It’s important for Orange motorists to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold CA weather. Most Irvine motorists think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold sedan engine.
However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Orange trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Orange car owners can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the CA summer and every three months during the winter.
As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your sedan alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.
If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your friendly Hi-Line Autocare tech for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your sedan alternator.
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Hi-Line Autocare 714.602.1896 134 Rancho Santiago Orange, CA 92869
Hello, welcome to Hi-Line Autocare. Today’s focus is batteries. It seems like everything in Orange runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we’re most concerned with here at Hi-Line Autocare are those in our customer’s vehicles. Just like the batteries in our smoke detectors or TV remote, car batteries wear out and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things Orange drivers should know when looking for a new battery.
Look for two measurements that come into play: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity.
Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold sedan engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in CA, specifically how cold it is. (Many CA car owners have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your sedan’s engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with.
The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient when the temperature dips. At Hi-Line Autocare, we consult the table shown below. Let’s say it’s eighty degrees Fahrenheit in Orange. At that temperature, 100% of the battery’s power is available. At freezing, only 65% of battery power is available, but it requires 155% as much power to start the engine as it did at eighty degrees.
As you can see from the chart, the colder it gets, more power’s needed, but the available power drops.
Percent of Power Available
So if you live where it’s cold in CA, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s moderate or hot. The battery that originally came with your sedan was based on averages. At Hi-Line Autocare, we like to remind Orange car owners that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as their manufacturers recommend, but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets real cold.
And the type of engine you have will impact the battery you need: A six-cylinder engine requires more cold cranking amps than a four. An eight cylinder needs even more. And diesel sedans require more than a gasoline engine with the same number of cylinders.
Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important to Orange car owners these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off in your sedan. So, the power drawn by the security system, the remote start system, even the power the computers require to maintain their memory.
Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around Orange. You’re not driving long enough for the battery to recover the energy it used to start the engine. So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer or Hi-Line Autocare and upgrade if you need more.
Talk with us at Hi-Line Autocare about your options. If you need more from your battery, a larger, heavy-duty battery may be called for. At Hi-Line Autocare in Orange, we remind our customers that it’s very important that the new battery fits your sedan: the terminals can’t be touching other parts.
Batteries are a big ticket item for most CA car owners, so the warranty gives piece of mind. There’re two kinds of car battery warranties: pro-rated and free replacement. With the pro-rated, you get a credit for a portion of the battery if it fails during the warranty period. With a free replacement warranty, you get just that, a free replacement. Be sure to ask us at Hi-Line Autocare about the warranty so you know what you’re getting.