Most car batteries must be replaced numerous times throughout the years. Batteries often fail when they get old or when they are completely drained. Shopping for a replacement battery is not difficult. However, several things must be considered during the buying process. Also, certain procedures must be implemented to protect the battery after it is installed. Finally, once the battery is totally drain, it should be disposed in an environmentally safe manner.
Car Battery Batteries – Maintenance AdviceIf you buy a maintenance-free battery, you won’t have to inspect the electrolyte levels. Although absorbent glass mat batteries are much safer, they have a higher price tag. However, if your car’s design makes the process of reaching the battery difficult, an AGM battery is the best solution.
Buy A Battery That Suits Your Driving Needs
Before you go out and buy a new battery, take notes so that you can select the proper battery design and size for your specific vehicle. You can find this information in the owner’s manual.
Another thing to consider is the driving conditions and climate in your neighborhood. Some batteries cannot handle high temperatures very well. Increased heat leads to corrosion and lower electrolyte levels.
Car Battery Batteries – Buying Advice
Every battery loses energy when over time. To ensure a longer battery life, select a unit that is under six months old. The shipping code for the date can be found on the case. The code varies depending on the manufacturer. Usually, the month is determined by a letter, and the year is determined by a number.
Purchase a battery that has a plastic loop because the handle makes lifting and transporting easier. Since a battery weights 40 pounds, the handle can help you lower it into the tray.
When your battery gets old, consider recycling it instead of tossing it into the trash. The toxic acid and lead in the battery can be recycled. If you do not have access to a recycling facility, a retailer can properly dispose the battery.
Always talk to someone in the store before you buy a battery. At some locations, you may have to pay a fee to recycled a battery. However, after you return the battery for recycling, the retailer will provide a refund.
There are plenty of different battery chargers out there, so how do you know if the one you are about to buy is the one you need?
The first thing you need to know is what kind of battery you have. Is it Maintenance Free, Wet Cell (flooded), AGM (absorbed glass mat), Gel Cell or VRLA (valve regulated lead acid). A good number of chargers will work for all of them except Gel Cell. However, there are also some Gel Cell chargers that can work with other types as well.
Gel Cell batteries are ones with a silica type gel that the electrolyte is suspended in. It it commonly mistaken for AGM, because both of those battery types have liquid in them and can ensure that none of that liquid leaks if the battery breaks.
The type of battery is not all you have to know. How many Amp hours does it store? In order to make sure that your battery does not take 11 hours to charge because the charger is not ideal, take the amp hour rating of the battery divided by the amps, and add 10% for what it would take to top off the battery. For example, a 10 amp charger would take about 11 hours to do a full charge on a battery that has 100 amp hours, or 6 hours to do a full charge on a battery with 50 amp hours.
Now that you know all of that, think about what you are actually using the charger for. Is it to keep your car or motorcycle from losing its charge if you don’t ride it for a few months? If that’s the case, a low current charger will work just fine. But if you need something to charge quickly for more immediate use, a faster charger is better for your purposes. If you have an RV, maybe you will want a charger that doubles as a power supply. Or if the charger will be outdoors a lot, such as if you need it while camping or traveling, a waterproof charger may be better than a standard one. And if you need to charge several batteries at once, there are chargers that do that, too.
Overall, if you know what type of battery you want a charger for, you have the most important part covered, because that makes it easier to determine whether or not the charger will work. After that, it depends on how fast you want the battery to charge for your purposes.
The Monsoon season is upon us here in Tucson, and we’re getting ready for the raging thunderstorms that can cause damage to our homes and take out our basic utilities. Power outages due to lightening, strong winds, hail, and flash floods are all possibilities during the Monsoon season.
Here are some essential items to have on hand this Monsoon season:
Keep a flashlight and extra alkaline batteries for each member of your family in your emergency kit. These prove useful if the storm hits at night and knocks out your power system.
Radio for information:
When it storms in Tucson power and communication lines can go down. You should have a functional battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable am/fm radio with extra alkaline batteries for emergency information. With a portable radio, you will be able to stay in touch with the outside world and know what to be prepared for if you must venture out.
Maintain your car battery:
No one wants to get stuck somewhere with a dead car battery, especially not during a thunderstorm. The extreme heat we experience just before and during the Monsoon rain season can damage your car battery. Be sure to maintain your car battery year round so you don’t get stuck unexpectedly.
In the summer, your battery is actually quite vulnerable to damage as a result of the heat. Corrosion, evaporation of battery fluids and explosion are just some of the ways the summer heat can harm your battery. There are some things you can do to prevent the heat from having a really bad affect on your battery.
Get to know your battery
Get out your car’s manual, and read the section that talks about the type of battery in your car. This will tell you what the battery indicator lights in the car mean and how to clean your battery. Make sure you wear safety goggles, gloves and a shirt with long, thick sleeves. You may need to add water to your battery. Always use distilled water.
Help your battery to complete its lifespan
Typically, a car battery has a lifespan of four years. You can help it reach this mark by protecting it from extreme temperatures. Try not to leave your car sitting out in the hot sun on a regular basis. Here’s why:
There is water in your battery’s fluids, and heat can cause this water to evaporate, which would be detrimental to your battery.
