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Advice & Tips - The car battery

They haven’t changed dramatically since they first became used on motor cars, they are still roughly the same shape and still contain acid.

The days of topping them up with distilled water has mainly gone as most of them are now non serviceable.

They do a remarkable job of providing enough power to start the car every time and then absorbing a charge back into itself from the alternator, ready for the next start.

A lot more electrical and electronic devices have been added over the years and to help cope with this, the alternator has been improved dramatically to handle these extra loads and maintain the battery level for trouble free starting.

Car batteries do last for many years before their replacement is required, but as always they tend not to get replaced until they let us down.

Sometimes you can get a bit of notice that the battery is on its way out, quite often though, it can be totally out of the blue, and normally when we least expect it.

It’s not unusual for car batteries to last between five to seven years.

It’s possible to help maintain your battery with a trickle charger or if leaving your car standing for long periods, you can use a specifically designed battery maintenance charger.

By making sure that you don’t have more electrical items on than are necessary, especially when you are in slow moving traffic, this will help the battery keep a good level of charge and assist the alternator.

Heated rear screens being left on permanently doesn’t help.

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