Good California red wine gets better with each passing year in the bottle. But the battery in your car, not so much. Oh, by the way, how old is the battery in your car? Not sure? Never thought about it? So what, you say?
In the heat of summer, life is so busy that we have little time to think about something as mundane as the battery in our vehicle. As long as the car starts when I turn the key, I am good and on my way. But is there a chance that one of these days when I turn the key, nothing will happen?
The average life of car battery should be about 3-1/2 – 4 yrs. by industry standards. Some will last longer. Often there is a label showing when the battery was installed. While we often find batteries failing in the deep freeze of winter, it is the heat of summer that inflicts the fatal blow. You just won’t know it until January.
Some battery failure is caused by driving habits. If I start the vehicle, use a variety of digital and electrically powered items, such as a radio, I pod, etc. and drive only a short distance before restarting again; the battery will never have a chance to return to full charge. At only a percentage of full charge, the acid content is not consistent throughout the battery, with a heavier concentration at the bottom. In this case Cold Cranking Amps, needed to start the vehicle, are reduced and there is battery failure. Repeat this cycle often enough and the battery will no longer perform as intended.
The integrity of the battery cannot be observed by looking at it. First of all check and make sure that the terminal connections are clean and securely fastened. If you suspect the battery, a full electrical and charging system test can be done by your local auto repair shop to check the charge and strength of the battery, as well as the function of the starter and alternator. Also if you notice that when starting your car, there is some hesitation or slow turning of the engine, it may signal a battery problem. Replacing the battery before it totally fails will save you the frustration and inconvenience of being stranded with a no start. If in doubt, change it out!
So keep your battery fresh and your red wine well aged!
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