Replacing a car battery
The car's battery is the heart of a car's electrical system.
Like batteries in any electronic device, a car battery must be replaced periodically as its performance will degrade over time.
Some batteries require periodic maintenance and must be serviced regularly to obtain optimum performance,
while others are maintenance-free. Without its battery a car will be unable to start or continue to run.
If you're confident that the battery just needs recharging,
the first task is to check the terminals for corrosion and proper connection.
It's very common for corrosion to build up on the battery; in many cases this is easily visible,
but it is possible for it to be hidden between the terminal and the connector.
This may lead to insufficient charging, as well as a loss of power to the car.
Car batteries are heavy and awkward to handle, and furthermore,
corrosion can make them difficult to access.
Most garages offer free battery fitting when you purchase a new one from them,
so if your battery looks like it's going to be very difficult to remove or change,
or it's completely dead, use Book My Garage to find your best local option and have them replace and fit it.
How do I know if my battery need replacing?
If your engine will not crank or turns over slowly,
your dashboard warning lights stay on after the engine is started,
some electrical components aren't working right,
or your battery terminals show corrosion,
these are all good indicators that something's wrong with your battery.
If the engine won't start and the headlights don't work either,
then the problem is definitely the car battery.
If however the lights will still turn on but the engine doesn't start,
the problem could lie with the starter motor.
It's also possible for a car to start perfectly and then a short while later to seem to be dead.
This can happen when a battery fails unexpectedly, if for example one cell of the battery shorts out.
The most common signs of an underperforming battery include the car backfiring,
headlights dimming while driving, or the electrical systems in the car behaving strangely.
How long does a car battery last?
On average a car battery should last three to five years.
Several factors can shorten a battery's lifespan, such as frequent short car journeys.
Car batteries which are consistently only partially charged will often have only
half the lifespan of a constantly fully charged battery. On average a car needs to run for at least 20 minutes for the
alternator to fully charge the battery. A battery's life can also be shortened if it's being used to power electronic devices like TVs and DVD players.
With the increased emphasis on electronics today's vehicles need even more battery power.
Even the most heavy-duty car batteries will lose their ability to store enough power over time.
When a battery is approaching the end of its useful life,
there will usually be ample warning signs and clues such as an illuminated ‘charge' light on the dashboard,
dimming headlights, and an engine which is slow to start.
Modern vehicle computer and security systems create a small but constant drain on batteries.
Even when the vehicle is parked and the engine switched off,
a period of inactivity - a fortnight or even less - can cause a car battery
to die and need to be changed or recharged. No fun when you're returning to the airport
car park after your annual fortnight in the sun!
It is usually a straightforward job to replace a car battery.
Find a trusted, local garage to do the job for you at Book My Garage or call
one of our expert mechanics on 03304 004439 to check if you have a problem
with your battery and help you choose the best garage to fix it.