If your car battery is beginning to show signs of wear and tear, it may be time to make a change. A car battery’s life will diminish over time as its contents deteriorate and the acid in the battery leeches into the battery wiring. It may be time to buy a new battery or to have it replaced. This can also be a safety measure, if you are driving a car that has an older battery or one with a faulty design.
A car battery is designed to store electrical charges when the battery is not in use. Its primary function is to supply a battery with a regulated current, which in turn charges the onboard chemical reactions. Like all batteries, they must have a discharge rate which is the amount of volts (V) of current per unit of time. At the most critical times, these batteries reach their maximum potential by allowing the stored charge to reach their lowest possible point, or the “discharge curve”. The higher the voltage and length of discharge the greater the energy, or battery power, available to the batteries.
Batteries do not have a memory like computers. As long as the batteries are charged and discharged, they keep using their stored potential until their useful life is depleted. Of course, even a completely drained battery will remain at the same potential for a short period of time. This is because chemical reactions inside the battery happen at a very fast pace. When these batteries reach their end of their usable life, the stored energy is quickly lost in a chemical reaction which occurs in less than a second.
In today’s world, cars and other vehicles are designed to run on low voltage electricity. Unfortunately, the standard set of starter batteries required in most starter auto models only work for approximately seven to ten hours before they need to be recharged. It takes vehicles with different engine systems up to twenty hours to recharge their batteries. While many people can live with this life span for starter batteries, others may need to purchase replacement starter batteries in the near future.
The alternator is another part of a vehicle that requires power frequently to function. In most cases, the alternator is part of a two-circuit system that includes an internal combustion engine and a high-voltage electric motor. Both of these systems require constant power to function and if one fails, both systems are affected. Replacement alternator batteries are available through many sources, including major car dealerships and several online auto parts suppliers.
Many manufacturers have recognized the importance of maintaining vehicles in order to properly protect the battery pack and reduce the likelihood of a serious vehicle malfunction that would leave drivers stranded. For example, Nissan has produced a high quality battery for its vehicles that exceed industry specifications. Honda’s Ride and Handling system also incorporate a battery isolator that allows a Honda Hybrid to power itself under low voltage conditions. In addition, most Ford vehicles come standard with a battery isolator that allows the battery to be disconnected from the alternator during cold weather starts. Battery isolators allow the battery to remain operational during start-ups and choose car battery, even when temperatures drop below freezing.