Providing Jacksonville and the Surrounding Areas with the Highest Level of Automotive Repair and Service
It’s the start of the holiday season, and that means a lot of hectic days with all the cooking, shopping and visiting. The last thing you need is to go out the door already late to load the kids and food in the car to get to your relative’s house, only to find out the car won’t start. It is times such as these that the importance of battery testing comes to the front of your mind. Maxi Auto Repair and Service on Beach Blvd. in Jacksonville FL can do battery pre trip inspections to ensure your vehicle’s battery is in good working order.
The Importance of Vehicle Battery Maintenance
A vehicle’s battery provides the electricity required to start the vehicle. It also runs the lights and powers accessories. When the battery is in good condition, you don’t have to worry about walking out to a no-start because of a dead battery. However, you must also keep an eye on the alternator, as it charges the battery. If the battery isn’t holding a good charge, it makes the alternator work even harder, which wears it out faster.
Likewise, if the alternator isn’t charging properly, it can be the demise of the battery. If it’s not charging enough, the battery will never get a full charge and will eventually die. If the alternator is overcharging, the battery can overheat and expand. If that problem is not caught, the battery could expand enough to crack the case.
When an auto tech at Maxi Auto Repair and Service does a battery check, they also check the alternator.
Battery Inspection for Holidays
During a battery inspection, the techs at Maxi Auto Repair and Service in Jacksonville FL take several steps, including:
- Visual Inspection: We start battery maintenance with a visual inspection. If the battery is swollen or cracked, we will need to replace it. We make sure the battery hold-downs are tight so the battery can’t move around.
- Battery Age: Every battery has a date code on it. We check the date code to see how close to being out of warranty it is. If it’s out of warranty, it could die at any time. We’ll let you know if it is and ask if you want to replace it. Batteries last three to five years – about the same time as the warranty.
- Voltage Check: We check the voltage on the battery with a voltmeter. If the voltage is too low, before we recommend replacing it, we do a load test and a charging check. Low voltage, especially on a battery that is not close to the warranty date, could signify a problem with the alternator.
- Load Test: The battery puts out voltage and amps. It could have plenty of voltage, but if it doesn’t have amps, that voltage isn’t going to do much good. You need amps to start a vehicle and run many accessories. The load test tells us if the battery has plenty of amperage.
- Charging Check: We also check to see if the alternator is charging. If the alternator is not charging properly, we recommend changing the alternator, as it will leave you stranded soon.
- Top Off Water: While you don’t see many lead acid batteries where you have to top off the water, some vehicle manufacturers still use them. If your vehicle’s battery is accessible, we’ll top off the water in the battery.
- Clean and Tighten Connections: Finally, if everything else looks great, we clean any corrosion from the terminals and make sure they’re tight. We also wipe the dust and debris off the top of the battery, as it could interfere with the battery’s job.
If you don’t drive your vehicle often, use a battery minder to keep the battery from going dead, especially when Jacksonville turns cold. If you don’t have a place to plug it in, you can start your vehicle once a week and drive it for 30 minutes to give the alternator time to charge the battery.
Contact Maxi Auto Repair and Service
Whether you need preventative maintenance, auto repair, tire repair & services, auto air conditioner repair & services, wheel alignment, shocks & struts replacement or other work on your vehicle, contact Maxi Auto Repair and Service to schedule an appointment or direct the tow truck to our closest location.