Today’s Car Batteries Ain’t What They Used To Be!

7 05 2015

Dale BertramOur cars today are comprised of several computers or as we call them…modules.  They are busy controlling every aspect of our driving experience now including the battery.  We all remember how it used to be…you try to start your car and nothing happens.  In the past you would get out the jumper cables, get another car lined up to yours, attach the cables very carefully and correctly to each battery and in a few minutes you were good to go…at least for a little while.  This gave you time to get the battery tested and if it was a case of leaving your lights on it is probably okay…if not…you just get a new battery installed and you are on your way…problem solved.

Today’s batteries are more complex and if you try to jump start your vehicle it could be bad news.  It could cause a surge of energy to pass through the car that could potentially damage a module or multiple modules.  This is especially true if the keys are left in the ignition.

In the not too distant past a car battery could be fully recharged in an hour.  Today’s batteries not only require a special charger, it can take a full day to recharge it. We can’t use the old style chargers on these new style batteries without causing some serious damage.  It can destroy the battery and even worse, cause an explosion that can cause harm to people and property.  Obviously, if you have a new style battery, this is not the time to “do it yourself” at home.  Get the battery to a qualified repair shop and if they tell you they need to keep it for a day to determine its status, look at that as a sign they know what they are doing!  This gives them time to determine the state of the battery and if it can be saved.

Qualified technicians will also know to check the battery for what we call parasitic draw.  Sounds bad, I know, but it is not a bug or other type of creature, it is a slow drain on your car’s battery.  It seems okay at first after a recharge and can go for a day or even longer before it drains again to a non-starting point.  When your battery and alternator are checked the technician can determine what the problem is there and then and that saves you time which of course, saves you money.

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Fairway Auto Repair

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