Battery Maintenance Tips From George's Wholesale Tire & Auto
Posted December 10, 2017 12:54 PM
When it comes to your vehicle, it all starts with the battery. Proper battery maintenance is important for two reasons:
First, your vehicle won't start or run without it. Second, it is the key to the long life of your auto electrical system. If your battery isn't working efficiently, your alternator has to work overtime to make up for it, and other electrical components can suffer as well.
A number of years ago sealed batteries were introduced to the local Spring Hill, Florida, market. They were hailed as being 'maintenance-free batteries.' While it is true that you can't get in and adjust the electrolyte levels of a sealed battery, it is by no means maintenance free.
Batteries are very sensitive to changes in the weather around Florida. Temperature really affects auto battery performance. A battery inspection is an important part of your spring and fall checkups. Next time you're under your hood, take a look at your battery.
- Is it clean and free of residue? A dirty battery will drain.
- Is there corrosion at the terminals where the battery cables attach to the battery? If there is, the corrosion can interfere with how efficiently electricity passes back and forth from the battery.
- Are the cables loose? Make sure they are tight.
- Are the cables themselves corroded? Corrosion can actually eat through the battery cables.
George's Wholesale Tire & Auto service advisors can inspect and test your battery. If the inspection warrants a cleaning, have it done. If the battery test indicates that replacement of the battery or cables is in order, you will be lucky to have caught the problem before it becomes a major inconvenience.
Your battery will also last longer if you keep your fuel system and ignition system clean. It's all part of your commitment to regular maintenance, to keep your vehicle running on Spring Hill streets at its best for a long, long time.
Battery Basics for Spring Hill
Posted June 24, 2015 12:00 PM
It's important for Spring Hill drivers to know battery basics. First, let's talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold Florida weather. Most Spring Hill area drivers think it's cold weather because that's when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold vehicle engine.
However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Spring Hill trips because the alternator doesn't have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Spring Hill drivers can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the summer and every three months during the winter.
As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren't capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your vehicle alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.
If you're pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your friendly and knowledgeable George's Wholesale Tire & Auto service assistant for a battery test to see if it's recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery on a Florida road, but you'll save unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle alternator.
Give us a call.
George's Wholesale Tire & Auto
322 Suzanne Avenue
Spring Hill, Florida 34607
Make Your Battery Last
Posted March 25, 2015 12:00 PM
Today's report from George's Wholesale Tire & Auto is on vehicle batteries, why they die and what we can do to lengthen their life. Most of us have had a dead battery at one time or another. In fact, it would be very unusual if you hadn't. You may be surprised to learn that only 30 percent of Spring Hill vehicle batteries last for 48 months.
Now that's an average. How long a battery lasts depends on many factors. You may not know that one of the biggest factors is the temperature where you live and drive around in Florida. You might suppose that cold weather was harder on batteries because it takes more power to crank a cold engine, but the opposite is actually true.
For more information on your battery, please visit us:
George's Wholesale Tire & Auto
322 Suzanne Avenue
Spring Hill, Florida 34607
Batteries in very cold climates have a life expectancy of 51 months as opposed to 30 months in very warm climates. The reason is simple: batteries are chemically more active when they're hot than when they're cold.
A vehicle battery will actually start to discharge on its own within 24 hours in hot weather. It takes several days in cold weather. When batteries are left too long in a state of partial discharge, the discharged portion of the battery plates — for the lack of a better word — 'die.' Recharging the battery will not restore the dead part of the battery plate.
One of the big problems for the way most of us drive in the Spring Hill area is that our batteries are often partially discharged. The biggest job the battery does is to start the vehicle. It takes some time for the alternator to recharge the battery after starting. If you're driving short distances, especially if there are several starts and stops, your battery may not fully recharge.
Another issue is that vehicles are coming equipped with more and more electricity-hungry accessories like navigation systems, DVD players, CD and MP3 players, heated seats, heated steering wheels and so on. And we often plug in cell phones, computers and other gadgets. Combine that with short trips and it's no wonder that our batteries are partially discharged.
Experts say we can extend our battery life by topping off the charge periodically using a good quality battery charger. You may have heard these chargers referred to as 'trickle chargers.' They're attached to the battery and plugged into a wall outlet to slowly bring the battery up to full charge.
Now, there's some science involved with how fast a battery should be recharged. If you buy a cheap manual charger, you'll have to tend it. Frankly there is a learning curve on how to do it right and it requires much attention. A computer controlled charger – or smart charger – monitors the process and determines the appropriate rate of charge. And it even stops charging when it's fully charged. It costs more than the manual charger, but the automatic model is worth it.
The suggestion is to charge once a month in warm weather and once every three months in cold weather.
Another thing to avoid is deeply discharging your battery, something like running the headlights and stereo with the engine turned off. That'll take months off the battery life every time you do it.
Now, as we discussed, heat is hard on a battery. A dirty, greasy battery holds more heat. You can wipe off excess dirt with a paper towel or ask your service advisor at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto to clean it for you. We can even test your battery and tell you if it's time to replace it.
Batteries are fairly expensive, so taking a few steps to make them last longer is well worth it. Of course, the battery will eventually need to be replaced. Always make sure you get a new battery that meets the factory specifications for your vehicle. If you feel you need more battery capacity than what came with your vehicle, talk with your service advisor at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto about appropriate upgrades.
If you have a dead battery, be careful to inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. And deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.