Eliot Silverman

Eliot Silverman

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One more item related to batteries

November 17, 2010
Batteries have two posts which are used to connect it to your car. One is positive, and one is negative.    The ends of the wires which connect to the battery are called “Battery terminals.”  Remember, these terminals are on the wires not the battery.  If the area where they meet is contaminated,  your car may not start.  I have had cars towed here which only needed to have the battery and the battery terminal cleaned to get them started.

When you battery is replaced, it is important clean the battery terminals and the battery.  Over time you might see a solid white mass around your battery posts.  This white substance is acid- be very careful.  This acid corrodes the wires and the battery terminals.  Sometimes you must replace the battery terminals because the acid has badly damaged the terminals, and sometimes you must remove a few inches of the battery wire because the acid “crawled up” the wire.  When a few inches of wire are removed you must also use a new terminal.

The battery terminals fit over a battery post or screw directly into the battery.  These connections must be tight.  If you can move the wire at the battery, you must tighten the connection or your car may not start. 

The negative wire goes to the engine.  The other wire goes to the alternator, and to the fuse box.  With over 26 years of experience, the ends at the battery are the only one which go bad. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November 3, 2010 --- MORE about Batteries

November 4, 2010
More about batteries:
Batteries come in a variety of sizes and power.  Also, the positive terminal is sometimes on the left side, and sometimes it is on the right side.  When you choose a battery you need to have one that is correct for your vehicle.  If your battery is too big, it will not fit in the spot dedicated for a battery.  Forcing it into a tight space (and yes I have seen this) causes wires to be unusually pushed aside,  and because it’s too big the hold down strap cannot be used.  If the battery is too small, the hold down straps cannot hold the battery in place.  Therefore, when you get a battery you need to be sure you get the right sized battery. 

Batteries are measured in “Amps.”  A typical battery for a Honda is rated about 550 amps.  A battery for a large V-8 is rated about 750 amps.  Amps are a measure of ‘oomph.’  A bigger engine needs more oomph to get it to crank than a small engine.  When you buy a battery you need to get one with the right size and the right oomph. 

How long will my battery last?
Good question.  Generally, the less you pay for a battery the shorter its life span.  Batteries age, and as they age they have less power to start your car.  I use Interstate Batteries because they guarantee (pro rated) their batteries for at least 75 months.  Additionally, if one of their batteries needs replacing within the first 24 months, they are replaced for FREE!  I could buy less expensive batteries, but I don’t want my customers to become stranded.  I have seen batteries that are only guaranteed for 24 months.  That’s not very long.

Most batteries are easily replaced, but as manufacturers shrink cars, they have come up with some unusually places for their batteries.  I have seen batteries in the trunk, under the rear seat and some are inside the wheel well.