THE CAR BATTERY: It may seem insignificant, but car batteries play an important role in your vehicle's operation and needs to be maintained. Image: iStock
Johannesburg - It may be small, but it’s the heartbeat of your vehicle. Your battery delivers the voltage to start your car, provides the power for the electrical mechanisms in your vehicle, and stabilises the energy supply.
Batteries typically have a lifespan of about three years, but if you invest in a good-quality battery and look after it, it can last much longer.
A poorly functioning battery, on the other hand, can put stress on healthy parts of the car, and end up costing you money.
Importance of maintenance
And with the current pressure on all South Africans’ wallets, more people are holding onto their cars for longer periods, and maintenance has become more important than ever.
So have your battery checked at least once a year or every time your car is serviced.
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To keep your battery running in optimum condition, avoid overcharging, as too much heat expedites corrosion inside the battery. Overcharging can be caused by a faulty voltage regulator in your car’s alternator. Freezing temperatures also shorten battery life.
And if you often take short trips and don’t give your battery enough time to fully recharge, this may affect its life expectancy. If the battery case looks swollen or bloated, then it’s probably time for a new battery.
Before your battery packs up, it will give you a few warning signs. A very obvious symptom of trouble is if your dashboard ‘check engine’ light comes on. When you start your car, if the winding of the engine lacks energy and it takes longer than usual to start, your battery may be at fault. Leaking causes corrosion where the cable connections are located; a leaking battery releases sulphur, giving off a strong rotten-egg smell.
READ: Vehicle maintenance in SA - 7 essential checks
When it’s time to replace your battery, the friendly team at Battery Hub will gladly offer you great advice. Battery Hub will gladly install and test all batteries purchased at Battery Hub.