A bad battery may not only leave you stranded on the side of the road, it can also lead to a damaged electrical system, expensive repairs, and even a collision. Your car battery is an important component of your vehicle’s electrical system and the more you know about it, the less likely you are to end up getting stuck.
The typical car battery lasts between 4 to 5 years, but exposure to extreme temperatures can shorten its lifespan. Near the end of its life, your battery will exhibit easy-to-spot symptoms that let you know it needs to be replaced. Knowing when to replace your battery, when to check your alternator and when you just need a jump, will keep your vehicle running smoothly, prevent expensive repairs, or even an accident.
Why Your Car’s Battery Is So Important
The car battery provides electrical current necessary to start your engine and without it your car won’t start!
But what exactly, does a car’s battery do?
- It delivers voltage to the starter by converting stored energy into the electrical current required to start your engine
- Starts the alternator, which in turn supplies a continuous charge to the battery
- Supplies a constant and controlled source of power to all the electrical components of your vehicle including power brakes and steering
Your battery not only starts your engine, it works in conjunction with the alternator to ensure your vehicle’s electrical supply remains constant to keep your engine running smoothly and protect all electrical components and keep them functioning properly.
Know When to Replace Your Battery to Prevent Expensive Electrical System Repairs or Even an Accident
If your vehicle suddenly loses power due to battery failure while driving, the power steering and power brakes typically fail as well. This puts you at risk of an accident and a higher rate on your car insurance. Drivers should look for the following symptoms to prevent sudden battery failure and the risk of an accident:
- CHECK ENGINE dashboard indicator light
- Leaking and/or corrosion around the battery posts
- Low battery fluid (below the inner plates of the battery)
- Swollen or bloated-looking battery case (usually caused by excessive heat)
- Engine takes longer than normal to start
*Sluggish engine starts may be an indicator of a bad alternator.
When to Replace Your Alternator
Since it works in conjunction with your car’s battery, a failing alternator could be the cause of starting problems.
Signs of a bad alternator include:
- Hard or slow cranking when starting engine
- Dim headlights, brake lights and dashboard lights
- BATT or ALT dashboard indicator light
*Most BATT dashboard lights actually indicate alternator trouble, because the battery is not receiving a charge from the alternator.
Car Insurance Calgary: Tips From the Brokers at Bow Valley Insurance
Don’t let car battery problems lead to expensive electrical system repairs or an accident, and to prevent other expensive repairs, don’t overheat!
Why use a broker? With every quote, we do a free rate comparison so you can select the policy that’s exactly right for you. Our experienced brokers have been serving insurance needs of Canadians for. We do all the insurance shopping for you, you’ll save time as well as on your insurance premiums.
Please request your free auto insurance quote today!