Car Smarts – Checking And Knowing Your Battery’s Condition

Like any other power sources, a car battery also has a life expectancy. And being a responsible car owner, you should be aware of times you need to charge your battery or when it is already time to replace it. All those things in your car that rely on electricity draws current from the battery, and soon the battery will wear out.

Though your car is already turned off and your key is not in the ignition, there are still some functions in your car that continuously draw a bit of power from the battery. It could be the alarm system or the clock. However, these functions do not cause your battery to drain or discharge. But, some seemingly insignificant malfunctions could cause the discharge or drainage of your battery. Like for example, some of your vehicle’s functions fail to automatically turn off – this will continuously draw current and will eventually drain your battery. If this happens, you can either check your cabin and truck lights or even the cigarette lighter. Other than that, you may also check on the wires and electrical relays that connect your battery to the car’s electrical accessories.

Checking these could be quite tedious and if you happen to lack the skills and expertise to do so, it is best to bring in your vehicle to a professional mechanic. They would usually use an ammeter to check the current drain on the battery. They will connect the devise to the battery and the drain will be measured. Normally, a current drain of 25 milliamps is acceptable, but if it exceeds more than a hundred milliamps, further diagnosis should be done.

You may also check on the condition of your car’s charging system. This one is responsible for ensuring that your battery is recharged each time you turn your keys in the ignition. Try turning up your headlights and check on its brightness. Rev up your engine and see if the light brightens with every pump on the pedal – this might mean that your alternator is not producing as much electricity as possible to charge your battery while you’re running. You may also opt to ask a mechanic or a skilled friend to check on your charging system using the voltmeter.

And most importantly, you should also check out your car battery itself. Once you car battery discharges and you want to try if it is still capable of holding a charge, try recharging it then disconnect all the cables from it. Leave it for a day and see if the charge does not run out. If it stays charged, then you battery is okay and you better check the other parts or functions that is connected to it.

Many car batteries have indicators on it, which really makes it easy for you to check if it still has juice left. Once the indicator light turns on, it’s about time to replace your battery, and if your battery do not have an indicator, ask your friendly mechanic to help you check.

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