November 1, 2015

Car batteries are one of those things people have a hard time understanding. We all know they’re important, and when your car won’t start, it’s usually a battery problem. They can be expensive to replace, so get the most out of your car batteries by knowing how to look after them!

If I leave my lights on, the battery dies, yet I can drive for hours and it’s fine. Why?

Many people wonder about this weird feature of their car, but feel too shy to ask in case they seem dumb. Basically the battery is used to start the car, not run it. Once the car has started, the engine starts burning petrol and powers the alternator. It’s the alternator that provides electricity to the lights, not the battery. So as long as the car is running, car batteries don’t really do much. It’s only when the car is sitting and you leave the lights on, that’s when the battery is working, and it will drain quickly, leaving you stranded.

My battery went flat and I jump started it- it’s ok now, right?

Nope! Just driving about after jump-starting your car won’t make your battery charge up again. You need to take it to a mechanic and have it charged up properly. With a little luck you should bring it back to full life and you’ll have no more problems with it.

Can my battery affect my kilometres per tank?

Indeed it can! If your car battery is running flat, then the alternator will have to work harder to compensate for it. The harder it works, the more the engine has to power it, and the harder the engine works the more fuel you use. It’s all pretty simple when you look at it like that!

Will my battery drain if I don’t use my car at all?

Yes, it will. Car batteries will last a few weeks, and if your car is sitting in a garage, or even worse, outside, for long periods of time, the battery will eventually go flat. Car batteries lose charge because even if the car is switch off, they still keep the vehicle’s electrical system going. This small amount adds up over time, and will eventually drain any and all car batteries.