Battery Care for your Automobile

” My lights and radio work, but the car won’t start?”

Infrequently we step into our car to find it won’t crank. It always seems to happen when we can least afford this inconvenience. Remember, crank and start are two separate issues. The battery must have enough power to drive the starter; which then, in turn, spins the engine. This is cranking the engine. If the car is out of fuel, you may be able to crank the engine, but it won’t start. It’s important to distinguish the two when describing a complaint.

It could be your battery is the original, or it has been replaced at some point in the car’s life, and it’s just old! Several factors affect the battery’s condition. The most common faults are poorly serviced and dirty terminals. It’s good to have your battery inspected during service. In addition, it’s a good tool with which to judge the quality of service you are receiving! If the terminals are showing a build up of oxidation, (a bluish colored substance, dusty or fuzzy in appearance), usually found on the positive terminal, this will result in resistance to a good connection, and affect the charging input, along with output. Most batteries sold today are maintenance free. Simply put, it’s not required you add water during its projected life. However, it doesn’t mean the battery terminals won’t need service during its lifetime.

If you find yourself with a car that won’t crank, but “the headlamps and radio work,” it could be time for a new battery. It could also be the terminal connections are poor. Inspect the terminals. If you see the obvious signs of oxidation, try pouring hot tap water over the terminals. In most cases, very hot tap water will cause expansion of the metal terminals, causing the oxidation to break free during the expansion. After cleaning the terminals, it may require a jump-start to get the car started. Use caution when jump-starting. Batteries can explode and cause serious harm to both you and the car. It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in the car. Don’t settle for the short and thin jumper cables. You may find them too short, or worse, too little and unable to get the job done. Buy a good set of cables. It may cost $30-$40 but it’s usually the cost of time and not the cost of repair when a battery falls weak or dead. Also, look to see that your belts are intact. Check the belt tension, loose belts may result in poor charging. Usually, you will notice belt squealing noises before that becomes a problem. When all else fails, call EuroWerks and we will advice you of service needs.