Car battery: what to know about your battery
The car battery starts the engine.
Just as the alternator, the candles, and the car lights, the car battery is part of the electrical system and is essential to start your car.
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How is a car battery?
Inside a battery consists of a plurality of cells connected in series. Each producing 2 volts, so it takes six batteries to produce the 12 volts required for most existing cars and motorcycles.
Each cell is composed of positive and negative plates positioned in parallel and alternately with:
- 3 positive plates;
- 4 negative plates.
These plates were immersed in a mixture referred to as electrolyte compound:
- to about 20% sulfuric acid (H2SO4);
- to about 80% of distilled water.
For the chemical reaction, three elements thus come into action: lead, water, and acid by interaction store current and circulate.
The assembly is usually mounted in polypropylene trays (sometimes cellular), to resist the heat and cold as well as the acid.
Good to know: some are called Gel or AGM battery. They are also formed with acid (not gel) which is embedded in a like member blotting retaining acid when open and flip.
Car battery: essential but simple check
The car battery can not only start the car but also offers electricity to the engine shutdown.
It is easy to maintain, but it does not take as long neglected.
You have two options for your battery:
- with battery maintenance;
- Maintenance free
Batteries with maintenance
Batteries contain the electrolyte (water and sulfuric acid) which should not be missed otherwise it would weaken the battery.
On some of them, you can control the level of the liquid in the filling holes. This must go beyond the plates 10 to 12 mm.
If this is not the case, distilled water may be added.
Moreover, you can inspect the (+) and (-) to verify their cleanliness:
It should not be sulfate (white powder).
If necessary, you can clean them with a wire brush after having unscrewed.
Now there are maintenance-free batteries, which are growing and which, as their name suggests, have no need to be maintained.
It should, however, you are sure of the type of battery installed in your car. For the verification, simply:
Look in your maintenance log if your car is new;
Or open your hood.
Good to know: maintenance free batteries will recognize the fact that the cowling is very difficult to remove.
When do the revision of the battery?
All batteries are not the same lifetime. In normal use, the average is 3 to 10 years.
Even maintenance-free batteries do not live indefinitely.
Important: a low battery does not necessarily mean its change!
You will find price differences:
- to the maintenance batteries and those that require no operation;
- those are sold by major general and specialized surfaces and which are proposed to you in auto services, car repairers or dealers.
Found prices ranging from 65-240 € are reasonable depending much on the brands you take.
A battery requires maintenance and summary may be made, without any recourse to a professional.
If a change is necessary, you need to integrate two very important information:
- the order of the disconnection and connection;
- on a modern car, it may be the disconnection that leads to a locking of the car.
So do not hesitate to review your service book carefully and use the tips to maintain yourself your car, before coming to block your car.
However if you lack confidence in this, do not hesitate to ask for professional service.