The heat also causes corrosion, which means your battery will slowly disintegrate. The battery gets hot on its own. Summer temperatures of 95 degrees or more are not going to help.
Keep your battery in a covered parking area or in your garage. If your car will be sitting for an extended period of time in an unprotected area, you could always take the battery out until you are ready to use it again.
Keeping your car in your garage during the cold winter months will help it reach life expectancy too.
Have your battery tested
General Power Batteries Inc. is a leading source of information on automotive batteries. They also inspect and test batteries. Having your car battery tested biannually or even every three months will ensure it doesn’t give out on you at the wrong time. A test will let you know the condition of your car’s battery and how soon you should plan on getting a new one.
A test can tell you a lot, but if your battery is leaking or bulging in places, then you need to replace it.
General Power Batteries Inc. services are available in Tucson, Arizona. Don’t hesitate to get in contact for all of your car, golf cart, and marine battery needs and questions.
Keeping a car battery charged is part of a good maintenance plan; you want to be sure you car starts when you need it most. Most people have had experience jump starting a car at one time or another, hooking the battery of a running car to your drained battery, but in this article, we’re discussing keeping your healthy battery fully charged, or putting a charge on a dead or nearly dead battery in your home.
There are several steps to assure you get a solid charge, and maintain a safe environment while charging to avoid the possibility of any injury.
For equipment, you should consider owning a trickle charger. This is a device that plugs into your wall outlet and has jumper cables attached to it. A trickle (slow) charge provides a charge to your battery on a ‘non-urgent’ basis, and batteries seem to hold charges that have been delivered by a trickle charger for a longer period of time.
In order to prepare your car and battery for charging, you’ll need to follow a few steps:
1) Clean the battery terminals if needed. If they have a white powder like substance on them, this is dried sulfuric acide and can burn your fingers, so use caution. Clean the terminals with dry sandpaper, or a clean cloth with baking soda.
2) Remove the cell caps, the series of small caps on top of the battery. Gases build up during charging and removing the caps allows the gas to escape safely.
3) Attach the jumper cables, matching the appropriate colors, or the POS and NEG indicators. Do not let the jumper cables touch each other.
4) Turn on the charger, and let it run overnight. Check the meter in the morning and if reads less than an ampere, the task is complete and you can unplug the charger, and remove the jumper cables.
5) Test. See if you can start the car easily, without effort. If you can, your charge was successful; if you can’t, you probably need a new battery.
You can check your battery’s charge from time to time with a tool called a hydrometer If your battery has good days and bad days, you can tell if you need to ‘top off’ a charge from the hydrometer reading. Come and visit us at General Power Batters, where are always happy test and service your battery for you.
Deep-cycle battery maintenance should be done very carefully because they contain lead-acid, which can cause serious burns. Wear safety glasses and rubber gloves when working with them. It’s advisable to fill a plastic bottle with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and water. This can be used to neutralize any battery acid spills that might occur during the maintenance procedure.
Corrosion is one of the most common nuisances concerning deep-cycle battery maintenance. Apply a coat of sealant that does not harden to all the metal parts of the battery including the terminals, nuts and bolts. Although there are products sold specifically for this purpose, regular petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is a good enough choice. It will not get in the way of the electrical currents. Just spread on a thin layer using your fingers. Once corrosion sets in, it’s hard to stop.
If you find that wires are exposed at any terminal, use heat shrink tubing with adherent lining to seal it, and make sure it’s airtight. You can also use shrink tape that is capable of being submerged in water.
Deep-cycle batteries should be rinsed about twice a year. This helps to cut down on build-up of dust along with acid spills and splatters. This can be done outside in a safe area like a parking lot, driveway or over a floor drain. Rinsing the battery is also a further measure to avoid corrosion and keep stray currents from robbing the battery of energy.
When the battery is ready to be recycled, it’s important to check the laws in your particular state to find out about regulations. In most states, you can simply take it to lead-acid battery retailer or wholesaler. If the location sells those same types of batteries, they must accept it for recycling. They must also accept the same number of that kind of battery that they have sold. You can also take it to an authorized recycling center.
Visit us at General Power Batteries, we are located at 970 S. Campbell Ave., Tucson. We would love to answer any of your questions. Offering great services and high quality batteries to our valued customers is our top priority.
Signs Your Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced
The first step to proper car battery maintenance is always keeping a sharp eye on it. When you watch your battery closely, you can see signs that it is in need of replacement. The first sign is age. Any battery over three or four years old is in danger of losing its ability to hold a charge.
You also may see the check engine light come on if your battery is wearing out. If your car is very slow to start and making sluggish sounds when you crank the ignition, it is a strong sign that your battery probably needs to be replaced.
It is also important to physically inspect your battery from time-to-time. Look for signs of leaking fluids. If the battery appears to be swollen, this is another sign it is in need of replacement. If the fluid levels in the battery are low, then you most likely will need to replace the battery soon.
Maximizing the Life of Your Battery
Although every battery wears out eventually, there are several things you can do to prolong its life as much as possible. The first step is to minimize the short trips you take with your car. If you only ever use your car for short trips, the battery will rapidly lose its charge. You need to mix a long trip in occasionally to ensure your battery remains fully charged.
