On the surface, car batteries are pretty simple. You install them in and your car fires up when you turn the ignition and no matter the model or type of car that you own, the energy you get from your car battery remains crucial to driving your car. Ironically, car batteries are one of the least understood car parts given their importance to the functioning of the car.
To help car owners, here are some myths and facts about car batteries.
- The heavier the battery, the better the quality: This is true. You can ask any mechanic or professional in this space and they would confirm it. Lead is the main component of a battery and on a basic level, the more lead there is in your car battery, the better it will perform although, due to cut-edging technology, lithium-ion batteries are not heavy.
- Myth; Letting your car idle or driving a short distance will recharge the battery. The reality is, it takes a lot of power to get a car going so it is very unlikely that a short drive will put enough charge back into the battery to cover that energy cost. If you do this then you just might have to do a car battery replacement sooner than later.
- Myth; Paying more for a battery does not mean better performance. The truth is that no quality product or service comes cheap and more expensive batteries tend to have more plates inside, and basically, it gives the battery more energy to start your car. The fact that the battery is expensive does not mean that it would perform better.
- Myth; A car battery can last a car’s lifetime. A battery is a consumable item just like a brake pad which means it will wear with use. Certainly, you can prolong your car’s battery life but you will eventually need to change it.
- Myth; I can fit a conventional battery to a car that has start-stop technology. Some start-stop cars have an Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFD) while some others have an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery. These batteries have to be replaced with one of the same types and spec to avoid running into trouble.
- Myth; Batteries last longer in warm climates. On the contrary, warm climates drop the potency of car batteries due to water loss, heat distortion, and increased corrosion. Being in a warm climate does not necessarily mean your battery would last longer.
- Myth; A battery light means a flat battery. The truth is, it means there is a problem with the car’s charging system and the car is running on battery power alone. If you do not stop driving, the car will eventually break down and it could damage your car’s electrical system.
- Myth; Driving a car after a jump start will recharge the battery. Many car drivers are guilty of this mistake. The truth is, no amount of driving will fully recharge a dead battery. The only way to revive a battery is with a battery charger. After a jump start, it is advisable to visit a professional to get it checked and charged by experts. In the process of this, always ensure that your battery installation is correct.