Archive for Battery

Make Your Battery Last

Today’s report from Elite Motors is on car batteries, why they die and what we can do to lengthen their life. Most of us have had a dead battery at one time or another. In fact, it would be very unusual if you hadn’t. You may be surprised to learn that only 30 percent of Mission Viejo vehicle batteries last for 48 months.

Now that’s an average. How long a battery lasts depends on many factors. You may not know that one of the biggest factors is the temperature where you live and drive around Mission Viejo. You might suppose that cold weather was harder on batteries because it takes more power to crank a cold engine, but the opposite is actually true.

For more information on your battery, please visit us:
Elite Motors
23725 Via Fabricante # F
Mission Viejo, California 92691
(888) 320-9834

Batteries in very cold climates have a life expectancy of 51 months as opposed to 30 months in very warm climates. The reason is simple: batteries are chemically more active when they’re hot than when they’re cold.

A car battery will actually start to discharge on its own within 24 hours in hot weather. It takes several days in cold weather. When batteries are left too long in a state of partial discharge, the discharged portion of the battery plates actually, for the lack of a better word, ‘die’. Recharging the battery will not restore the dead part of the battery plate.

One of the big problems for the way most of us drive in the Mission Viejo area, is that our batteries are often partially discharged. The biggest job the battery does is to start the car. It takes some time for the alternator to recharge the battery after starting. If you’re driving short distances, especially if there are several starts and stops, your battery may not fully recharge.

Another issue is that vehicles are coming equipped with more and more electricity hungry accessories like navigation systems, DVD players, CD and MP3 players, heated seats, heated steering wheels and so on. And we often plug in cell phones, computers and other gadgets. Combine that with short trips and it’s no wonder that our batteries are partially discharged.

Experts say we can extend our battery life by topping off the charge periodically using a good quality battery charger. You may’ve heard these chargers referred to as ‘trickle chargers’. They’re attached to the battery and plugged into a wall outlet to slowly bring the battery up to full charge.

Now there’s some science involved with how fast a battery should be recharged. If you buy a cheap manual charger, you’ll have to tend it. Frankly a learning curve on how to do it right and requires much attention. A computer controlled charger – or smart charger – monitors the process and determines the appropriate rate of charge. And it even stops charging when it’s fully charged. It costs more than the manual charger, but the automatic model is worth it.

The suggestion is to charge once a month in warm weather and once every three months in cold weather.

Another thing to avoid is deeply discharging your battery. Something like running the headlights and stereo with the engine turned off. That’ll take months off the battery life every time you do it.

Now, as we discussed, heat is hard on a battery. A dirty, greasy battery holds more heat. You can wipe off excess dirt with a paper towel or ask your service advisor at Elite Motors to clean it for you. Elite Motors can even test your battery and tell you if it’s time to replace it.

Batteries are fairly expensive, so taking a few steps to make them last longer is well worth it. Of course, the battery will eventually need to be replaced. Always make sure you get a new battery that meets the factory specifications for your vehicle. If you feel you need more battery capacity than what came with your vehicle, talk with your service advisor at Elite Motors about appropriate upgrades.

If you have a dead battery, be careful to 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. And deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

A New Battery In Mission Viejo

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Hello Mission Viejo drivers, let’s talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in Mission Viejo, here’s some auto advice to help you.

There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.

The Laguna Niguel weather also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the sedan engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold California weather reduces the electrical efficiency of the battery, which reduces the amount of energy available in the battery to start the engine. Thus, in freezing temperatures, you need more power to start an engine, but you have less power available to get it started.

So if you live in a cold climate, or in an area in California where winters can get really chilly, it is critical to have a battery with more cold cranking amps than if you live in a more mild or warmer climate.

The battery that was installed in your sedan at the factory may not have the appropriate number of cold cranking amps for your area. It is important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and get at least that number of cold cranking amps, but you may want to upgrade if you live in a colder climate.

Reserve capacity is the number of minutes your battery can maintain essential functions in your sedan without being recharged. There are two things that affect reserve capacity. The first is referred to as parasitic drain. Your sedan has power systems that must be kept running while the engine is off. These may include the security system, the remote start systems, and any computer systems. The number and power requirements of these systems has greatly increased over the last few decades. As a result, the need for reserve capacity in vehicles’ batteries has also increased. Very short trips around Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach do not allow a vehicle’s battery to recover the energy that was used to start the car. So these trips require reserve capacity as well.

Again, the reserve capacity in the battery installed at the factory may not be what you need for your Mission Viejo lifestyle and driving habits. Again, use the manufacturer’s recommendation as a minimum, but consider upgrading if your sedan has a lot of parasitic power drain or if you frequently make very short trips around Laguna Niguel.

Your friendly service professional at Elite Motors in Mission Viejo can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or a need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure it fits into your sedan. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it’s a serious safety hazard if the terminals come into contact with other parts of the vehicle.

Car batteries aren’t cheap in Mission Viejo, so you may want to consider the warranty when purchasing. Pro-rated warranties will give you credit for a portion of the battery if the battery fails during the warranty period. The amount of credit will depend on how long the battery lasted. A free replacement warranty will replace your battery if it fails during the warranty period. Before you purchase a battery, make sure you know what you are buying.

Keep in mind that preventive maintenance and good car care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits is critical and can help you get the most out of your battery.

Battery Basics For Mission Viejo

Laguna Niguel Battery Service

It’s important for Mission Viejo auto owners to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold California weather. Most Laguna Niguel drivers think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold sedan engine.

However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Mission Viejo trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Mission Viejo auto owners can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the California summer and every three months during the winter.

As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your sedan alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.

If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your friendly Elite Motors technician for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your sedan alternator.

Give us a call

Elite Motors
(949) 243-7956
23725 Via Fabricante # F
Mission Viejo, California 92691

Battery Replacement At Elite Motors In Mission Viejo

Hello, welcome to Elite Motors. Today’s focus is batteries. It seems like everything in Mission Viejo runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we’re most concerned with here at Elite Motors 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 Mission Viejo 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 Elite Motors This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold sedan engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in California, specifically how cold it is. (Many California car owners have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your sedan’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 Elite Motors, we consult the table shown below. Let’s say it’s eighty degrees Fahrenheit in Mission Viejo. 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 California, 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 sedan was based on averages. At Elite Motors, we like to remind Mission Viejo motorists that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as their auto makers 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 sedans 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 Mission Viejo auto owners these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off in your sedan. 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 Mission Viejo. 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 Elite Motors and upgrade if you need more.

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

Batteries are a big ticket item for most California car 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 Elite Motors about the warranty so you know what you’re getting.