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Understanding Your Car's Battery

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Understanding Your Car's Battery

Chuck Smith
June 13, 2006

The battery of your car is actually where everything starts. Imagine running without a battery. Now, you would know that without it, you might not be even able to start your car at the very least and how would you even expect to make your vehicle run great distances without its power source. Your car’s battery is an electric battery. Its main purpose is to simply provide the much needed electric energy to give your machine’s starter motor and ignition system a shock that would make them start.

Thus, it is important that you make sure that your car battery would be in good condition so that you would not get stranded anywhere because you simply thought better than keeping your battery in good shape. Some vehicle owners even do not understand that their battery is essential in the whole process of making their cars run. Some car batteries are even overlooked and taken much advantage of that the owners would realize its importance once it runs out of power.

You should know when you purchased your battery. Keep track of its age. Automobile experts and battery manufacturers suggest that a battery would be worth keeping up until it reaches four years of usage. If it is more than that, then it is time to purchase a new one. You can also try having a mechanic do a load test on your battery so as to see whether it is still able to create the right amount of charge during cold days. If your car battery passes the test, then you still can keep it. On the other hand, if it does not, then go ahead and buy a new one for your car.

You should also make sure that the battery terminals are clean. Check if there are deposits around it. If there are, you have to clean them. You can use a wire brush to clean the terminals. A wire brush that has been dipped in baking soda and water works well. Clean the terminals until there are no more signs of corrosion or other deposits. You see, these foreign matter block the flow of electrical current that the battery supplies.

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