If you want to work on cars, the first thing you should learn is about batteries. Despite the fact that the battery can only hold 12 volts, it serves as the entire vehicle’s power supply. You won’t be able to start your vehicle’s engine without a battery. Furthermore, the battery in your car powers all of the vehicle’s electrical systems. A car battery should last 3-5 years under normal conditions. In extreme heat or cold, only a few years will be possible.
A car battery comprises of six cells, each with a stack of positive and negative lead plates. To separate and isolate these components, insulators and an electrolyte, a mixture of sulfuric acid and water, are used. However, some batteries use gel as their electrolyte. This is referred to as “maintenance-free” because it does not need to be refilled with electrolytes. Each cell generates or stores a total of 12.6 volts.
The electrolyte and the lead plates undergo a chemical reaction. The resulting hazardous and explosive gases are released through the battery cover vents. As a result, it is critical to exercise caution when charging or jump-starting a low battery. When working on your car’s engine bay, you should use the same level of caution. To ensure adequate airflow, the battery must be kept clean at all times. All batteries, including those that use gel as an electrolyte substitute, will eventually lose some of their charging capacity. Because of the chemical breakdown of connections, plate deterioration and electrolyte loss are unavoidable.
If your car isn’t starting or charging, a battery test should be the first step in diagnosing the problem. All that is required is a visual inspection and a voltage test. If the battery is in good condition, other electrical system components may be to blame, but battery problems are by far the most common cause.
Battery testing and troubleshooting is a simple task that requires no special equipment. All that is required is an old Digital Volt Ohm Meter and a battery charger. Each auto battery manufacturer colors the ‘eye’ of the battery differently to indicate whether or not a charge is required. This is a simple way to notify you when your battery is running low. Make sure you understand your battery’s “eye” and all of its components.
When it’s time to replace your car battery, always test it first. Inspect your vehicle’s overall electrical system as well. If your battery problem is caused by a faulty alternator or another system drain, it won’t be long before you need to get a new one and replace the old one.