If you’re new to the world of auto maintenance, you’ll want to pay special attention to your car’s battery. It’s the keystone of your car’s electrical system. A car battery can be fixed with a jump if it’s simply low on charge, but a failing Hyundai Equus battery must be replaced for your car to run. Here is a short guide to the ins and outs of auto batteries.
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What Does a Car Battery Do?
Why do cars have batteries if they’re powered with combustion engines? A jolt of electricity is essential to begin the combustion process and allow the engine to start. If your car won’t start and you hear the ominous clicking noise, that means your battery is low on charge or has failed.
However, a car battery does more than start the engine. It protects all of the computers and electrical systems in your car from power surges. Electrical features such as headlights, power seats, power windows, windshield wipers and heated seats all depend on electricity from the car’s battery.
One interesting feature of car batteries is that they’re charged simply by driving your car. A part called an alternator uses the motion of your car’s engine to provide charge to your battery and power your car’s systems while driving.
The alternator helps charge your battery, but you should still inspect the battery regularly. The charge can run out because short trips require a lot of charge to start the car, but the distance isn’t enough to replenish the battery.
Open your hood at least once a month to check your battery for damage. Here are some warning signs to look out for:
- Corrosion around the battery ports that resembles chalk
- Dirt on top of the battery that should be cleaned off
- Warping or bulging of the battery case
- A rotten egg smell from a leak
You can also use a multimeter to check the charge. Batteries perform best when they’re kept as fully charged as possible. Try not to let your battery dip below 12.4 volts of charge.
Battery Size Is Important
Car batteries come in different physical dimensions to fit different cars. These sizes are sorted into groups designated by number. For example, a BMW 325ls battery is group size H6, which refers to a battery that is 12 1/16 inches long, 6 7/8 inches wide and 7 9/16 inches tall.
When shopping for a battery, check your owner’s manual and be sure you’re getting the correct size. A perfect fit is imperative for the health of your battery and your car.
Keep Your Battery Healthy
There are simple measures you can take to make your car battery last longer. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your battery topped off. Battery charge can degrade a small amount each day when you’re not driving your car.
- Park out of the sun to avoid heat damage.
- Try not to run electrical systems like lights excessively while you’re not driving.
Most batteries last four to five years with proper care. Pay attention to your 2008 Hino 165 battery, and you’ll be rewarded with a more reliable vehicle.