Answer this. Which is the most important component of your car after engine? It’s, but of course the battery. In fact, for the wheels to get moving, battery only pulls the string of engine to churn it into life. And that’s not all, the other electrical add-ons, which a modern day car held, too runs on the battery. In short, it would have been difficult to imagine the car running without the invention of batteries in the universe. It is crystal clear that battery is the next most important component of your car in the near future. And we feel it safe to utter, the future cars will have 3-4 of them, looking at the burgeoning demand of features in the car market. However, the battery takes no time to fall off, if one is least concerned about it. To our experience, the car owners must lend their importance to the battery of their cars too, because it takes too short for a battery to fall dead amidst the journey. And in fact, if not followed the indications prior, then one may have to ask for the assistance to get the car pushed for getting it started. And we believe, one of the most embarrassing situations is, when the others come to know that your car breakdown was actualized by the negligence of battery. Not taking a lot of your time, let’s discuss the tell-tale of battery problems, and some quick fix solutions, before you hit the roadblock.
Signs of Battery Trouble: Symptoms
Frankly, the car’s battery doesn’t just gives up and at one take, but it gives a lot of indication before dying off. One has to keep his and ears open to hear them. Indications are not an example of rocket science that the usual car owners may not be able to figure it out.
Starting with the ignition, the car’s battery does play an important role in the engine ignition process (as we all knew it), but if it is taking more than the usual time, then there is something wrong with the battery. A fault-free battery holds enough of the charge to start the engine at a take, instead making you twist the key/push the start button again and again. Hopefully, the moment you turn the key fob, there the car starts, is what the proper battery does. It may be possible that a winter morning may take a bit longer than other days to get the powerplant into life, but on any of the other days it strikes as an important indication for us to see and observe the difference. So if anyone is facing the problem like a delayed start from the car, then it is probably the battery as first to poise this nag. The next time when you start the car do notice it.
The other symptom that denotes the weak battery is, flickering of headlamps, when the engine is running idle yet. Yes, that’s the commonly seen and ignored indication of car’s weak battery by the owners. Most of us do take it lightly even after seeing it at the most, but doesn’t heed to pay attention to it, leaving it to the infusion of our “let it go” attitude. Take a simple test here. Let the engine run idle with headlights on. And now dab the throttle, if the headlights turns brighter, it means the battery is weak. And if the headlamps stay constant, there is nothing to worry about.
The Reasons: Causes
The first reason that comes to our mind regarding the hassle of batter is its life, and we seem to be an easy method to get rid of the fiddling power pack, is the “replacement”, which also falls to be an expensive way on the pocket. It advisable only when the battery has lived upto four years (more or less) from the time of purchase. The other side, that said, the battery do needs maintenance rather than a replacement for most of the occasion. For those, whose car’s battery hasn’t grossed four years and are still giving shortcomings in the run, then mentioned here are some of the reason that curses the battery to terminate its life shortly.
The major and the most commonly known, is the low running fluid level. It is called the “Battery water’ – a mixture of sulphuric acid and water. One can check it by opening the caps placed on the top. If the yellow-brown plates are fully occupied (we mean submerged) in water then there is nothing to worry about. But if they don’t, then you need to fill the case with the distilled water. Do not use the tap water for the distilled, because there are chances the tap water may contain some chemicals, which can change the constitution of the battery fluid.
The second cause is the connecting point. The connectors that travels the current from the battery to the vehicle sometimes gets worn-out and corroded due to deposit of acid on them. For the said reason, the power from the battery gets dozed off meanwhile, and it doesn’t hit the regarded terminal with the needed voltage, causing the improper functioning of some gadgets/features inside cabin. A replacement feels much needed when the said happens, or cleaning them requires a bit of techniques and some assorted cleansing agents. To its addition, if the connectors have became thin, then too are in desperate need of replacement; it occurs due to the acid deposits on them.
Cleaning tip: The connecting terminals of battery must be taken off carefully, and then it should be cleaned by scrubbing a mixture of baking soda and water on them with an old toothbrush or a wire if available. After that, put them back in their place and smear them with petroleum jelly available in your nearby chemist stores. Petroleum jelly will keep the corrosion in check. We advise, be careful while cleaning those terminals, because they may be consisted of acidic deposits from the battery which can burn clothes and skin if fallen on them.
The last, and yet the ultimate technical crisp, that leads to the failure of battery is the non-functioning ‘alternator’. Alternator charges the battery when the engine is running. So it is advisable to take your vehicles for a checkup at a service professional for getting issues straight with the alternator’s functioning.
And not the least, sometimes it does happen with the cars which are low in run on odo, the fluid in battery case differs from the upper level than the lower level. It is because, due to low heating received from the alternator in the low grossing miles, the heat doesn’t reaches to the top of battery casing. Instead the most functioning takes place in lower potion, so the fate of liquid remains in two different in the same compartment of battery due to it. This type of fault/damage is irreversible; there probably is no solution to it. If anyone out there is facing this, he is needed to do the replacement straightaway.
Other technical drawbacks that terms to the shorten life of car’s battery is the “physical factors”. They can be anything like from the damage caused while servicing or the ones got hit in an accident. Though, we are not going to preach our article that extreme, which we guess everyone knows, but we will write the other minute points that leads to the effect and doesn’t comes into light probably.
First of them is the damage caused by hitting a big pothole. Growling over the giant potholes not only damages the suspension, but they also put some ounce of jerking effects on the battery as well. It can be severely damage the lead plates inside by sending a detailed vibration inside the case. Or else, a pothole can also become the reason for the loosen plates in the battery.
The other reason, that is unavoidable, is our climatic conditions. The battery is designed to work at its best in the temperature near to 25 degree Centigrade. But here in India, the climate is not that conducive. The mercury almost stays upper than the mark for most of the year, and in most of the regions. So abiding by that rule is not feasible. We Indians experience the extreme of climate, and both the ends don’t prove good results to our battery. The extreme cold takes to lower production of charge and that’s why we see it takes long to ignite engine on a cold winter morning. In contrast, the extreme summer condition heats up the production of charge which results more consumption of lead plates and fluid. So both these drastic conditions are batter for a battery to work as per the standard conditions.