My car needs…
It was a quiz. A trick question. What is the most important part of your car? The engine? Well, you are not going anywhere without an engine, that’s for sure. Also, if you have no wheels, driving will be a little difficult. But the question isn’t asking you about the extremes. If you find no wheels on your car, it’s likely the vehicle is sitting on a few bricks and the local lads are having a pint and smoke after swiping them from your parked car and selling them! No engine means the mechanic has it in his workshop, still trying to work out the problem.
Yes, it’s the battery. The part that feeds power to get the darn car started. And batteries pick the worst time to fail. You’re in a hurry to get to work in the morning. Running late as usual. Car won’t start. The battery is dead and your boss is never going to believe this one because it’s true!
Your car stalls at the traffic lights. The impatient horns behind you start their ‘symphony cacophony’ and you are turning the ignition key on and off and getting nothing but a ‘click, click’ sound! You sense it’s the battery from the noise but cannot believe that a battery would die just at that moment.
Your Car Battery
Car batteries have come a long way over the past 25 years. They are no longer required to be filled with distilled water every couple of months. The red rubber bubble eye dropper, the PH tester and the nasty smell on your fingers are all ghosts of ancient battery technology. Cars no longer come with a crank handle supplied either! These days the batteries are better made, sealed, require no maintenance and like everything else in the modern era, they are throw away replacement parts. Thank heavens they don’t cost an arm and a leg.
The most common problem with your car battery these days is that the clamp on the lead might be loose which gives the vehicle the same symptoms as if the battery had failed. You needed a jump start or had to give a jump start to a friend and you didn’t secure the leads correctly. Speaking about jump starts, the modern technology of a car includes a computer and jump starting a car without some sort of surge protection can fry the internal diagnostics, so be careful.
Recharge or Re-Buy?
Regardless of how well car batteries are made, a flat battery still remains the number one vehicle breakdown call-out for RAC-type services. Colder weather makes it harder to turn over an engine and the drain on the power in the battery can cause a cell failing or the battery just running out of oomph! Don’t take the throwaway option without at least trying to recharge it overnight. Short trips without an adequate charging time might cause a battery to fail as well. The occasional night on the charger should fix that problem. If after charging you still have a battery failure, don’t hesitate to throw it away and buy a new one. It will save your sanity too.