51 10 basic facts about car batteries

10 basic facts about car batteries


By Vukasin Herbez on 2018-07-06 13:51:30

As you already know, car batteries are one of the crucial car components. In fact, they are equally important as fuel since without electric power you wouldn’­t be able to start the vehicle, keep it running and power headlights and all other systems. Modern vehicles with numerous electrical safety and infotainment systems rely heavily on car batteries and manufacturers try to make them as durable as possible. Since we have already covered all aspects of car batteries, today we will tell you about 10 interesting facts you probably didn’­t know.

1. Life expectancy

Average warranty for a modern car battery is 3 years which means you can expect it to last that long. However, you can prolong the life of your battery if you take good care of it, keep your car in a garage and drive it mostly on long distance journeys. In that case, a battery can last up to 7 years and it is not unusual to see car batteries last even longer.

2. Car batteries will discharge naturally

Despite the fact that a car battery is under the bonnet and plastic cover it is still somewhat exposed to the elements, and moisture or temperature difference will affect it. If you don’­t use your vehicle for a long time, the chances are that you will have battery problems.

3. Car batteries cannot be simply thrown away

Due to the fact that a car battery contains lead dioxide and sulphuric acid you need to take special care when disposing of the old ones. You must always take it to a professional recycle center or exchange it for a new one at authorized parts shop which will recycle it. Never try to open a car battery or throw it into fire since it could explode and seriously harm you.

4. Faulty or failing car battery will result in bad fuel economy

The car battery is indirectly responsible for fuel economy and a bad one can raise fuel consumption up to 10%. The reason is simple when the car battery is failing or faulty, the alternator will draw more power from the engine to recharge the battery and keep everything running. This will make the engine use more fuel in order to keep the alternator producing electricity and powering the car itself. So, when you notice that the fuel economy is not as good as before and every other car component is in order, it could be the faulty battery.

5. Size matters

Car batteries come in all shapes and sizes and physical size is secondary to power level. The important number is the Amp Hour figure which shows the true power of the battery and it can range from as little as 35 AH to as much as 100 AH. There are even bigger car batteries but they are for trucks and heavy machinery only. Compact cars and cars with smaller engines use smaller batteries since they don‘t need that much of cranking power and cars with bigger engines or diesel powered vehicles user more powerful batteries. When replacing the car battery always buy the manufacturer recommended unit since it will give you desired performance.

6. Faulty battery can affect the rest of the car‘s electric system

This is a true fact and having a faulty battery in your car can put enormous stress on the alternator, starting motors, relays and wires. If you want to avoid expensive repairs and potential problems, it is the best to immediately change the battery when you notice that it starts to fail. Modern cars with demanding electronics are especially affected so have that in mind.

7. Stop-Start technology puts a lot of stress on car batteries

And not just on them. More and more modern cars have ’¬Stop-Start’® driving modes which turn off the car‘s engine on stop lights and turn it back on when you shift into gear or release the brake (automatic transmission). This means that a car battery and starting motor work overtime, powering cranking and starting every few hundred meters. In city driving when you use the ’¬Start-Stop’® feature, the battery is drained fast so if you drive a lot under those conditions, you could be in trouble. There are two ways you can prevent the battery problems. One, drive a long distance to recharge it fully and two, do not use ’¬Start-Stop’® feature too often.

8. Location of the car battery

In most cases, it will be easy to find it since it is located under the bonnet of the car. However, this is not a strict rule. Some car manufacturers put it in the trunk, under the luggage compartments in order to make the car have better weight balance. Since the average car battery is a somewhat heavy component, this makes sense in high performance or sports cars. Some van or truck manufacturers put it under the passenger seat and some exotic cars have it neatly tucked near the engine and impossible to replace without going into specialized service.

9. Jumpstarts damage the battery

Yes, jumpstarting your car will damage the battery. However, if you do it once or twice during the lifespan of the battery, it will have no effect on the unit, but if you do it frequently it will eventually damage it. The reason is the fact that jumpstarting provides a sudden surge of energy to an empty battery which can cause chemical reactions inside. Constant jumpstarting will create a chemical imbalance and burn out the electric circuits inside.

10. Car batteries will last longer in warm climate

This is true since engines in warm weather don‘t need as much power to start as they do in a cold climate, and the temperature difference is not as aggressive. However, if you are living in tropical areas, it is recommended to use non-sealed batteries because the extreme heat generated under the bonnet can make a car battery’­s acid literally boil and evaporate. This will reduce the charging capacity of the battery and if you choose the older style, non-sealed batteries you will be able to add distilled water if needed and rejuvenate it. With proper care and regular maintenance, your car battery will last much longer than the factory warranty.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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