Video Blog

 


Battery

Positive and Negative (Battery Care)

Mar 14, 2021

You notice when your smartphone's battery starts to go weak on you.  It runs out of juice faster than it did when it was new.  Bet you pay attention to that pretty closely.

Unfortunately, many of us don't pay the same attention to the battery in our vehicles. If your battery got you through the cold-weather months, you might be thinking you're all set until next winter. But you might be surprised to learn this: Hot weather is harder on a battery than cold weather.  (Note: we're talking about a conventional vehicle here, not an all-electric, plug-in one.)

 The way your vehicle's battery holds a charge is that it has chemicals inside it, and they react with each other to produce electricity.  A vehicle battery discharges electricity and then needs to be recharged.  Unlike your smartphone that you plug in each night to charge, the way a vehicle's battery gets recharged is by using the mechanical energy of the engine.  It's a pretty cool system that's been around for a while.  An alternator changes the mechanical energy into electricity that then charges the battery.  And your vehicle is designed to charge it just the right amount with a voltage regulator. If your battery constantly gets too much voltage, it could stop holding a charge. 

Another way a vehicle battery loses its ability to hold a charge is when it gets hot.  In warmer weather, some fluids in your battery evaporate which can damage some of its internal components.  Then, you've got a dead battery.

Back to your smartphone for a second, it probably has a little indicator or maybe an app that shows you how healthy it is or how much charge it's holding.  Well, your service repair facility has equipment that can test your vehicle's battery for the same things.  If that test shows you need a new battery, then it's probably time to replace it.

A technician can also check to see your battery is being charged at the correct rate.  If you have a battery that is not sealed, a technician can check to see it needs more water added to it.  The technician will also make sure dirt or other contaminants aren't acting as electrical conductors and discharging the battery.  Plus, your battery's terminals may need cleaning.

Most people just forget about their vehicle's battery until there's a big problem with it. Here's one rule of thumb: expect a battery's life to be about 5 years. Just like you wouldn't want your smartphone to leave you without any way to make phone calls or send texts, you wouldn't want your vehicle to leave you stranded with no way to start it, would you?   

When it comes time to make that new battery choice, your service advisor can offer you some good options, taking into account the climate you drive in, what you use your vehicle for and what your budget is.  Hey, your smartphone's battery is all charged up.  How about calling your service advisor for an appointment right now?

 



Wired! (Battery Cable Service)

Mar 07, 2021

Colder weather brings out the worst in a vehicle's battery.  On a very cold day, you may have experienced that your engine cranks slowly when starting.  But while it may be the battery itself, it may also be the parts that transfer the power to other the other electrical components, the battery cables.  After all, you have to have some way to get the current out of the battery and out to where it needs to go.

Battery cables have a couple of enemies: corrosion and age.  You may have looked under the hood and noticed a light-colored powder or crust around the terminals.  That's what happens when acids corrode the ends of the battery terminals.  Corrosion inhibits the connection and may reduce the amount of power getting to the electrical accessories to the point where they are not working correctly, if at all.

Here are some symptoms of problems with your battery cables. You might notice a clicking sound when you turn the key, some of your vehicle's electrical parts (like the sound system or the horn) don't work or, in some cases, the vehicle won't start at all.

When you take your vehicle to a repair facility, the technician will use instruments to check voltages to see how much current is getting to what location. That includes a starter draw test during which the battery's voltage is checked when the starter is cranked.  The technician will also visually inspect the cables and the charging system. To make sure the alternator is putting out the right voltage, the technician will measure that as well. 

If the problem is found to be the battery cable assembly, the entire set may have to be replaced. Sometimes they can be repaired. 

During the colder months, it's vital that your vehicle has the proper power going to its electrical components.  Having a vehicle that won't start or run smoothly is not something you want to battle with when you're already up against challenging weather.  Keep your electrons flowing… and your vehicle moving.


The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



Taking the Heat (Batteries in Hot Weather)

May 03, 2020

Quick question.  Which is tougher on a vehicle's battery, the heat or the cold? Believe it or not, it's the heat.  Think about it.  The battery often sits in the engine compartment next to that motor generating lots of heat.  That can accelerate corrosion in the battery and may even cause water in it to evaporate.  That will weaken the cranking power of your battery and shorten its life span.

