Having a battery and electrical system you can depend on is central to protecting your peace of mind in Regina, especially in winter. Almost every Reginan has a story about a time they discovered they had a bad battery, at 6 AM, before heading to work, in -30 weather, before the days first coffee.
This is a punishment we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy and one we can avoid suffering ourselves by taking a few proactive steps to take care of our vehicle's battery and electrical system. Your Regina auto repair shop can help prepare you and your car for the cold winters.
Finding the Problem
70% of batteries don’t make it past 4 years, and their failure generally results from common causes. When checking your battery, consider the following:
Dirt and Grease: Accumulations of dirt and grease cause a battery to run hotter, reducing its useful life.
Corrosion: Corrosion doesn’t just occur where you can see it, on battery leads, but also on cables. Corrosion makes it more difficult for your battery to transmit power where it needs to be, reducing its efficiency.
Alternator: If your alternator is rusty or damaged, your battery is liable to run at consistently lower levels. A typical battery can only accommodate approximately 10 deep-cycle depletions, so ensuring your alternator can keep it consistently charged will significantly extend the longevity of your battery.
Trickle Chargers: Short trips around town with lots of stops will not fully charge your battery, and car batteries not consistently full will fail faster. A small investment in a trickle charger will allow you to keep your battery in top condition longer, and protect its longevity.
Cleaning: If you find corrosion has accumulated on your battery, generally all it takes is a bit of CLR or other calcium/lime cleaner and a wire brush to clean it off.
Check Electrolytes: Occasionally it’s helpful to check the electrolyte level of your battery. If it’s low, simply put a bit of water through any fill holes to extend the useful life of your battery. If you are unsure how to do this your Regina automotive repairs shop can help.
When selecting a new battery, choose one that:
-Meets or exceeds the Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) rating recommended in your owners manual.
-Snugly fits the battery tray, as this prevents damaging vibration.
-Offers the largest possible capacity. This is especially useful for Reginans, as large-capacity batteries are far more reliable in cold temperature.
-Has sufficient Reserve Capacity (RC), which is a measure of how long accessories can run while leaving enough power to start the engine.
Aside from the battery, there are a couple of other key components in your vehicle’s electrical system. The Starter receives current from the battery that supplies a small amount of power to the starter. The starter rotates the flywheel that turns the crankshaft. A malfunctioning or dead starter will result in the engine not working. Then there’s the Alternator , which is what charges your battery. Here are 3 signs that electrical system repair is required:
Your car won’t start
Your interior and/or dashboard lights seem dim or don’t light up properly
You car’s headlights dim while you’re driving at low speeds or the car is idling