The automotive battery hasn't changed much for a long, long time. It's still a series of cells that are connected in parallel to deliver about 12.8 volts, and each cell is still comprised of lead plates and acid. Just like in vehicles from the 1940s, the battery still relies on chemical processes to store electricity and deliver it again, and it's still charged by an alternator that's driven by the engine.
Unfortunately, whether it's in your laptop, phone, tablet or car, any battery that can be recharged is only good for so many charge/recharge cycles before it starts to weaken. Cold weather is particularly hard on automotive batteries; the chemical reaction in the battery is only at about 50 percent efficiency in 35-degree weather. Here are some tips to make sure your battery lasts through its entire warranty phase:
--Try to never completely drain the battery. Any time the battery is completely discharged, it has a definite tendency to weaken and compromise the battery's life. Be careful of things like listening to the radio too long with the engine off, leaving the lights on, etc. etc.
--Keep the battery maintained. Batteries tend to accumulate corrosion, a whitish fluffy deposit that builds up around the posts, clamps and battery cables. If left too long, corrosion can actually prevent the battery from receiving or delivering a charge.
--Check the charging system. The alternator and belt need to be working properly to put a charge back into the battery again. If you notice that the headlights dim when the engine slows and then brighten again with higher RPMs, that can be a sign of alternator problems.
Too many times, drivers have found that their battery doesn't last through its entire 36-month warranty and have to get a pro-rate when it's time to replace it. That doesn't have to be the case, though. If you're in need of a battery for your vehicle, make an appointment with us at 106 St Tire – we've got top brand batteries in a range of sizes for various vehicles!