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800 FLAT FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The car battery provides the jolt of electricity that is necessary to power all the electrical components in your vehicle. Talk about a pretty huge responsibility! Without battery power, your car, as you’ve probably noticed, won’t start. Let’s take a look at how that powerful little box works:
  • A chemical reaction puts your car in action: Your battery converts chemical energy into the electrical energy that is essential to power your car, delivering voltage to the starter.
  • Keep the electric current steady: Not only does your battery provides the energy required to start your car, it’s also stabilising the voltage (that’s the term for the energy supply) in order to keep your engine running. A lot’s riding on the battery.
“If I only knew sooner.” We’ve all been there before. Fortunately, there are various indications and symptoms that your battery may need replacement:
  • Slow engine crank: When you attempt to start the vehicle, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start. You’d best describe it as the "rur rur rur" starting noise sound.
  • Check engine light: The check engine light sometimes appears when your battery power is weak. Strange system indicator lights–such as check engine and low coolant lights–could mean there’s a problem with your battery. (It could also just mean you need more coolant).
  • Low battery fluid level: Car batteries typically have a part of the casing that’s translucent so you can always keep an eye on your battery’s fluid level. You can also inspect it by removing the red and black caps if they are not sealed (most modern car batteries now permanently seal these parts). If the fluid level is below the lead plates (energy conductor) inside, it’s time to have the battery and charging system tested. When fluid levels drop, it’s typically caused by overcharging (heat).
  • The swelling, bloating battery case: If your battery casing looks like it ate a very large meal, this could indicate a battery gone badly. You can blame excessive heat for causing your battery case to swell, decreasing your battery life.
  • There’s a stinky, rotten egg smell: You may notice a pungent, rotten egg smell (sulfur odor) around the battery. The cause: Battery leaks. Leaking also causes the corrosion around the posts (where the + and – cable connections are located.) The gunk may need to be removed or your car may not start.
  • Two years + battery age is considered an old timer: Your battery can last well beyond two years but, at the very least, have its current condition inspected on a yearly basis when it reaches the two year mark. Battery life cycles range from 18 moths to 24 months depending on the battery. However, driving habits, weather and frequent short trips (less than 20 minutes) can drastically shorten the actual life of your car battery.
You bet. If you have a weak ankle, you tend to overcompensate and put more weight–and stress–on the healthy ankle. Same concept with a weak battery. When you have a weak battery, your car ends up putting additional stress on healthy parts. The charging system, starter motor or starter solenoid can be affected. These parts can malfunction because they’re drawing excessive voltage to compensate for the lack of battery power. Leave this problem unresolved and you could wind up replacing expensive electrical parts–typically without warning.

Quick Tip: Don’t leave your car’s power to chance, you may end up paying for it later.

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Let’s start with the obvious symptoms:
  • The electrical system is possessed. Strange flickering lights or warning lights such as ’Check Engine’ flicker, disappear, and then reappear again. All these malfunctions usually start occurring when the car battery is nearly drained and struggling to provide power. If the alternator is faulty, your battery will no longer receive a charge and is moments away from being totally kaput.
  • The Slow Crank. You’re starting your car, and it keeps turning and turning, eventually starting–or not. This could mean your alternator isn’t charging your battery properly. If you start experiencing the possessed electrical system as well, please stop in to the nearest service facility. Your car could be moments away from a dead battery and alternator.

Let’s review: All the above happens when the battery is not receiving a charge (due to a faulty alternator). Your battery will continue to drain. When it drains completely…well, we all know what happens next: curbed car. And neither you, nor us, want you to go through that.

Quick tip: The sooner we can inspect your vehicle, the less likely you’ll face every driver’s biggest fear–a car that won’t start. Drive with peace of mind.

Excessive heat produces resistance. Too much of this resistance can weaken the chances of a car battery releasing charge to the automobile starting components. The heat can also cause the water to evaporate from the electrolytes in your car battery, thus damaging and reducing the strength of the positive grids. All of this can rapidly depreciate the battery’s lifetime.

POWER: What are the Cold Cranking Amps required to run your vehicle? CCA is the measure of the battery’s power to start your vehicle in cold weather conditions.

SIZE: Be sure to match the dimensions of the original car battery.

WARRANTY: All automotive batteries are matched with a warranty. Always be sure to choose the warranty that best suits your vehicle needs.

RESERVE CAPACITY: Reserve capacity is the number of minutes your vehicle can run solely on battery power if your alternator should fail. Always buy a car battery with the longest reserve capacity as possible to run your vehicle in case of emergency.

The car battery’s Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is an important measure for good cranking ability in cars, trucks and boats. CCA is the amount of current or amps a battery can provide at 0 °F (−18 °C) for 30 second duration until the battery voltage drops to unusable levels. The rating is defined as the current or amps a car battery at can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12-volt battery) at 0 °F.

For example, a 12 volt battery with 650 CCA ratings means the battery will provide 650 amps for 30 seconds at 0°F before the voltage falls to 7.20 volts for 12v battery. So in extremely cold temperatures, the higher CCA level is required to crank your engine. In addition, as more cranking power is used, the amount of battery power available decreases.
  • Keep the battery terminals clean and inspect regularly (i.e. monthly) for corrosion.
  • Start the car before operating car accessories and operate (drive) the car to allow the battery to get topped off by the car alternator which produces electricity and as by-product charges the car battery after voltage drops in the battery.
  • Keep the car's battery secure and free from vibration. Batteries that shake can become damaged and short circuited or worse cause damage to your car.
  • Insulate the battery from extreme temperature changes with a car battery insulation kit. These usually come with new cars already, however you can find replacements specifically made to fit your car’s battery compartment. The sleeves are usually plastic or an acid resistant/thermal resistant material that insulates your battery but still allows it to vent.