The Beginner’s Intermediate Guide to Advanced Battery Enlightenment:

The Beginner’s Intermediate Guide to Advanced Battery Enlightenment:

One of the most frequently overlooked and severely under-valued topics in the automotive repairs industry is the power source behind the everyday operation of our beloved vehicles. This guide aims to educate the less knowledgeable and shed some light, all puns excused, on what I consider to be the most important component of the automobile setup, namely, the battery and prolonging its lifespan.

Without overstating the obvious, in the modern day and age, the battery of the vehicle is what keeps the electronics powered and functioning, everything from the lights and dials to the turn of the key in the ignition. The average battery life for the typical user, provided it’s well looked after, should last anywhere between four to six years, of course, it could go further if taken care of properly.

It goes without saying that the less you drain the battery, the longer the overall life of the unit will be. Common contributors to early battery cell death include – leaving your lights on while parked, forgetting to turn off your stereo once the vehicle has ceased or faulty electronics such as a defective alternator. For the outdoor enthusiasts or caravan users, the usage of a 12v power inverter allows for usage of ordinary electronics as if powered by a standard wall socket and as such can be intensive on a battery and may require charging or slight boosts before reuse in other applications.

To avoid being stranded with the inconvenience of a “flat battery,” we can recommend purchasing a portable jump start kit, available from most retail motor-spare outlets. It’s quite similar to the old-fashioned “jumper cable” method, but the kit itself functions as the other battery, removing the need for another vehicle. Although it doesn’t charge the battery, it provides the user with a jump start and a solution to the scenario of being stranded. It comes with a set of crocodile clips that attach to the battery’s positive and negative terminals and aim to support the battery with a temporary boost in power to get the car started and once the vehicle is in motion; the alternator resumes its function of keeping the battery charged.

It may not always be possible to carry a jump start kit, so it’s strongly advised to keep a set of traditional jumper cables on hand, even if it’s buried deep in the bowels of in the trunk, the adage of “better safe, than sorry” covers the reasoning behind it. If a battery seems defective or constantly requires boosting or other tricks of the trade to keep it going, chances are, it needs to be replaced.

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