The battery plays a small, yet vital role in a car, truck, or SUV. As soon as you turn the key, it will perform the job it has been designed to do. Automotive batteries provide small bursts of energy to all kinds of areas in the vehicle. The battery powers the radio, headlights, and even the engine. In general, batteries translate chemical energy into electricity. In the case of car batteries, they use lead-acid to generate electrical energy. When you turn the key in the ignition, your battery sends a bolt of energy to your engine. Once the engine is on, it is powered by the alternator. The alternator also recharges the battery, so it can start your engine the next time you turn the key. On average, a car battery lasts between three and five years. This timeframe is strictly dependent on two different factors: care and climate. Firstly, the amount of corrosion can affect how long your battery will last. Corrosion naturally occurs on car batteries due to the chemical reaction that is occurring inside. Hydrogen gas is released from the sulphuric acid inside. The hydrogen reacts to the ambient atmosphere causing the corrosion. If you notice your battery has a build-up of corrosion, then use a brush and battery cleaner to remove it. Secondly, a battery’s life can vary on the climate. There are vehicle batteries designed to withstand specific environments. If your battery is nearing the end of its life span, then the extreme cold or heat could play a role in its life. The next time you replace your battery, speak to a Ford representative to see if you can get a battery suited for a specific climate.
Considerations When Buying a BatteryWhen purchasing a new car battery, there are a few details you should consider before making a decision. Batteries have various traits you need to keep on eye on in order to make the best decision. When you bring your vehicle in for an inspection, a Ford technician can recommend the best battery type for you. You can also take advantage of our Ford Motorcraft battery coupon.
Maintaining a Car BatteryModern car batteries are not maintained like other parts of vehicles. Instead, batteries are typically left alone until the end of their life cycle. Nonetheless, there are some things you can do to potentially prolong the life of your battery.
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Firstly, you can check the cables for any corrosion they have may have collected. Corrosion may appear later on in your battery’s life, but it is important to remove it when possible. You can use a brush and battery cleaner to do this. If you are unable to find battery cleaner, then baking soda and water is a good alternative.
Secondly, make sure your battery is secured in its place. A battery capable of moving or shaking around while you are driving can be detrimental to its health. Circuits could short within your battery, which would only lead to a shorter life span.
Thirdly, turn off all lights and electronics when exiting the vehicle. Headlights or a glovebox light can lead to the battery losing its charge. Batteries naturally lose their charge over time. Leaving your headlights on will lead to the battery’s shorter life.
Finally, you can maintain your battery’s life by minimizing its exposure to heat. The cold can have a similar effect on the battery’s quality. Most importantly, the reason batteries die in the middle of winter is because of the damage they receive in the summer. Extreme heat will increase the evaporation rate of water in the cells. Even sealed top batteries will have this issue. As you can see, there are several ways of maintaining your battery’s health. If you are ever unsure about replacing your battery, contact a Ford dealership to schedule an appointment. A certified technician will talk to you about what should be done.