until the car battery cools.

It's easy to jump start your car if you have a dead car battery. Batteries go dead for all sorts of reasons, but usually it's our fault. This is a good thing, because that means a simple jump-start will get you back on the road with no permanent damage.

You'll need to park the running car next to the dead car in such a way that the jumper cables can reach both car batteries. If you aren't sure where the car batteries are under each bonnet, take a look before you park.

Don't be nervous about your car battery connections, but also know that it's very important that you do not mix up the cables or you can do serious damage! With both cars parked next to each other, turn both keys to the OFF position. Not only will this protect your car's electrical system from any surges, it's always safer under the hood with the engine off.

  • Locate the "+" (positive) and "-" (negative) sides of each car battery. They should be clearly marked on the car battery itself. On newer cars the positive (+) side often has a red cover over the battery post and wires.
  • Attach the red cable to the "+" side of the good car battery
  • Attach the other end of the red cable to the "+" side of the dead car battery
  • Attach the black cable to the "-" side of the good car battery
  • Attach the other end of the black cable to a section of unpainted metal on the dead car. This can be as small as the head of a bolt located nearby.

Now that you're all set up, it's time to turn some keys. First, start the car with the good battery, and leave it running. If the car battery in the dead was really badly drained, it may help to leave them connected for a minute with the good car running before you try to start the dead car. This will allow a little charge to build up in the dead car battery.

Turn the key in the dead car to start and it should fire right up! As long as you don't have any issues with your alternator, you can disconnect the jumper cables right away.

Disconnecting the Jumper Cables:

Disconnecting the jumper cables doesn't need to happen in any specific order, but be sure you don't let the red and black cables touch each other at the end when they are still connected to one car battery.

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