Four Car Battery FAQs Answered at Last

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Four Car Battery FAQs Answered at Last
By: Luke Shaff ~ 5/19/2016

When a car fails to start, the problem can often be traced to the battery.  There is a lot of contradictory information about car batteries due to regurgitated information and half-truths.  The following frequently asked questions and answers about this essential automotive component may help expand your auto care knowledge and clear up some common misconceptions.

Should I Disconnect the Battery if the Car isn't Going to be Driven for Several Weeks?

No.  Cars have an on-board computer system that relies on the battery even when the car isn't running.  Disconnecting the battery for prolonged periods will cut off the power supply and may lead to operational issues in the engine, transmission, and steering.  If you're not going to be driving your car for a while, connect the battery to a maintenance charger to keep its juice from draining.

Do Maintenance-Free Batteries Need to Be Maintained?

Yes.  Despite the term “maintenance-free", all Redmond car batteries do need to be checked on a periodic basis.  This includes cleaning the terminals, wiping away corrosive buildup, and inspecting the alternator charge rate.  An auto maintenance company can perform this for you if you're not sure how to do it.

What's the Average Lifespan of a Car Battery?

All batteries naturally degrade over time, though the average lifespan typically ranges anywhere from 60 to 75 months.  Operation frequency, the battery's overall quality and proper maintenance will determine how long the battery lasts.  Keep in mind, though, that if the battery dies after just two or three years of use, then the battery was either of poor quality or you failed to maintain it properly.

If the Battery Light Comes on, Does It Mean the Battery Is Faulty?

No. When the battery light comes on, it's usually an indicator that something is wrong with the vehicle charging system.  This means that the car is operating on the battery's power alone.  Continuing to drive with the battery light on will lead to a breakdown and cause extensive damage to the vehicle's electrical system.  Take your car to an auto repair service should the battery light ever comes on.

Have the Battery Checked by a Mechanic

When in doubt, always take your vehicle to an auto mechanic.  At Luke's Automotive, one of our Redmond auto technicians will let you know the current state of the battery and whether it needs to be replaced or just needs a recharge.  If a dead battery is an indicator of a bigger problem, we'll fix the issue so that your car can safely return to the road.  Inspecting car batteries in Redmond is one of our specialties, and we encourage you to have one of our expert mechanics take a look under your hood.

Schedule an appointment, or call 425-885-4333.