Your car battery is essential for its operation. It can sometimes happen that it breaks down, or that it gets cold. What to do in this situation to solve the problem?
In this article, we will talk about the role of the starter battery for combustion engines. Because in the case of electric vehicles, the latter can also have the function of fuel for the engine!
What is it for?
Like the alternator, it is an essential part of your vehicle. It is, in fact, it which, when you start the car, gives the starter the impulse necessary for the engine to start. Likewise, when you switch off the ignition and leave the radio or the headlights on, it will take over to supply them with electricity. On the dashboard, it is symbolized by this symbol:
The car batteries are composed of several elements:
- Accumulators connected in series: these are elements that store the energy supplied by the chemical reaction. Once harvested, the power is returned in the form of current. It takes six accumulators for a 12V product.
- Electrolyte: this is a mixture composed of 20% sulfuric acid and 80% distilled water.
- To obtain the chemical reaction: lead, water, and acid, which are put in interaction.
Do you want to replace your car battery? It is essential to know the different features of the latter before taking the plunge. We also advise you to refer to the manufacturer’s advice.
First, the size, this may be obvious to some, but make sure that your battery can be installed in the compartment, which is affiliated with it in your vehicle.
Another area to take into account, voltage (expressed in volts), generally light vehicles contain a 12v, heavy vehicles, a 24v. Also, note that some low power vehicles can house a 6v.
The power of your product is measured in amps. If you want to start quickly, choose a battery with a high current (e.g., 400 A)!
Finally, its capacity is expressed in Ah units (ampere-hours)! The larger the latter, the more powerful it will be.
To carry out the maintenance, it is necessary to know the voltage of the latter. There are several ways to perform this manipulation
Be sure to stop the engine from checking it. Indeed, the latter is in permanent charge, which will allow it to emit a voltage even if the engine is off.
The most common way is to take a multimeter and connect its “test probes” to the positive and negative terminals. It should now indicate a voltage between 12 and 14 volts. Also, be aware that you can measure this voltage through your car’s OBD socket.
When to change it:
The battery life of a car is around eight years. However, if there are warning signs, it will be better to charge it before the end of its service life. The ideal is, therefore, that this change is made as soon as the slightest warning sign of failure is detected. Indeed, the latter can wear out prematurely, which can cause the vehicle to stop starting.
The warning signs
There are several warning signs that your car battery is about to run out. According to bestforconsumer.com AGM battery is the best option for you. In some cases, the car will have a hard time starting, and it may take several tries before you can successfully start your vehicle. If After seeing these difficulties, you see that its voltage is low, that is, it is below 11V, then there is a problem. Finally, battery terminals that are oxidized can put your ear to the bug that a breakdown will occur.
There are a few precautions you should take if you want your battery to last longer:
- The first precaution, and above all the most obvious, is to check, when you exit the vehicle, that all the electrical systems (bulb, radios, etc.) are switched off so that they do not unnecessarily discharge it!
- It is sensitive to large temperature changes. To prevent it from breaking down in winter, for example, you can cover the hood with a tarpaulin or blanket.
- Finally, avoid starting the engine several times in a row; it can also tire your car battery.
How to recharge it?
With two vehicles
If, despite all these precautions, your battery is flat, do not worry: there are solutions without you having to go through a professional garage. First, you can help yourself with a second vehicle. You will also need starter cables.
Please note: petrol and diesel vehicles do not have the same starter cables!
- Open the hood of both vehicles
- the breakdown vehicle must be on the way
- Connect the two batteries using the starter cables. The red wire must be placed first on the positive terminal of the cell (represented by the sign +), while the black wire must be placed on the negative terminal (represented by the symbol -).
- You can turn on the engine of the breakdown vehicle and let the two engines run for a few minutes.
- You can remove the alligator clips from it.
With a battery charger
Another solution is possible if you do not have a second vehicle on hand. There are indeed chargers for your car. To use it, it is very simple: it is the same method as with alligator clips:
- Connect the red clamp of your charger to the positive terminal
- And connect the black cable to the negative terminal!
- You have to wait a few hours so that your vehicle has time to recharge it.
Using a starter booster
You can also use a starter booster to recharge your battery:
- Check the charge level of your booster: it must be half full to function.
- Open the cables of your car and place first the red clamp and second the black clamp.
- Switch on the booster by pressing or by turning the start button.
- If your car starts to let the engine run for 30 seconds, then remove the black clamp first and finish with the red clamp.
If your vehicle does not start, you can retry handling but always wait 30 seconds between each attempt.
Now you will know how to react in the event of a battery failure! Remember that a maintenance-free battery = a battery that can drop out at any time! If you are a beginner mechanic and want a new one, we advise you to let an expert in a garage or a car center, take care of this mission.