You should also keep the terminals of the battery clean to prolong the battery life. In addition, you need to avoid extremes of temperature to maximize battery life. You can help to protect your battery from the harsh weather by insulating it by installing a battery insulation kit.
As long as you keep an eye on your battery and take care of it well, you will make the chances of experiencing a dead battery almost nil. A good battery will last you for three to five years, and you will make sure you get the most out of it by following these tips. Visit General Power Batteries for wholesale prices on car batteries today.
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It is always a good idea to keep up with oil changes, recharge car batteries, fluid levels, and other annual inspection items on a regular basis. However, these things are critical before a road trip where you vehicle is likely to be called upon for long hours in less than average conditions. If you are going anywhere hot, then be sure to add coolant levels to the list of fluids to be inspected before departure as well.
Rubber on the Road
Ensure that your tires are in good condition before pulling out of the drive way. Low air levels and bad tread can lead to poor gas mileage in addition to increasing the discomfort of the ride. This element can also be a safety concern. Should the tread be worn to the point that the internal wiring is exposed, there is a high likelihood of experiencing a blowout that can potentially cause you to have a sudden accident.
A Quick Stop
The condition of your brakes should be inspected as well. Be sure that the rotors and pads have enough life in them to provide adequate stopping distances. Also, check on the levels of brake fluid in the vehicle. Should you not be able to perform this one yourself, the majority of auto shops will do a free inspection in very little time.
Pack a Basic Kit
You never know what kind of obstacles and unexpected mechanical problems you will face on these kinds of drives. In order to be prepared, bring along a small tool kit that includes some of the basic requirements for general auto jobs. This kit should include items such as wrenches, pliers, a hammer, screwdrivers, and ratchets.
Check the condition of your battery using an amp reader to make sure that it will get you to your destination and back again. While looking at the battery, also glance at the alternator for any obvious problems that might impede its ability to recharge the battery as your trip moves ahead. Should any signs of corrosion or other red flags be present on the battery connectors, clean them or replace the battery altogether before leaving home.
Why do batteries fail?
Normally, sulfur crystals build up inside the battery when discharging, and break apart when charging. However, if the battery isn’t fully recharged regularly, those crystals have a chance to permanently bond to the lead plates, reducing current until the battery doesn’t hold enough power to start the engine. Electrolyte evaporation caused by high temperatures and stress from low temperatures can increase crystal formation. Because of the range of driving conditions a car can experience, battery life can vary widely from less than a year to five or six years.
What do I need to consider when buying a battery?
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) – This is the number of amps available at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C.) The higher this number is, the better the battery will perform in cold weather.
Amp Hours – This is the total amount of power available inside the battery when fully charged. The more amp hours available, the longer the battery can run the car when the engine is off.
Manufacturing date – The battery should be less than six months old to ensure maximum life.
Maintenance – Standard batteries will gradually off-gas electrolyte, requiring the cells to be topped up every few months. “Maintenance free” gel batteries hold the electrolyte in a silica gel so it can’t boil off. Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries are also maintenance free and are very vibration resistant, making them a good choice for off-roading.
There is no worse feeling in the world than being stranded because your car won’t start. It can be nerve racking to discover that the battery in your car is dead. Sadly, only about 30 percent of car batteries make it the 48 months they’re designed to last. A car battery can be costly to replace, especially if it dies well before the manufacturer’s expiration date. There are many factors that play a role in early destruction of a car battery. Here are some helpful tips that may help extend the life expectancy of your vehicle’s battery.
1. Insulate It: Most of the time, there is extra space surrounding the battery in a car. If so, wrapping the battery with an insulation blanket can help immensely. It keeps the battery warm in the winter and cool in the summer. When protected from the harsh elements of weather, a car battery recharges properly and isn’t drained as badly. If there is no extra room around the battery to install an insulation blanket and you’re already purchasing a new battery, consider buying a smaller battery so it can be insulated. Many people have found that a smaller, insulated battery lasts longer than a larger, non-insulated battery.
2. Keep It Clean: Keeping the battery clean and clear of debris helps it work more efficiently. A wet rag can be used to wipe down the sides and top of the battery casing to remove dirt and dust. Many don’t realize it, but dirt and gunk on the case can drain the power slap out of a battery. However, the most common place for corrosion build up is on the terminals of the battery. When corrosion is bad, it prevents the current from passing from the battery in to the battery cables. A screw driver or pliers work great for scraping gunk off of the terminals. Always be sure to tighten the terminal clamps on the battery posts. Keeping all aspects of your car battery clean will aid in extending the life of the battery.
3. Avoid Short Trips: Starting a car is very draining for its battery, especially in areas where the climate tends to be colder. Whenever possible, walk or ride a bike. If these options are not feasible, try to group errands and short trips in to one long trip. Your car battery will thank you as it won’t have to work as hard to keep its charge.
These are only a few ways to extend the life of your car battery. Maintenance is the key and by following these simple tips your battery will be able to live out its full life expectancy with many strong starts! Visit General Power Batteries now and get wholesale prices on your new battery.