Archive for Car Battery

Alternator, what does it do? How to tell if yours is bad?

So you are unlucky to find out your car didn’t start. After having the road service come and getting your car to the repair shop you find out that the Alternator is bad. But what does the Alternator have to do with the car starting anyway? The alternator is an imperative component to the operation of your vehicle. Think of the alternator as the automotive equivalent of that little white box that your cell plugs into……

Lets start off with what an alternator does for you. The basic function of an alternator is to take mechanical energy (from your running engine) and turn that into Alternating Current Electrical Energy (to power all of the electronics). The mechanical energy is transferred to the alternator through a drive belt. This drive belt is connected to a rotor through a pulley. The rotation of this rotor within a stator produces Alternating Current Electricity. You may remember from high School science that alternating current (AC) is what is typically used in homes and direct current (DC) is what is stored in a battery. So unfortunately for our standard battery powered cars alternating current is useless! So there is one last step in automotive alternator. The Alternating Current (AC) is converted to Direct Current (DC) through a rectifier. Now that we have the proper DC voltage being produced we can use this to charge and maintain the vehicle battery.

So when the battery has no voltage remaining one of the first things that your mechanic will check is your alternator. Just like when you phone dies you would check to see if the charger is plugged in! The alternaotr is responsible for maintaining battery voltage as well as providing additional electrical supply for your vehicle. Without a properly charged battery your car will not be able to start and drive!

Symptoms of a Bad Alternator

A dead battery is just one of the potential symptoms of a bad alternator. You may also experience some warnings on your dashboard prior to the battery dying. Some vehicles will have a battery shaped light, others will have a message indicating a charging fault or even the illumination of the “Check Engine Lamp”. These issues do not solely mean that the alternator is at fault. Your mechanic can perform a test to determine the function of your cars alternator. If the alternator is determined to be faulty it will be rebuilt and or replaced.

Posted in: Alternator, Auto Maintenance, Battery, Car Battery, car maintenance

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Battery Upgrades Southampton, PA

Most drivers in Southampton, PA are unhappy to hear that they need to replace their car batteries but according to NAPA 70% of Car Batteries don’t make it past four years. Here are few things that drivers in Southampton, PA can do to help increase the life of their battery.

Keep it clean: Cleaning dirt and grease from your battery especially from the connectors helps with battery efficiency. Dirty batteries run hotter which will significantly shorten their life. If you notice that your battery is dirty, be sure to mention it to one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians. We can quickly clean your battery and its connectors anytime you bring your vehicle into our garage.

Don’t run your battery down: Running your A/C, radio or headlights while your vehicle is not running will deplete your battery. Most batteries can do no more than 10 deep cycle depletions before dying. Let us know if it has been awhile since you’ve last had your battery life checked.We can quickly test it and give you a better idea of when you will need to replace your battery.

Charge your battery: Short trips can leave your battery only partly recharged. We recommend charging your battery using a good quality battery charger once a month during the summer and every three months during colder seasons. Allowing your battery to remain only partly recharged it will significantly shorten your battery life.

Eventually you will have to have your battery replaced. When this time comes, give us a call or drive on into our garage. We can help you find the right battery for your vehicle, we will always match or exceed your manufacturer’s recommendation. There may be some special circumstances for some Pennsylvania drivers especially if they live in the colder parts ofPennsylvania or if you run a lot of accessories while driving, let us know. We can source several batteries that will give you the extra power you want.

Give us a call or schedule an appointment online for a day and time that works best for you anytime you have questions about how to best replace or maintain your battery.

Posted in: Car Battery

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