Vehicle battery running low? Here are some tips to enhance performance!
Four Reasons why your car's battery might keep dying
- Extreme Temperatures
Extreme cold and/or heat can stress the internal structure and chemistry of a car battery and induce premature failure and a weak battery. In many cases, there's almost nothing you can do about temperature extremes but it os a factor that you should know about. Chemically what goes on is called "sulfation," which is a build-up of lead sulfate crystals which may shorten the battery's life and lengthen the amount of time necessary to charge it. If the battery is heavily sulfated and you do not operate your car a lot (as we discussed above) your battery may never get fully charged.
- A Charging System That Won't Work
The charging system in your vehicle is made to keep the car battery fully charged. If it malfunctions and provides a charge that os too high or too low, then you can have a problem. A fully charged battery usually produces 12.6VDC voltage. To charge a car battery correctly, the alternator needs to pump out about 13.5VDC or higher. If the alternator isn't working properly then it likely isn't charging the car battery properly. This can occur due to a bad circuit, a loose connection or just a faulty alternator.
- Short-Term Driving
Driving your vehicle on short trips often may contribute to a battery with a poor charge. This is because the biggest use of the battery in your vehicle is the initial engine starting phase (ten to twenty seconds, depending on the type of vehicle you drive). When short trips are normal for you, though, you never give the alternator enough time to get charged fully. When in doubt, drive around for 10 minutes or more just to keep a good charge in your battery. This is what the Service manager at Suburban of Troy, a full-service Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM car dealership in Troy, MI recommends drivers do!
- Too Much of a Current Draw
There are electronic devices in your vehicle that will draw a tiny amount of power to stay on, things like the clock circuit and other items. Normally this kind of thing won't kill the battery. However, if you have an excessive current draw because of a wiring short circuit or another kind of fault, then your battery could lose its charge before you get a chance to drive your car again.
If you have ever had a vehicle with a battery that randomly dies, then you know what true frustration is. It could be one of the most annoying things to deal with because you never know when it may leave you stranded. And not only is that annoying, the issue can be hard to fix too. The problem is sometimes your problem is a bad battery, sometimes it's the charging unit, and other times it's a problem with the vehicle's wiring. It can be complex troubleshooting this sort of thing so, in many cases, you'll want a professional mechanic to help you out. We hope it's been interesting to learn about some of the things that can cause a battery to die.
Source: Suburban of Troy, MI