Everything You Need to Know about Your Car Battery
Your Buick GMC’s Battery: Service & Replacement
It supplies the starter with the juice needed to start the engine. It works in tandem with your alternator to keep your vehicle running. It powers the lights, climate control, and other accessories even when the car isn’t running. Your battery is an integral part of your vehicle’s health. It needs to be inspected, maintained, and replaced as necessary – the last thing you want is to be stranded in a parking lot in the middle of winter with a dead battery.
At Jack Giambalvo Buick GMC, our service experts will inspect your battery, check its charge level, and determine if it is good to go or needs to be replaced – and if you need a new battery, we have the recommended replacement for your vehicle right here on site!
Understanding Your Battery
With the drastic changes between the heat and humidity of summer, and the bitter cold of the Pennsylvania winter, car batteries generally last between three to five years. Some may last longer – it depends on the amount of use it gets and how well it is maintained over time. By scheduling regular checks for your Buick or GMC’s battery, we can tell when it is starting to lose charge, and replace it before it dies.
Signs Your Battery Needs to be Replaced
Sometimes, your vehicle will tell you when it needs some help. These symptoms are signs your battery needs to be brought in and inspected right away:
- Ignition clicks but the car won’t start
- Corrosion around the car battery
- A smell of rotten eggs
- “Check Battery” light is on
- Engine starts, but turns over very slowly
- Power accessories have issues, such as slow power windows or flickering interior lights
- Battery case is bloated
Prolonging the Life of Your Battery
Batteries are pretty resilient parts, but they still need help to keep their effectiveness day in and day out. Here are some easy things you can do to extend the life of your battery:
- Make sure all interior and exterior lights are off before locking your vehicle
- Inspect your battery regularly to ensure it is clean
- Don’t let your car sit for more than a few days without driving it
- Make your trips longer at times, at least 15-20 minutes of driving
- Don’t idle your car if you’re fine to turn the engine off completely
- Store your car in a garage or carport
Even with a fairly new battery, you may have some of the issues and symptoms mentioned above. Why? Your battery terminals may be dirty or corroded, which can prevent a battery from performing to its highest potential.
Our Buick GMC-certified service staff knows how to recognize and solve issues like this by cleaning corrosion from the terminals and cable ends, spraying the terminal with anti-corrosion spray, and installing corrosion protectors to guard against further damage. By simply servicing and cleaning your existing battery, they help you avoid a more costly battery replacement.
Sometimes it’s not even the battery that is the problem! Your battery cables are the lifelines of your vehicle, helping the juice from your battery move to the components that need it. Even if your battery is at full power, damaged cable ends can make it seem as though it’s failing.
Our expert technicians will visually inspect the battery cable ends and suggest replacement as needed based on their condition. This could be the difference between needing a new battery, or just needing a minor repair and getting back on the road.
Factors that Affect Battery Life
One of the reasons there is no predetermined lifespan of a car battery is because everyone drives differently. Various factors can shorten or lengthen the lifespan, affecting how long the battery lasts. These factors can include the weather in the region you live, how often you drive, how long your engine is running when you drive, how many accessories are being used in the car, and even your driving style.
All Batteries are Not the Same
Not every car battery is right for a specific vehicle, or specific driving conditions. Not all batteries are made the same, and not all vehicles need the same batteries. That’s why it is important that you go to a Buick GMC service expert that understands the needs for your vehicle.
It’s not just the brand of battery that makes the difference. Some batteries are different sizes, while others have different reserve capacities. Some batteries offer more cold-cranking amps and are better for colder climates. Our team of service experts consider all of these factors in discussing the right replacement battery for your Buick GMC.
Q: What are cold-cranking amps (CCA)?
A: This indicates how much electrical power the car can deliver to the starter, at zero degrees Fahrenheit. Cranking amps (CA) are rated at the freezing point, 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a location with especially harsh winters, you may want a battery that has more CCA.
Q: Does battery terminal corrosion mean that something is wrong?
A: Not at all. The corrosion on battery terminals is a natural reaction that happens when the copper in the terminal clamp reacts with the lead in the battery terminal, magnified by the transmission of electrical current and sulfuric acid from inside the battery. It doesn’t harm the battery, and isn’t a sign of trouble; but it is a poor conductor of electricity, which can make it seem like your battery isn’t performing up to par.
Q: What are the biggest power drains on my battery?
A: There are a lot of things that drain batteries, but the biggest worry are “parasitic drains,” or drains that leech energy over time without you knowing. This could include adding aftermarket accessories without proper grounding and leaving chargers plugged in while the vehicle is turned off.
Our service experts are factory-trained technicians who use state-of-the-art technology and equipment to help keep your vehicle running like new. Since they work on Buick or GMC vehicles often, they know exactly what you need. There’s no better place to take your car for electrical system repairs or battery replacement than the trusted service center at Jack Giambalvo Buick GMC.