What the mechanically disinclined know about a car battery would fit on one of the battery terminals. You know the engine will not start without one, and you know that they are most likely to die during a horrific blizzard or in the parking lot of an amusement park. You may also know that jumper cables are somehow involved. Other than that, you are clueless. In truth, you only need to be aware of a few facts.
Batteries Are Not Eternal
The average car battery life has been extended to 3.5 to 4 years. At some point in your car ownership, you will need to replace your current battery with a new one. Consult your car manual, which is probably unwrapped in your glove box, or your local auto parts expert for guidance on buying a new one. Usually, whoever sells you the battery will install it for you, so you don’t even need to get your hands dirty.
Recharging the Battery
If your battery goes “flat,” it is not dead but has lost its charge. Although dying batteries often start to go flat regularly, a healthy one can be drained overnight when you leave interior lights on or leave the trunk ajar. You just need a jump start to get the car going. If you are not comfortable using a pair of jumper cables, you may call for roadside assistance, or, better yet, get a friendly neighbor to help you. Be aware that simply driving around town will not completely recharge your battery, despite what the neighbor may tell you. Completely recharging your battery requires using a multi-stage battery charger, something your mechanic can handle. Be aware that driving with an undercharged battery will shorten its life.
Running your car on a bad battery, one that has to be continually recharged, is not just inconvenient for you and your neighbor. You are possibly damaging other parts of your vehicle by postponing the inevitable new battery purchase. The alternator and starter are strained when the battery is bad, meaning they may have to be replaced early, an expensive proposition. Ignoring the battery problem just makes your life more difficult in the long run, so take a deep breath and hand over the cash.
Even the most mechanically uninterested drivers need to know a few facts about their vehicle. Keeping the car battery in good condition is a basic requirement that takes almost no effort. When the battery goes bad, though, it goes fast. Do not ignore the signs, or you may be stranded at the most inconvenient time. If you do need to replace your battery, contact a shop such as Battery Tree.