To take care of your battery, here are a few suggestions.  It's a good idea to have it checked out to see what shape it's in.  At your vehicle service facility, they have diagnostic equipment that can evaluate its condition.  That can help you know how long you can expect it to last before having to replace it.  At the same time, you should have your charging system evaluated.  If your battery is not getting charged properly, it can be in great shape but not very useful when it comes to starting your vehicle.  A technician will also check the cable connections that should be free of corrosion and tight.

Keep in mind that under certain conditions, a vehicle battery can cause an explosion if close to an electrical spark.  This is why the safe way to go is to have a qualified, trained technician do the work. 

Your battery is important both in hot and cold weather.  When it comes to starting your vehicle, make sure it's always up to the job.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



A Stitch in Time at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley

Aug 06, 2018

You probably have heard that expression, "A stitch in time saves nine." In other words, if you fix an issue at its early stages, it will prevent a much more difficult problem later. That's certainly the case with your vehicle, and here's a true story to demonstrate it.

A driver noticed his vehicle was due for an oil change, so he took it in to his service facility early in the morning so he could wait while the work was performed. The technician routinely checks the battery on vehicles just before extreme weather is approaching (cold or hot), so with winter coming up, he hooked up the load tester (it measures voltage while a load is put on the battery). It showed the battery wasn't holding a charge well.

The technician checked the manufacturing date on the battery, too (most batteries have a date stamped in code somewhere on them). The date showed it was five years old. While batteries can last more than five years, many technicians say you should expect to get anywhere from three to six years out of them, depending on what they go through.

So, this battery was getting a little long in the tooth, and it wasn't holding a charge particularly well. But how much current was it being sent by the vehicle's alternator? If it wasn't getting enough, that might be a factor. A test of the charging system showed the alternator was putting out the correct amount of power. The technician recommended replacing the battery, and the driver agreed.

That was the stitch in time. Had the technician not checked the battery, that driver likely would have been stranded the next time he tried to start his vehicle on a very cold day. What originally was supposed to be just an oil change led to a technician's sharp diagnosis and a little preventative maintenance for one fortunate driver. Sometimes timing is everything.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



Battery Maintenance Tips From The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley

Aug 16, 2017

When it comes to your vehicle, it all starts with the battery. Proper battery maintenance is important for two reasons:

First, your vehicle won't start or run without it. Second, it is the key to the long life of your auto electrical system. If your battery isn't working efficiently, your alternator has to work overtime to make up for it, and other electrical components can suffer as well.

A number of years ago sealed batteries were introduced to the local Lancaster, California, market. They were hailed as being 'maintenance-free batteries.' While it is true that you can't get in and adjust the electrolyte levels of a sealed battery, it is by no means maintenance free.

Batteries are very sensitive to changes in the weather around California. Temperature really affects auto battery performance. A battery inspection is an important part of your spring and fall checkups. Next time you're under your hood, take a look at your battery.

  • Is it clean and free of residue? A dirty battery will drain.
  • Is there corrosion at the terminals where the battery cables attach to the battery? If there is, the corrosion can interfere with how efficiently electricity passes back and forth from the battery.
  • Are the cables loose? Make sure they are tight.
  • Are the cables themselves corroded? Corrosion can actually eat through the battery cables.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisors can inspect and test your battery. If the inspection warrants a cleaning, have it done. If the battery test indicates that replacement of the battery or cables is in order, you will be lucky to have caught the problem before it becomes a major inconvenience.

Your battery will also last longer if you keep your fuel system and ignition system clean. It's all part of your commitment to regular maintenance, to keep your vehicle running on Lancaster streets at its best for a long, long time.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Alternator Replacement Service in Lancaster

Feb 28, 2017

Your vehicle alternator doesn't get enough credit. Though your battery gets your engine started, after that – it's all about the alternator. 

Driving around Lancaster is a lot of work for your alternator, and as upgrades such as heated steering wheels, cooled seats, stability control and lane departure warning become more common, it will have to work even harder. Eventually this workhorse just wears out. When it does you have no choice but to order an alternator replacement because your vehicle won't run without one. 

Come see your friendly and professional service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley to learn more.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



Automotive Tips from The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley: Making a Battery Last Longer

Nov 21, 2016

One thing all Lancaster drivers can do to extend the life of their battery is to keep it clean. A greasy, dirty battery holds in damaging heat. Same goes for removing corrosion from the terminals. The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley can help maintain your battery.

