The simple fact is that 70% of car batteries fail within 4 years. They just need to be replaced when they are no longer able to hold a full charge.
Batteries are a big ticket item for most COSTA MESA auto owners and it’s tempting to put off buying a new one as long as possible. But a battery that cannot hold a full charge requires the alternator to work extra hard, causing it to wear out prematurely.
Your Costa Mesa Auto Service Center service professional can test your battery to see if it should be replaced. Testing is a good idea for CA auto owners because a battery might still be good, but become dead because of a bad alternator or even a worn serpentine belt and tensioner.
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Costa Mesa Auto Service Center 949.645.7878 1749 Anaheim Avenue COSTA MESA, CA 92627
Hello COSTA MESA drivers, let’s talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in COSTA MESA, here’s some auto advice to help you.
There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.
The Irvine weather also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the sedan engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold CA weather reduces the electrical efficiency of the battery, which reduces the amount of energy available in the battery to start the engine. Thus, in freezing temperatures, you need more power to start an engine, but you have less power available to get it started.
So if you live in a cold climate, or in an area in CA where winters can get really chilly, it is key to have a battery with more cold cranking amps than if you live in a more mild or warmer climate.
The battery that was installed in your sedan at the factory may not have the appropriate number of cold cranking amps for your area. It is critical to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and get at least that number of cold cranking amps, but you may want to upgrade if you live in a colder climate.
Reserve capacity is the number of minutes your battery can maintain essential functions in your sedan without being recharged. There are two things that affect reserve capacity. The first is referred to as parasitic drain. Your sedan has power systems that must be kept running while the engine is off. These may include the security system, the remote start systems, and any computer systems. The number and power requirements of these systems has greatly increased over the last few decades. As a result, the need for reserve capacity in vehicles’ batteries has also increased. Very short trips around COSTA MESA and Huntington Beach do not allow a vehicle’s battery to recover the energy that was used to start the car. So these trips require reserve capacity as well.
Again, the reserve capacity in the battery installed at the factory may not be what you need for your COSTA MESA lifestyle and driving habits. Again, use the manufacturer’s recommendation as a minimum, but consider upgrading if your sedan has a lot of parasitic power drain or if you frequently make very short trips around Irvine.
Your considerate technician at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or a need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure it fits into your sedan. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it’s a serious safety hazard if the terminals come into contact with other parts of the vehicle.
Car batteries aren’t cheap in COSTA MESA, so you may want to consider the warranty when purchasing. Pro-rated warranties will give you credit for a portion of the battery if the battery fails during the warranty period. The amount of credit will depend on how long the battery lasted. A free replacement warranty will replace your battery if it fails during the warranty period. Before you purchase a battery, make sure you know what you are buying.
Keep in mind that preventive maintenance and good car care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits is vital and can help you get the most out of your battery.
Today’s report from Costa Mesa Auto Service Center is on car batteries, why they die and what we can do to lengthen their life. Most of us have had a dead battery at one time or another. In fact, it would be very unusual if you hadn’t. You may be surprised to learn that only 30 percent of COSTA MESA vehicle batteries last for 48 months.
Now that’s an average. How long a battery lasts depends on many factors. You may not know that one of the biggest factors is the temperature where you live and drive around COSTA MESA. You might suppose that cold weather was harder on batteries because it takes more power to crank a cold engine, but the opposite is actually true.
Batteries in very cold climates have a life expectancy of 51 months as opposed to 30 months in very warm climates. The reason is simple: batteries are chemically more active when they’re hot than when they’re cold.
A car battery will actually start to discharge on its own within 24 hours in hot weather. It takes several days in cold weather. When batteries are left too long in a state of partial discharge, the discharged portion of the battery plates actually, for the lack of a better word, ‘die’. Recharging the battery will not restore the dead part of the battery plate.
One of the big problems for the way most of us drive in the COSTA MESA area, is that our batteries are often partially discharged. The biggest job the battery does is to start the car. It takes some time for the alternator to recharge the battery after starting. If you’re driving short distances, especially if there are several starts and stops, your battery may not fully recharge.
