A weak battery that will start a car or truck no fuss no muss in the middle of summer can leave you waiting for the motor league boost car vehicle in the middle of a cold Canadian winter season. Why is this? A lead acid automobile battery is based on a chemical process. The warmer it is the more the molecules bounce around to give you that vital electrical charge to turn your engine’s starter motor. Conversely in colder and especially frigid temperatures those molecules movements slow to a slug rate and your starter motor slowly lets out a growl that indicates not enough current and power to kick start your vehicle for you to drive away easily.
Battery failure is the number cause of automobile service calls. Here are steps to help you avoid being so stranded. To avoid the possibility and possibilities of being stranded in the cold and snow because of a dead battery, here is simple and straightforward advice on buying testing and cleaning automotive batteries.
First of all when you go to replace your battery – either as preventative maintenance or as a necessary replace ensure that the battery has similar or even more cold-cranking capacity (CCA) as the original OEM ( original equipment manufacturer that is the vehicle’s brand maker) supplied battery and nothing less. True if you think that you will not be keeping the SUV Sports Utility Vehicle, truck or car for a short period of time you may go on the cheap side thinking a new battery will be more powerful than an older used battery of higher capacity will do. Or if you are trading in eh vehicle shortly and will not be the owners over a winter time period a very inexpensive battery might do the trick.
If you have bought the car or truck used and the battery or its replacement history is what might be considered an unknown entity, then a good rule of thumb is to purchase a battery with a CCA rating at least equal to the size of the engine in cubic inches. If you do not know the engine size (perhaps you are in Canada and the size is listed in metric terms), then either look online at the identical model on American websites or alternatively look under the hood in the engine compartment at the tune-up data placard in the engine compartments or within the documents that arrived with the car and most likely are in the glove box. Basically engines with 1 to 3 liters are smaller than 250 cubic inches; engines with a 4 liter class are in the ranges of 250 to 300 cubic inches. However if you live in colder climate – such as the northern US states or up in northern Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta or BC Canada you might want to spend a bit more to get a larger capacity replacement auto battery.
Lastly batteries need to be maintained and cared for even if they are stamped “maintenance free”. Terminals routinely need to be inspected and cleaned with baking soda solution and a wire brush from time to time. Next examine, or have your local mechanic or dealership service center examine the battery cables for worn insulation, breaks or fraying. Replace both cables even if only one is damaged.
Lastly have the battery physically inspected as well. Have the sides and top of the battery inspected. Then as a matter of course have the unit replaced right away if the unit is found to be cracked or a chunk has perhaps broken off or away. Even if the battery passes a visual inspection ensure that the battery itself is firmly secured and that a quickie substandard installation was done and not a shoddy one. If you can shake the battery back and forth, it’s not a good sign. If you can shake the battery back and forth, take care to have the hold-downs to prevent future battery damage. If hold-downs are not supplied under the hood these are readily available at most auto supply stores and big box auto outlets.
With basic attention to detail, ongoing care and battery maintenance you will be much less likely to be stranded on the roadside waiting patiently or not so patiently for tow truck to give you a wintertime emergency battery boost.