Nothing is more frustrating than when you need to be somewhere right away and your car won’t start. You turn the key and hear a gentle clicking noise. Experienced car owners know the problem immediately.
Their battery has died.
An automobile battery is an investment in your car’s future, so you don’t want to make any mistakes when you purchase a new one. But how do you know what battery to get? What mistakes should you avoid?
By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you will understand how to avoid car battery replacement mistakes.
Your first mistake is a time issue. When you see the signs of your battery failing, take care of it before it leaves you without a car and far from home. If you wait until your car breaks down, you will be without a vehicle for at least a day if not even longer.
Furthermore, you don’t know exactly when your battery will fail. You put yourself at risk of an accident when you wait until the battery fails.
So be proactive, learn about car battery features, and then purchase a car battery. If you’re not sure if your battery is failing, run through this checklist:
- Vehicle starts sluggishly
- Vehicle struggles to start on cold mornings
- Your sound and interior lights won’t turn on when you try to start your car
- Your battery has a loose or corroded connection
- You can only start your car by jump-starting it
To know for sure that you have a battery problem, take your car to a mechanic. You may have a problem with the alternator and not just the battery. If your alternator is failing you, then a new battery will not ultimately solve your problem.
You should also check the date of your battery. If your battery is more than three years old, it’s time to start watching for signs of its failure. A battery lasts between three and five years.
Buy the Right Battery
All car batteries have similar functions, but they do not all fit in the same vehicle. Do not waste money purchasing a battery that won’t fit in your car.
Look at the size and terminal placement of your current battery before you start battery shopping. The size of the battery determines if the battery will fit in your car. The terminal placement will make sure the battery connects to the rest of your engine.
Look for a battery that says it is explicitly for your make and model of car.
If you’re desperate to get a battery, you’ll be tempted to go cheap on your battery. Don’t do this. You will get what you pay for in the world of automobile batteries.
You don’t need to buy the most expensive battery on the market. But you should pay more for the features and specifications you need.
An AGM or absorbed glass mat battery is a good example of this principle. An AGM battery will cost you more than other batteries. But it will also hold a charge longer than most batteries.
Look a the lifespan and capacity of the automobile batteries that you’re shopping for. Pay for a battery that’s going to last so you don’t find yourself in the same situation a year down the road.
While you don’t want to purchase the cheapest battery, should also not default to the most expensive battery. Look at how long you plan on having your car before you purchase your battery. Purchase the battery for the length of your needs.
Also, consider your local weather. Do you need to pay extra for Cold Cranking Amps if you live in the desert where temperatures rarely dip below freezing?
Pay for the battery you need, but don’t pay extra for the features you don’t need.
Use a Professional to Change Your Battery
Many individuals will attempt to change their car battery on their own. While you can certainly find hundreds of DIY videos on how to change a battery, you will have a better chance of your battery lasting if you have a professional install it.
Also, you protect yourself physically when you have a professional automotive tech change your battery. Whenever you’re working with a battery, you run the risk of sustaining a shock. Automotive technicians work around batteries every day and understand how to mitigate the risks.
Furthermore, you run the risk of harming your car further when you install a battery on your own. If you do not understand how a battery works, have a professional install it so you do not harm your alternator or other engine parts or inadvertently shorten the life of your battery.
When you change your battery, you also have to figure out a way to properly dispose of the battery. A professional automotive technician will know where to put a dead battery and have the resources for proper disposal.
Don’t Overlook Your Warranty
You can best protect the investment of your battery by paying close attention to the warranty coverage. Purchase a battery with proper warranty coverage. This will give you peace of mind for the time of the warranty should there be defects in the materials or workmanship of your battery.
You should also make sure your service shop comes with a warranty. This will ensure their work lasts a long time as well.
If you still plan on installing your battery, make sure you know what you’re doing. Many automobile owners make simple mistakes that yield big problems. Here are the most common:
- Failing to clean cable clamps
- Not disconnecting terminals in the proper order
- Spilling electrolyte solution while removing the battery
These simple mistakes can compromise the health of the battery and the person installing it. If you’re going t install the battery on your own, follow all of the directions from a reliable source. Don’t skip any steps.
Avoid Car Battery Replacement Mistakes
If you avoid these car battery replacement mistakes, you can hope for a long-living, healthy automobile battery and a reliable ride. No longer will your car leave you sitting on the side of the road in the desert.
Look for a battery with the features you need and a long warranty. Spend enough but not too much on this important piece of equipment. Then either contact a professional battery tech to install your battery or follow instructions carefully to avoid careless installation mistakes.
Do you need a new battery? If so, contact us. We have been serving customers for over 25 years.