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Make Your Battery Last

Posted May 15, 2022 10:53 AM



Today's report from Lakeside Certified Auto is on vehicle batteries, why they die and what we can do to lengthen their life. Most of us have had a dead battery at one time or another. In fact, it would be very unusual if you hadn't. You may be surprised to learn that only 30 percent of Willoughby vehicle batteries last for 48 months.

Now that's an average. How long a battery lasts depends on many factors. You may not know that one of the biggest factors is the temperature where you live and drive around in OH. You might suppose that cold weather was harder on batteries because it takes more power to crank a cold engine, but the opposite is actually true.

For more information on your battery, please visit us:
Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076

Batteries in very cold climates have a life expectancy of 51 months as opposed to 30 months in very warm climates. The reason is simple: batteries are chemically more active when they're hot than when they're cold.

A vehicle battery will actually start to discharge on its own within 24 hours in hot weather. It takes several days in cold weather. When batteries are left too long in a state of partial discharge, the discharged portion of the battery plates — for the lack of a better word — 'die.' Recharging the battery will not restore the dead part of the battery plate.

One of the big problems for the way most of us drive in the Willoughby area is that our batteries are often partially discharged. The biggest job the battery does is to start the vehicle. It takes some time for the alternator to recharge the battery after starting. If you're driving short distances, especially if there are several starts and stops, your battery may not fully recharge.

Another issue is that vehicles are coming equipped with more and more electricity-hungry accessories like navigation systems, DVD players, CD and MP3 players, heated seats, heated steering wheels and so on. And we often plug in cell phones, computers and other gadgets. Combine that with short trips and it's no wonder that our batteries are partially discharged.

Experts say we can extend our battery life by topping off the charge periodically using a good quality battery charger. You may have heard these chargers referred to as 'trickle chargers.' They're attached to the battery and plugged into a wall outlet to slowly bring the battery up to full charge.

Now, there's some science involved with how fast a battery should be recharged. If you buy a cheap manual charger, you'll have to tend it. Frankly there is a learning curve on how to do it right and it requires much attention. A computer controlled charger – or smart charger – monitors the process and determines the appropriate rate of charge. And it even stops charging when it's fully charged. It costs more than the manual charger, but the automatic model is worth it.

The suggestion is to charge once a month in warm weather and once every three months in cold weather.

Another thing to avoid is deeply discharging your battery, something like running the headlights and stereo with the engine turned off. That'll take months off the battery life every time you do it.

Now, as we discussed, heat is hard on a battery. A dirty, greasy battery holds more heat. You can wipe off excess dirt with a paper towel or ask your service advisor at Lakeside Certified Auto to clean it for you. We can even test your battery and tell you if it's time to replace it.

Batteries are fairly expensive, so taking a few steps to make them last longer is well worth it. Of course, the battery will eventually need to be replaced. Always make sure you get a new battery that meets the factory specifications for your vehicle. If you feel you need more battery capacity than what came with your vehicle, talk with your service advisor at Lakeside Certified Auto about appropriate upgrades.

If you have a dead battery, be careful to inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. And deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



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What People Say About Us

  • reviewiconCar & Truck Care, near Willoughby, Ohio
    , 08/11/2022

    Absolutely the best place for car repairs and most reasonable price. Super terrific mechanics and fast. Brought my car in to see what was wrong with all the noise it was making. They found the problem, called and had it in and out in two and a half hours. Did not try to push or sell me on what was not necessary and very honest. Can't sing their praises enough. They have a new customer.

  • reviewiconCar & Truck Care, near Willoughby, Ohio
    , 08/09/2022

    Great shop, took care of my car

  • reviewicon
    , 08/04/2022

    First time customer...great experience, fair prices and very friendly!

  • reviewicon
    , 08/01/2022

    These guys and gals are always there for me when I need a fix or first/second opinion. They are down to earth with no overselling. There is a park about a block a way with basketball courts, frisbee golf course and a track to kill time.

  • reviewicon
    , 07/14/2022

    Great service! Always extremely nice from start to finish with good prices as well.

  • reviewicon
    , 06/03/2022

    They were absolutely wonderful. Quick to diagnose the issue, considerate of my concerns, thorough, professional, and kind. I highly recommend them and will definitely return.

Call us for service: 440-946-0076

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