Another issue is that vehicles are coming equipped with more and more electricity hungry accessories like navigation systems, DVD players, CD and MP3 players, heated seats, heated steering wheels and so on. And we often plug in cell phones, computers and other gadgets. Combine that with short trips and it’s no wonder that our batteries are partially discharged.
Experts say we can extend our battery life by topping off the charge periodically using a good quality battery charger. You may’ve heard these chargers referred to as ‘trickle chargers’. They’re attached to the battery and plugged into a wall outlet to slowly bring the battery up to full charge.
Now there’s some science involved with how fast a battery should be recharged. If you buy a cheap manual charger, you’ll have to tend it. Frankly a learning curve on how to do it right and requires much attention. A computer controlled charger – or smart charger – monitors the process and determines the appropriate rate of charge. And it even stops charging when it’s fully charged. It costs more than the manual charger, but the automatic model is worth it.
The suggestion is to charge once a month in warm weather and once every three months in cold weather.
Another thing to avoid is deeply discharging your battery. Something like running the headlights and stereo with the engine turned off. That’ll take months off the battery life every time you do it.
Now, as we discussed, heat is hard on a battery. A dirty, greasy battery holds more heat. You can wipe off excess dirt with a paper towel or ask your service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center to clean it for you. Costa Mesa Auto Service Center can even test your battery and tell you if it’s time to replace it.
Batteries are fairly expensive, so taking a few steps to make them last longer is well worth it. Of course, the battery will eventually need to be replaced. Always make sure you get a new battery that meets the factory specifications for your vehicle. If you feel you need more battery capacity than what came with your vehicle, talk with your service advisor at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center about appropriate upgrades.
If you have a dead battery, be careful to inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. And deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.
Hello, welcome to Costa Mesa Auto Service Center. Today’s focus is batteries. It seems like everything in COSTA MESA runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we’re most concerned with here at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center are those in our customer’s vehicles. Just like the batteries in our smoke detectors or TV remote, car batteries wear out and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things COSTA MESA drivers should know when looking for a new battery.
Look for two measurements that come into play: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity.
Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold sedan engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in CA, specifically how cold it is. (Many CA car owners have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your sedan’s engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with.
The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient when the temperature dips. At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, we consult the table shown below. Let’s say it’s eighty degrees Fahrenheit in COSTA MESA. At that temperature, 100% of the battery’s power is available. At freezing, only 65% of battery power is available, but it requires 155% as much power to start the engine as it did at eighty degrees.
As you can see from the chart, the colder it gets, more power’s needed, but the available power drops.
Percent of Power Available
So if you live where it’s cold in CA, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s moderate or hot. The battery that originally came with your sedan was based on averages. At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, we like to remind COSTA MESA motorists that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as their vehicle manufacturers recommend, but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets real cold.
And the type of engine you have will impact the battery you need: A six-cylinder engine requires more cold cranking amps than a four. An eight cylinder needs even more. And diesel sedans require more than a gasoline engine with the same number of cylinders.
Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important to COSTA MESA car owners these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off in your sedan. So, the power drawn by the security system, the remote start system, even the power the computers require to maintain their memory.
Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around COSTA MESA. You’re not driving long enough for the battery to recover the energy it used to start the engine. So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer or Costa Mesa Auto Service Center and upgrade if you need more.
Talk with us at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center about your options. If you need more from your battery, a larger, heavy-duty battery may be called for. At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA, we remind our customers that it’s very important that the new battery fits your sedan: the terminals can’t be touching other parts.
Batteries are a big ticket item for most CA auto owners, so the warranty gives piece of mind. There’re two kinds of car battery warranties: pro-rated and free replacement. With the pro-rated, you get a credit for a portion of the battery if it fails during the warranty period. With a free replacement warranty, you get just that, a free replacement. Be sure to ask us at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center about the warranty so you know what you’re getting.