Auto Care Plus

Serving Orange and the surrounding area for over 40 years

Auto Care Plus - Serving Orange and the surrounding area for over 40 years

The Auto Care Plus Auto Report: Battery Testing

The simple fact is that 70% of car batteries fail within 4 years. They just need to be replaced when they are no longer able to hold a full charge.

Batteries are a big ticket item for most Orange drivers and it’s tempting to put off buying a new one as long as possible. But a battery that cannot hold a full charge requires the alternator to work extra hard, causing it to wear out prematurely.

Your Auto Care Plus technician can test your battery to see if it should be replaced. Testing is a good idea for CA car owners because a battery might still be good, but become dead because of a bad alternator or even a worn serpentine belt and tensioner.

Give us a call

Auto Care Plus
(714) 771-7587
1432 N Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92867

Charge It In Orange For Extended Battery Life

Here’s an interesting statistic for our car owners in Orange, CA: Only thirty percent of car batteries make it to forty-eight months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from fifty-one months in extremely cold areas to just thirty months in extremely hot climates.

Why is that? It turns out that it’s our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs, and entertainment computers are keeping SUV batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it’ll die.

It’s clear that you Orange motorists need to recharge your batteries. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car’s demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Orange or Stanton. The alternator just can’t keep up.

The result is shortened battery life. So what can we Orange motorists do to improve our battery’s health?

We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just twenty-four hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather’s cold in Orange, sitting for several days will cause discharge.

So some highway driving between Orange or Buena Park will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it’s called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is also very detrimental to your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.

If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger or talk to your friendly Auto Care Plus tech.

Because our batteries are so often at less than a full charge, the experts at Auto Care Plus suggest that we use a battery charger from time to time to keep the charge up. They recommend once a month during hot weather and once every three months during colder times.

Now, a critical word on safety for Orange car owners. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can severely burn your skin and could blind you. If you find yourself with a dead battery, carefully inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. Deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

At Auto Care Plus, we provide quality automotive service including alignment, tire rotation and alignment.

Battery Replacement At Auto Care Plus In Orange

Hello, welcome to Auto Care Plus. 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 Auto Care Plus 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. Battery Replacement At Auto Care Plus This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold SUV 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 motorists have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your SUV’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 Auto Care Plus, 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 Celsius Fahrenheit Power Required  
100 27 80 100  
65 0 32 155  
40 -22 0 210  
25 -32 20 350  

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 SUV was based on averages. At Auto Care Plus, we like to remind Orange drivers 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 SUVs 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 SUV. 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 Auto Care Plus and upgrade if you need more.

Talk with us at Auto Care Plus about your options. If you need more from your battery, a larger, heavy-duty battery may be called for. At Auto Care Plus in Orange, we remind our customers that it’s very important that the new battery fits your SUV: the terminals can’t be touching other parts.

Batteries are a big ticket item for most CA auto 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 Auto Care Plus about the warranty so you know what you’re getting.