Everything You Need to Know about Your Car’s Battery

Forgetting about car battery maintenance can be a costly mistake. A dead battery can leave you stranded on the side of the road or worse.  In this blog, we’ll go over what your battery does for your vehicle, warning signs it might be nearing the end of its lifecycle, and what to keep in mind while changing a car battery.  Following these simple and easy steps are essential for the long-term health of you and your vehicle.

What is a Car Battery?

A car battery isn’t like the battery in your remote, it’s actually simpler to understand. A car battery consists of a set of cells that have lead plates immersed in concentrated sulfuric acid and water. This reaction converts the stored chemical energy into electrical energy. When starting your car this energy is what powers the starter motor which turns the engine over so it can begin to operate on its own.

Once the vehicle is running, the alternator provides electrical energy back to the battery which is converted into chemical potential energy in the battery cells. Your vehicle’s battery also powers many of your vehicle’s accessory items while driving, this includes the radio, power windows, and windshield wipers just to name a few.

Warning Signs You Need to Change Your Car Battery

Without your battery, your vehicle wouldn’t be able to start. This is why it’s essential to be on the lookout for the warning signs that your battery is entering the final stages of its lifecycle.

The first sign that your vehicle’s battery may be losing effectiveness will be a decrease of voltage in your vehicle’s electrical system. Be on the lookout for onboard electrical devices that are acting erratically such as flickering headlights or the radio turning on and off on its own. If you notice any of these signs, test your battery, check if it can maintain a charge and if not then it’s time to consider a replacement battery.

The next sign your battery is potentially in need of a replacement is if it’s unable to start your vehicle. This isn’t a direct signal that your battery is no longer effective, but after recharging it checks if the battery is able to consistently maintain its charge over time. If the battery can maintain its charge, then it’s still in good working order. If not, then it’s time to find a new car battery.

The final signal that your battery may need to be replaced is corrosion on the battery itself or around the terminals. If you notice any corrosion on your battery schedule an appointment at your local Sanel NAPA location for a consultation. Battery corrosion can take the form of white buildup and could signal that fluids are leaking from the battery which can be a dangerous situation for at-home mechanics.

How to Change Your Car Battery

When preparing to change your car battery, first consult your owner’s manual to find out if you need to attach a memory saver device in order to maintain your vehicle’s internal memory when the battery is removed. If you don’t attach a memory saver, you may lose preset radio stations, or worse, your vehicle may need numerous module resets and that could cost you a lot of money.

Once you’re ready to remove your battery, make sure to remove the negative cable first. If you remove the positive cable first you could cause a spark or related accident to occur. Once the cables are removed, keep the battery upright as it is removed to not leak any corrosive acid on yourself or the inside of your vehicle. After this, you’ll be ready to install your new battery and get back on the road!

For more information on all things automotive, and to answer any questions about your vehicle’s dashboard lights, contact or visit the knowledgeable professionals at a Sanel NAPA location near you.

About Sanel NAPA

Since 1920, Sanel NAPA has been a leading auto parts, heavy-duty truck parts, and body shop supplies distributor with over 42 store locations throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. We deliver quality car parts, heavy-duty truck parts, automotive paint and body supplies, and tools and equipment that are durable, dependable, and long-lasting to provide our clientele with the best products and services possible. For more information, call (603) 225-40

Find Your Closest Sanel NAPA Store

With over 46 locations across New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts

Find a Location Near You