Batteries are as ubiquitous as they are mysterious. Without getting too technical or scientific, let’s take some of the mystery out of the battery that 'powers' your car or truck.
Why Does My Car Have a Battery if it Runs on Gas?
- Despite technological advancement in vehicle technology, most vehicles are still powered by gasoline or diesel fuel engines. In the early days of the automobile, engines had to be hand-cranked to get them started. Manufacturers added electric starters to make starting automobile engines easier, which necessitated a battery.
- The primary function of the battery is to help you start the engine by powering the electric starter. After you turn your key and start your engine, the alternator ensures the battery stays charged. The battery also provides electric power to your car’s engine control unit (ECU), its ignition system, as well as all the interior accessories that require electric power, like the radio.
Average Car Battery LifeIn theory, the life of a car battery is determined by a variety of factors, many of which rarely come to full fruition. Under normal circumstances, a car battery has a lifespan of about four years. For a car battery to make it to this average life, it’s under the assumption that it is under the following conditions:
- Goes through full charge cycles
- Does not get subjected to extreme cold or heat
- Connected to a reliable charging system
- Does not power accessories
Accessories that rely on the car battery for power can also shorten the lifespan of the battery, as it requires more juice to power items such as phones, MP3 players, and GPS Units, on top of providing power for the vehicle itself.
There’s no reason to let a failing battery sneak up on you. If you notice your car or truck is becoming more difficult to start, head to your local Pep Boys and have us run a test on your battery and charging system for free!
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