Your car battery will usually fail at the most inconvenient time. Whether you are headed to work or have a car full of groceries, a dead battery ruins your day. The typical signs are a clicking noise when you attempt to start, or it turns over but won’t actually start. Below I will discuss some of the top things that can cause your battery to fail.
Leaving on Lights or Accessories
It is common to leave a door, trunk or hood ajar which turns on a light that can drain down your battery. Also leaving on certain exterior lights can also kill the battery. Newer vehicles typically have some sort of warning system to inform you if your parking or headlights are left on.
Some accessories in your vehicle like the clock, radio and alarm always drain a small amount of energy from the battery to maintain memory. Sometimes these components can malfunction and demand more voltage than normal. Other electrical parts that should not use the battery once the vehicle is off can also malfunction and drain the battery. Sometimes this can slowly kill the battery or in some cases very quickly. If you are in the Wollongong area and need a battery, do an internet search for batteries wollongong to find a store that has batteries.
If your charging system is defective, the battery won’t properly charge while the vehicle is running. This will also put a bigger demand on the battery from the car’s electrical systems. The cause of poor charging could be loose or dirty battery connections or other component failures in the system. When the vehicle is started, it demands a lot of power from the battery that needs to be replenished while driving.
The alternator is the heart of the charging system and if it is malfunctioning, your battery will soon fail. Most vehicles are equipped with a warning light when the charging system is malfunctioning. If you see this light, have it diagnosed immediately. The output voltage for most alternators should exceed the battery voltage by approximately two volts.
Some batteries require the cells to be checked frequently and topped off with distilled water if the level is low. If the water level gets too low and the cells dry out, the battery will fail. A maintenance free battery doesn’t require any attention except to ensure all connections stay clean and tight.
Sometimes your battery may fail simply because it’s old and needs to be replaced. How long the battery last will depend on a variety of factors such as environment, system condition, system design and type battery. A typical battery will last 3-5 years with average use. If your battery is older than five years, it is best to replace it before you get stranded. An old battery will typically give you signs that it is close to failure such as hard starting. As the battery ages, it will also not charge as efficiently. This can put an increased strain on the charging system and eventually cause it to fail.