Winter is quickly approaching. Hubby says it is important to check your car battery soon. Extreme temperatures are hard on a battery and you do not want to wake up to a dead battery on a cold and wintry morning.
- Take your car to your local dealer, independent, or many auto parts stores to have them test it. You can call ahead first and see if they offer free battery testing or what the fee may be. If you do have to pay a fee, there is a good chance they will be checking some additional items for you at the same time. Remember, ask questions.
- The battery check tells the overall health of the battery. Batteries are rated in cold cranking amps, when they test your battery they are checking how many cold cranking amps your battery is currently putting out compared to what it is rated for. Most of the new testing devices are pass/fail. The battery is also tested to see how well it responds to having a load put on it. A good technician will also be looking at your cables and terminals to make sure they are in good condition.
- Buy the best battery that you can afford. Look at the warranty length of the battery and get the longest one possible. Generally speaking, if your battery is four years or older it probably will need replaced. A typical price range is $50 – $100, depending on the quality and where you buy it. Other than a new car dealership, Hubby would recommend buying a car battery from Napa Auto Parts, Sam’s Wholesale Club, or Wal-Mart.
- Batteries are HEAVY. You may need someone else to carry it and to install it. If you are not sure what you are doing DO NOT INSTALL THE BATTERY YOURSELF. You can damage your vehicle in major ways. You could also hurt yourself! Batteries are full of acid, keep them level when removing and storing, and do not drop them. Wear safety glasses also.
Batteries are in different locations in every car. My car, on left, the battery is at the back by the firewall. In Hubby’s car, on the right, the battery is at the left front.
Remember that all cars are different. Check your owner’s manual – that book in the glove box – for specifications for your make and model or check with the local new car dealership of your make. It is much easier to schedule time for maintenance like this than to have to replace a battery when it actually fails, which would most likely be when you are busy.
For those curious, Hubby is a master certified ASE technician, a Lexus Senior Certified Technician, and has over 25 years experience in the automotive industry. And yes, some of that car knowledge even seeps over to me occasionally!
© 2012, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.