A flat or faulty battery has always been the leading cause of vehicular breakdowns. For all the years of automotive technology, car battery testers have never truly progressed to come up with solutions to the problem. As said, batteries are like humans. They may exceptionally function on one day but can perform dismally on another day.
Vehicular breakdown due to a flat battery is a common phenomenon during winter but can happen anytime.When there is an apparent battery failure, the first thing you notice is a sluggish cranking of the engines, which can be described as ‘rur-rur-rur’ sound. The check engine light also appears.
Upon opening the bonnet or hood of your car, you may see visible signs of a faulty battery like bloating of the casing and low engine fluid. You may also smell a rotten egg-like odor around the battery. But what really causes car batteries to fail?
It may not be uncommon for buyers to return the car batteries they bought because of manufacturing defects. The incidence of factory defects may vary in different regions, though. In Europe, only 7% of battery malfunction is caused by errors in production. In Asia, however, the problem in defective batteries are a bit high.
Although factory defective batteries are covered under warranty, customer satisfaction is compromised. Indeed, it is disappointing if you are late for a life-changing appointment or are caught in the middle of nowhere because of a defective battery.
Driving habits remain to be the most common cause of battery malfunction. Driving through short distances while running heater or windshield wiper and leaving your car for some time can cause a phenomenon called acid stratification. This happens when electrolytes concentrate at the bottom of the battery. The upper part of the battery with less acid is prone to corrosion while limiting plate activation. With high acid concentration at the lower part, low conductivity is aggravated. Indeed, acid stratification can reduce the performance of a car battery dramatically.
Car batteries have a serviceable life of three years but can go beyond five years when all cautions are ensured are observed. Regular inspection should be conducted when your battery reached the three-year mark.
The most that you can do to prevent early battery malfunction? Avoid short trips and know how to do remedial measures when you have not driven your car for some time.