Every car owner has experienced a situation where they turn the key but their vehicle doesn’t respond. They try to turn the key several times, but the car engine just sputters for a while before dying completely. It is a clear indication of a flat car battery and you need to fix it before you can go anywhere. Most people know what to do if their battery dies, but many don’t know why it dies. In this article, we explain how and why a car battery dies.
Battery Starts The Engine
A fully charged battery spends a portion of its power to start the car engine and to get all of the electronics running. The power will keep on draining for as long as the electronics like the AC, music system, lights, etc, keep running. If the battery drains completely, all of these functions will stop and your car won’t start again if needed.
Alternator Recharges The Battery
Fortunately, the alternator recharges the battery after the engine starts running. It’s like a contained generator that creates energy from the motions of the engine and uses that energy to charge the battery. If the alternator is functioning well, you shouldn’t have any problems with your battery draining during a long trip.
Long Trips Are Beneficial
If you want to avoid dead battery replacement, it is a good idea to add a few long trips to your schedule. Long drives keep the alternator running for a longer period of time, which ensures your battery charges completely. If you take too many short trips and not enough long drives, your battery will eventually become completely drained and useless. The alternator won’t have enough time to recharge the battery.
Heat Can Be Bad For The Battery
Excessive cold or heat can be bad for the battery. Cold will drain the battery of its power, which will make starting the car difficult. Excessive heat will speed up the corrosion of the battery and age it faster. If you want to avoid battery drain, it is a good idea to park your car in a sheltered space like a garage. That will protect it from heat and cold, which will help maintain the battery.
How Often Should You Replace The Car Battery?
There’s no fixed schedule for car battery replacement. You just need to look for the warning signs and change the battery before it is completely dead. A professional inspection can help you identify the problem, but there are also several clear signs that indicate your car battery is about to die. These signs include:
- Flickering and dim lights.
- Trouble with starting the engine.
- Odd odors coming from the battery.
- Battery case bulging oddly in some places.
You should also keep an eye out for related problems like overcharging and corrosion. If your car is overcharging the battery, replacing it will only fix the problem temporarily. The overcharging or corrosion will damage the new battery over time. Make sure these problems are fixed before you get a car battery replacement at home.