Car Batteries
Automobile Maintenance

The Beginner’s Guide to Understanding How Car Batteries Work

Car batteries are notorious for being the main reason why your car won’t start up properly. How does a car battery lose power and fail to start, despite being so big? The answer could be many things, whether it has lost its juice or the wiring has gone bad.

Here is how car batteries work and what you should check first when a car battery dies.

The Chemical Part of a Battery

The chemical energy within a battery is referred to as potential energy. This energy has yet to be used and expended by the car. When this potential energy activates, it gets turned into kinetic energy, in this case, electrical energy,

The batteries are typically made up of sulfuric acid and water, which react together to turn the chemical energy into electrical energy. Over time, the sulfuric acid and water reaction slowly declines, leading to a mostly dead battery.

How Does Your Car Actually Start?

Your key or ignition button is the key to getting this chemical energy converted into electrical energy. When turned or pressed, your car sends a tiny electrical current down to your starter relay, which then starts the process of turning on the car.

While this sounds like a long way to travel, electricity moves fast. That’s why it only takes a few seconds to get your car up and running.

Why Do These Batteries Last for So Long?

When you’re just using your phone or laptop, the batteries are designed to be charged from an external source. This also applies to electric vehicles.

But with standard cars that are gas-powered, they rely on an alternator to help keep the car charged throughout your drive. The alternator belt turns round and round in your engine, generating electricity and sending it back to the battery for it to charge.

Check out this blog on battery reserve capacity to learn more about battery life.

Why Do Car Batteries Die?

Car batteries die after around three to five years, as these batteries do eventually run out of juice. This constant cranking and discharging of electricity wears and tears on all the components of the car, leading to a dead battery. These batteries can be fixed up with new pieces, but it is often better to just have them completely replaced.

Harsh weather decreases the life of a battery. So while a car battery might last five years in a state like South Carolina, that same car battery might only last three years in Florida.

Now You Know How Car Batteries Work

Now that you know how car batteries work, you can take the steps to care for your car battery more effectively. Constantly jumping a car battery can only lead to negative results, so try to switch out a dead battery as soon as possible.

if you want to learn more about the automotive industry and the news that flows in and out every day, be sure to check out the rest of our blog. If you know someone that constantly has a dead battery, be sure to share this article with them.