Allowing your battery to be deeply depleted – like from using your headlights when the engine is off – is very harmful to your battery. Most automotive batteries can only take that about 10 times before they are ruined.

Also, making sure you have a full charge every month or so extends battery life. Either an extended drive at freeway speeds around the Lancaster are or using a battery charger will preserve your battery’s ability to hold a full charge.

Give us a call.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



Need a New Battery? Call The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Today

Jul 12, 2016

Hello Lancaster drivers! Need a new battery? There is a good chance that you do – 70% of batteries need to be replaced within four years. As your battery discharges and then recharges as you drive around Lancaster, bits of the surface of the battery plates disintegrate. As this process continues over a few years, the alternator has to work harder to supplement the battery charge. Over time, enough of the battery is damaged that it can no longer hold a charge and it needs to be replaced. This also speeds up wear on the alternator.

Your The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor can help you determine the right vehicle replacement battery for the way you drive around Lancaster, as well as the California climate and durability needs.

Contact The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley for information on battery replacement.

Give us a call.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



Automotive Tips from The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley: Battery Testing

Feb 23, 2016

The simple fact is that 70% of car batteries fail within 4 years. They just need to be replaced at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley when they are no longer able to hold a full charge.

Batteries are a big ticket item for most Lancaster drivers 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 The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor can test your battery to see if it should be replaced. Testing is a good idea for California drivers because a battery might still be good, but become dead because of a bad alternator or even a worn serpentine belt and tensioner.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com

 



A New Battery in Lancaster

Jan 09, 2015

Hello Lancaster 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 Lancaster, 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 weather where you live in California also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the vehicle engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold California 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.

Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster 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 vehicle. 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.

Keep in mind that preventive maintenance performed at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley and good vehicle care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits are wise and can help you get the most out of your battery.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com




Archive

July 2021 (4)
June 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (6)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
October 2020 (4)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (1)
June 2020 (1)
May 2020 (2)
April 2020 (1)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (4)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (3)
August 2019 (3)
July 2019 (2)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (2)
March 2019 (4)
October 2018 (1)
September 2018 (5)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (5)
March 2018 (1)
February 2018 (4)
January 2018 (5)
September 2017 (1)
August 2017 (3)
July 2017 (5)
June 2017 (4)
May 2017 (3)
April 2017 (2)
March 2017 (4)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (5)
December 2016 (4)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (5)
September 2016 (4)
August 2016 (5)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
April 2016 (4)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (11)
December 2015 (3)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (4)
September 2015 (3)
July 2015 (2)
June 2015 (5)
May 2015 (2)
April 2015 (4)
March 2015 (5)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (4)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (5)
August 2014 (5)
July 2014 (4)
June 2014 (2)
March 2014 (1)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (2)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (4)
October 2013 (5)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (4)
May 2013 (3)
April 2013 (5)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (19)
January 2013 (5)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (4)
July 2012 (5)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (4)
February 2012 (5)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (3)
October 2011 (3)
September 2011 (4)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (4)
March 2011 (5)
February 2011 (3)
January 2011 (4)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (3)
October 2010 (2)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (3)
June 2010 (5)
May 2010 (4)

Categories

Air Conditioning (13)
Alignment (16)
Alternator (3)
Auto Safety (6)
Automotive News (9)
Battery (14)
Brakes (14)
Cabin Air Filter (7)
Check Engine Light (3)
Cooling System (16)
Customer Detective Work (1)
Dashboard (3)
Diagnostics (5)
Diesel Maintenance (2)
Differential Service (3)
Drive Train (9)
Emergency Items (1)
Engine Air Filter (2)
Exhaust (8)
Fluids (18)
Fuel Economy (7)
Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)
Fuel System (47)
Headlamps (4)
Inspection (8)
Keys to a long lasting vehicle (4)
Maintenance (55)
Monitoring System (3)
Oil Change (3)
Older Vehicles (4)
Parts (9)
Safe Driving (1)
Safety (7)
Serpentine Belt (3)
Service Intervals (9)
Service Standards (12)
Shocks & Struts (7)
Steering (13)
Suspension (3)
Timing Belt (8)
Tire Rotation and Balancing (1)
Tires (2)
Tires and Wheels (43)
Transmission (7)
Warranty (1)
What Customers Should Know (59)
Wheel Bearings (1)
Windshield Wipers (8)
Winter Prep (1)