Without batteries, we wouldn’t be able to power many of the items we use on a daily basis – including our cars. Unlike a remote or flashlight, it takes much more than a few AA batteries to operate your vehicle. Still, a car battery is incredibly powerful for its size. Without it, you wouldn’t even be able to start your engine. Understanding, maintaining, and replacing your car battery is important to make your car continue to run.
Car Batteries: Powering You Through
Your battery provides the necessary jolt of electricity to run all of your electrical components. Every time you start up your engine it sends a current to your ignition. The battery allows parts like your locks, windows, and stereo to operate with the touch of a button. Add in other components like transmission computers, traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, and sensors and your battery’s performance impacts the whole car.
What to Look for When Buying a Battery
Depending on the brand, a battery typically lasts three-to-five years. That means eventually you’ll have to get it replaced. You’ve probably experienced the unfortunate clicking sound that means your car isn’t starting. It’s not fun to go through – especially if you have to track someone down for a jump-start. But if you’re prepared, you won’t have much to worry about. Here are a few things to know when looking for a new battery.
Cold Cranking Amps
Since temperatures fall below freezing in Minnesota during the winter, we rely on cold cranking amps to get our engines going. This aspect of your battery measures potential power output. The colder it gets and the bigger vehicle you drive, the more cold cranking amps you’ll need. Cold cranking amps are identified as a CCA rating; a higher rating means more cold cranking amps.
It’s important to remember that your alternator primarily keeps your battery going on long drives, but your battery still needs to keep some power in reserve in case the alternator or another component of your vehicle charging system, like the serpentine belt, stop working. Reserve capacity is a measurement of how much power your battery offers before the charge goes down. Unlike cold cranking amps, this aspect of your battery determines reserve power rather than startup power. If you need a lot from your battery, consider one with a high capacity.
Choosing a battery with a long warranty not only keeps you prepared for future replacement, but also may save you money if something goes awry ahead of schedule. A warranty comes in two different forms: a free replacement period and/or a prorated partial reimbursement period. The rule of thumb is that the longer the warranty, the more the battery will cost.
Get Energized with Battery Replacement from Kennedy Transmission
Your battery provides the juice your car needs for many of its operations, from turning on the lights to starting up the engine. But, like all batteries, they must be replaced at some point – and often when you’re least prepared for it. But if you keep in mind the cold cranking amps, reserve capacity, and warranty of the available amps, you’ll be better prepared for when that time comes.
At Kennedy Transmission, we perform battery replacements, as well as many other vehicle maintenance repairs. To set up your next service, find your nearest location with our store locator.