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What is a car battery?

A car's battery, which is rechargeable, is one of those components that must be fully-functional for a car to start. This is because its main purpose is to feed electricity to the starter, which starts the engine. Once the engine is running, power for the car's electrical systems is supplied by the alternator, which takes around 20 minutes to fully recharge a car battery.

How long does a car battery last?

  • As with all batteries, its strength will diminish over a period of time, rechargeable or not.
  • Although some batteries need to be maintained, most motorists opt for a maintenance-free version.
  • Car batteries are designed and built to last between 3-5 years.
  • One should buy a 5-year car battery if the car will be driven in harsh weather or on frequent, short car journeys.

What are the possible signs that a car needs a new battery?

  • The “charge” indicator on a car’s dashboard lights up.
  • Headlights are dim or don’t come on at all.
  • The engine does not, or takes a while, to start.
  • Some electrical components in the car are not working correctly.
  • Corrosion on the terminals.
  • The car backfires.

How do I avoid running down a car battery?

  • Frequently check that the terminals aren’t corroded and that everything is connected properly.
  • Its life can also be curtailed if used to power non-automobile electronic devices, such as a television.
  • Use the car at least once a week.
  • Don’t sit in the car with engine off, but the radio or lights on, for an extended period of time.

How long does it take to change a car battery?

  • Even though car batteries are heavy, it is usually a straightforward job to replace one.
  • If you don’t want to do it yourself then a garage can do it for you for a minimal charge.
  • They will often do it for free if you buy it from them.

How much does a new car battery cost?

  • Up to £100, depending on the car, the quality and the length of time stated on it that it is expected to last.

How to be a better driver

Whether you’re driving in Poole or further afield, think about road user etiquette. Showing respect for other road users makes driving more pleasant for you and safer for everyone. For example, if you have to make a last minute change of lane, make your request to change clear to the driver who will need to let you in - and signal your thanks if they do. Be ready to abandon the change of lane if they won’t play ball - your safety (and that of other drivers and pedestrians) is more important than getting to your destination in the shortest time possible. When the position is reversed and a driver asks your permission to change lanes, allow them to as long as it is safe. If you get frustrated, avoid using your horn - it won’t improve matters and might make them considerably worse.

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