The automotive battery is an electrochemical device, which means its operation depends upon chemical and electrical actions. The function of the automotive battery is to supply a sufficient amount of electricity to operate the starting and ignition systems while starting the engine. It also acts as a voltage stabilizer by providing electricity to the automobile's electrical components, such as headlights and other electrical accessories, especially when the alternator can't carry the electric load. On the other hand, the battery is limited in its capacity and not capable of providing all the power required by the automobile.
- Batteries in cars store electrical data (i.e., the clock or PCM data). Most importantly, the battery is used to deliver enough current to the starter to turn over the engine. When current is withdrawn from the battery, chemical actions take place to produce the current flow. In a sense, the chemicals in the battery are used up by this action. Thus, after a certain amount of current has been withdrawn for a certain length of time, the battery becomes discharged.
- To recharge the battery, current from some external source, such as an alternator or battery charger, must be forced through it in the charging direction.
- Generally, a fully charged battery should have a voltage of more than 12.6 volts and has an expected lifespan of 3 to 5 years before replacement. However, its lifespan also depends on the demands of the vehicle's electrical components as well as the driving habits, which all affect the battery's longevity.
- A battery has a limited life, but some of these conditions can also shorten its lifespan. Battery life can be shortened by high temperatures caused by overcharging or engine heat, while low temperatures can induce freezing or weak electrolyte. In addition, overcharging produces gassing and excessive internal heat, resulting in a loss of electrolyte level. Loss of electrolytes also happened due to a cracked case and poor maintenance.
- Undercharging causes sulfate to harden on the plates, making it tough to remove with normal charging. Corrosion raises electrical resistance, lowering the available voltage and charging efficiency. Lastly, the loss of active material from the positive plates may also result from repeated cycling from fully charged to fully discharged.
Battery Light Indicator
- Typically, the battery light glows during ignition and then turns off once the engine is running. It's not a good idea to drive with a battery light is on. If this light indicator comes on, turn off the unnecessary electricity components in your vehicle to preserve the remaining charge in the battery. It tells that something is wrong with your charging system, which could be a weak battery, a faulty voltage regulator, or a failing alternator. When the alternator in your vehicle is not working, the battery can quickly lose charge if disregarded. If the charge in the battery completely drains, the vehicle will lose its power and stop its operation.
- A battery bracket, commonly known as batter hold-down, is a metal brace or base clamp that secures the battery in place. It prevents the battery from moving when the vehicle drives up and down slopes, corners, bumps, potholes, and through hard stops. When not installed, the battery may potentially tip over and fails the vehicles' operation.