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Understanding Your Vehicle’s Battery

Admin
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Just like the human heart is essential to keeping us breathing, living, and moving, the battery in your car does much the same for your vehicle.
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Just like the human heart is essential to keeping us breathing, living, and moving, the battery in your car does much the same for your vehicle.

It’s a crucial component that provides the juice necessary to keep your car’s myriad systems and components running smoothly.

Just as our heart pumps blood tirelessly through our veins, the battery serves as a reservoir of power, getting recharged while we’re driving, and providing power when the car is off.

What Exactly is a Vehicle Battery?

A vehicle battery is a device that stores electrical energy and provides the kick necessary to start your vehicle’s engine.

It delivers a hefty charge that gets your car started, and then continues to supply power to the entire electrical system.

The concept is not too dissimilar from our heart pumping blood throughout our bodies, supplying the necessary nutrients and oxygen to all our cells and organs.

Key Terms and Concepts in Battery Health

Battery Life Cycle

The battery’s life cycle is influenced by many factors, not unlike our own hearts.

These include proper usage habits, a good balance between power expenditure and recharge cycles, and regular checkups.

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

The cold cranking amps, or CCA, of a battery can be seen as a measure of the battery’s, or ‘heart’s’ strength.

It’s a critical indicator of your battery’s capacity to start the engine in cold temperatures.

Just as a sturdy heart can pump blood efficiently even when we’re in stressful situations or environments, a battery with a higher CCA can provide the power required to start your car in even brutally cold weather.

Battery Capacity

This is the total energy that your battery can store, equivalent to how much blood our hearts can pump.

It indicates, if you will, the “blood volume” that your battery can hold and supply to your car’s electrical system.

Alternator

If your battery is akin to the heart, then the alternator could be likened to the lungs.

It plays a vital role in charging the battery and powering the electrical system while your vehicle is running.

In the same vein, our lungs maintain oxygen levels to supply our heart and body.

Voltage Testing

This is like a health-check, or blood pressure test for your battery.

It’s a quick and easy way to gauge the functionality of your battery.

Why Regular Battery Check is Necessary

Just as regular health checks are integral for a healthy heart, it’s equally significant to have our vehicle’s battery checked on a routine basis.

Several potential issues can be detected and dealt with timely through these checks, sparing you the inconvenience of unexpected breakdowns.

Let’s delve into some key reasons why it’s crucial to keep a close eye on your battery’s health.

Averting Starting Problems

The battery, akin to our heart, provides the necessary power or life force for initiating the vehicle’s operation, or ignition in technical terms.

Imagine, what if your heart is too weak to pump blood effectively?

Chances are your bodily functions may be compromised.

The same predicament arises if our vehicle’s battery becomes weak or faulty.

It may lead to difficulty in starting your beloved ride or it may not start at all.

This scenario underscores the importance of regular health checks for both our heart and our vehicle’s battery.

Bypassing the Battery Drain or Parasitic Drain

Comparable to a heart overworking regardless of the body being at rest, a parasitic drain refers to a situation where power is continuously drawn from the battery even when the vehicle is turned off.

In simpler terms, let’s take a healthy heart that maintains a steady rhythm, but what if it has to work overtime even when you’re at rest?

This could be exhausting, right?

Similarly, a parasitic drain can eventually lead to a dead battery, an unpleasant surprise for any vehicle owner.

Regular battery checkups would help spot such issues earlier, potentially saving you from a lot of troubles.

Preventing Unforeseen Breakdowns

A heart disease can lead to a sudden cardiac arrest catching everyone by surprise.

Similarly, a faulty vehicle battery can lead to sudden breakdowns, turning a smooth road journey into an unwanted adventure.

Being stranded on a deserted highway or stuck in heavy traffic due to a vehicle breakdown is definitely not on anyone’s wish list.

If anyone of us has experienced a heart-related ailment, we know for a fact that regular checkups can significantly minimise the risk of unexpected episodes.

The same stands true for our vehicle’s battery.

I believe, as working professionals traversing the hustle of daily routines, we must realize the importance of avoiding such breakdowns, and thus the absolute need for regular battery checks.

How to Check and Maintain the Health of Your Battery

Think of your car battery as the heart of your vehicle.

It’s essential to keep this heart beating strongly to ensure your car runs smoothly.

As young professionals, this is as much a necessary tool as your laptop or your smartphone.

Breakdowns can be major hiccups in busy schedules.

So, how do you maintain the health of your battery?

Here’s a quick guide.

Visual Inspection

Just like monitoring your physical health for any irregularities, you need to check your vehicle’s battery for any visible signs of damage.

This could include signs of swelling, leaks, or cracks.

Corrosion on the battery terminal

Look out for a white, ashy deposit on the terminals, similar to how plaque clogs arteries, corrosion can interrupt your car’s electrical flow, making it hard for your battery to recharge.

To clean this, use a mixture of baking soda and water and an old toothbrush.

Be sure to disconnect the battery before cleaning and reconnect once it is completely dry.

Using a Multimeter

A multimeter is like the medical thermometer - an essential tool that you should familiarise yourself with.

Testing the battery voltage

A healthy battery should show around 12.6 volts.

If the reading is lower, this suggests your battery (like your heart) might be working overtime and could be due for a replacement.

If you have difficulties using the multimeter, I recommend watching some helpful instructional videos online.

When to Seek Professional Help

We all know that if the heart shows any troubling symptoms, a visit to the doctor is paramount.

Likewise, if you get constant low volt readings, consult a professional mechanic.

Professional battery checkup

As an auto-electrician, I can’t stress enough the importance of regular inspections.

Aim to have your battery checked annually to prolong battery life and prevent sudden failures, which could translate to being late for a crucial meeting!

Remember, a well-maintained battery powers your car just like a well-functioning heart drives your body.

So, make time in your busy schedules to ensure your vehicle’s heart stays healthy.

Book your vehicle for a service or find out more about our automotive products and services, like battery charging, alternator checks and the like.

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