Newport Autotech Center

Serving Costa Mesa and all of Orange County

Newport Autotech Center - Serving Costa Mesa and all of Orange County

The Newport Autotech Center Auto Report: Making a Battery Last Longer

One thing all Costa Mesa auto owners can do to extend the life of their battery is to keep it clean. A greasy, dirty battery holds in damaging heat. Same goes for removing corrosion from the terminals. Newport Autotech Center can help maintain your battery.

Allowing your battery to be deeply depleted – like from using your headlights when the engine is off – is very dangerous to your battery. Most automotive batteries can only take that about 10 times before they are ruined.

Also, making sure you have a full charge every month or so extends battery life. Either an extended drive at freeway speeds or using a battery charger will preserve your battery’s ability to hold a full charge.

Give us a call

Newport Autotech Center
(949) 264-3030
728 West 16th Street
Costa Mesa, California 92627

Make Your Battery Last

Today’s report from Newport Autotech Center 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 Costa Mesa 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 Costa Mesa. 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:
Newport Autotech Center
728 West 16th Street
Costa Mesa, California 92627
(949) 264-3030

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 Costa Mesa 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 Newport Autotech Center to clean it for you. Newport Autotech Center 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 Newport Autotech Center 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.

Battery Basics For Costa Mesa

Irvine Battery Service

It’s important for Costa Mesa auto owners to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold California weather. Most Irvine car owners 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 Costa Mesa trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Costa Mesa car owners can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the 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 efficient Newport Autotech Center 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

Newport Autotech Center
(949) 264-3030
728 West 16th Street
Costa Mesa, California 92627

Charge It In Costa Mesa For Extended Battery Life

Here’s an interesting statistic for our friends in Costa Mesa California: Only thirty percent of car batteries make it to forty-eight months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from fifty-one months in extremely cold areas to just thirty months in extremely hot climates.

Why is that? It turns out that it’s our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs, and entertainment computers are keeping car batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it’ll die.

So you must recharge your battery. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car’s demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Costa Mesa or Fountain Valley. The alternator just can’t keep up.

The result is shortened battery life. So what can we do to improve our battery’s health?

We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just twenty-four hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather’s cold, sitting for several days will cause discharge.

So some highway driving between Huntington Beach or Garden Grove will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it’s called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is very hard on your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.

If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger.

Because our batteries are so often at less than a full charge, experts suggest that we use a battery charger from time to time to keep the charge up. They recommend once a month during hot weather and once every three months during colder times.

Now, a word on safety. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can severely burn your skin and could blind you. If you find yourself with a dead battery, carefully 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.

Deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

Ask us about tires, too.