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Car Batteries 101: The Basics

August 31, 2018
Car Batteries 101: The Basics

Without the right battery, your vehicle won’t start properly or run all the modern electronics it has in it. Most of us know that without one, your car won’t start. However, learning how they work and the signs that it’s time for a replacement is equally important.

The easiest way to find which battery is right for you is to use the Century Battery Finder, then get your local Bob Jane T-Marts to properly install it for you.



How Car Batteries Work?

In its simplest form, a car battery stores the charge to operate the ignition, starter motor, lights and other electrical components of your vehicle. Without one, you wouldn’t be able to simply turn your key and drive away.

Your battery is charged while you drive through the alternator, which transforms mechanical power into electrical energy. This allows your battery to stay charged when in ideal conditions. Like tyres, batteries have a life expectancy. As they are used, they slowly lose the ability to hold a charge over a number of years.

Eventually, when it becomes increasingly harder to start your car, it means it’s usually time for a new battery.

Contact your local Bob Jane T-Marts for a free battery inspection today!


Car battery diagram


century-battery-diagram-jpg

The above diagram is the anatomy of a standard Century Battery…


1. Cast Plate: The cast plate design has lower internal resistance promoting superior starting power, improved vibration resistance and provides longer service life.

2. Enhanced Plate Paste: Enhanced paste formulation reduces water loss and improves charge acceptance for superior performance and longer life.

3. Expanded Grid Design: The expanded grid has uniform strength for improved corrosion resistance.

4. Separators: Separator improves electrolyte dispersion for enhanced performance and power.

5. Flame Arrestor: The integrated flame arrestor protects the battery from explosion due to external system resources.

6. Mud Rack: Mud rack container design improves plate support providing greater vibration resistance.

7. Polypropylene Case: Reinforced design provides durability to withstand shock and vibration.

8. Carry Handle: Ergonomic design provides a thicker grooved carry handle to ensure comfort.

9. State of Charge Indicator: Built-in state of charge indicator for on the spot diagnosis of battery condition.

10. Cast on Strap: Thicker cast on strap ensures durability and lower electrical resistance to promote longer battery life.

11. Labyrinth lid technology: Spill proof double lid to assist in reducing water loss promoting longer battery life.

As you can see, a car battery is a bit more complicated than most of us think. Therefore keeping it in ideal condition will improve its lifespan and save you money having to buy a new battery early.


When Do I Need A New Battery?

Before getting stranded in the shopping centre car park because your car won’t turn on, learn the signs that it’s time for a new battery.

  • Slow or no engine crank: If your car is struggling to turn on, your battery is likely not giving the stator enough charge to crank the engine. Furthermore, if your lights are working but the engine isn’t cranking at all, it’s definitely time for a new battery.

  • Low battery fluid level: Some batteries come with a coloured indicator that lets you know when the battery’s fluid levels are low and need to be topped up with purified water (not tap water). However, when a battery reaches this stage, it often means the battery needs to be replaced anyway due to old age.

  • Check engine light or diagnostics: Some modern cars will tell you when the battery’s charge is low with the check engine light or will show an error coding which links to battery issues.

  • Your battery is leaking, swollen or cracked: If your battery in any way looks ‘out of the ordinary’ or is damaged, it’s best to get your battery inspected by a professional. Generally, if your battery is showing these symptoms, it’s time for a new one.


If your battery is showing any of these signs, get it inspected for free at your local Bob Jane T-Marts today!

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