Batteries - How Do You Know You'll Have the Juice When You Need It?

Written by Brendon Turner

Continued from page 1

Cold-cranking amperes or CCA isrepparttar unit of measurement that generally determines a battery's ability to start your engine. CCA is a measurement ofrepparttar 146127 worst conditions under which a battery can be expected to deliver current, and it tests how much current in amperes a battery can deliver under extreme cold. According torepparttar 146128 American SAE standard, CCA is determined by measuring how much current can be delivered in amperes for 30 seconds at -18 degrees C with a final voltage of 7.2 volts per cell or higher.

Reserve capacity is an important measurement forrepparttar 146129 total capacity ofrepparttar 146130 battery and shows how long a battery can keeprepparttar 146131 engine running ifrepparttar 146132 alternator/generator fails. Reserve capacity of a battery is measured in minutes at room temperature (approximately 70 degrees F). During this test, 25 amperes is drawn fromrepparttar 146133 battery for as long asrepparttar 146134 voltage does not drop below 10.5 volts. For off-road use, it's a good idea to make sure any battery you purchase has a reserve capacity of at least 120 minutes.

Reserve capacity is also important for those times when you need to run a radio, spotlight, winch, or other electrical accessory without runningrepparttar 146135 engine.

A Batteries Two Enemies

Although just about all modem batteries are pretty reliable, there are two enemies that can grind even a brand-new battery to a halt - extreme cold and extreme heat. Batteries are at their best with internal temperatures (not ambient) above 50 degrees F and below 105 degrees F. Below and above this range, problems can develop, and a dead, damaged, or . useless battery can berepparttar 146136 result.

We've all noticed that under extremely cold conditions (below freezing),repparttar 146137 battery will turn overrepparttar 146138 starter motor slowly, if at all. This is because whenrepparttar 146139 internal temperature ofrepparttar 146140 battery gets belowrepparttar 146141 optimum range,repparttar 146142 chemical reaction insiderepparttar 146143 battery happens more slowly, and for every 10-degree drop below freezing,repparttar 146144 time thatrepparttar 146145 chemical reaction takes doubles. Because of this increased resistance,repparttar 146146 voltage inrepparttar 146147 battery drops and cannot turn overrepparttar 146148 engine.

Heat can also have an adverse effect on your battery's overall health. Battery power is reduced when it's subjected to excessive temperatures, butrepparttar 146149 problem may not be immediately noticed untilrepparttar 146150 temperature drops. At higher temperatures,repparttar 146151 chemical reaction withinrepparttar 146152 battery is more rapid. The battery can produce more energy more quickly. This is good, right? Wrong. The higher rate of energy production results in an increase in off gassing;repparttar 146153 water inrepparttar 146154 battery is vented out as hydrogen and oxygen molecules andrepparttar 146155 rate of internal corrosion, or sloughing, increases. This can result in a short in one or more cells that is not noticed until cold weather diminishesrepparttar 146156 overall ability ofrepparttar 146157 battery.

What to Buy

When it comes to batteries for automotive use, there is no such thing as a perfect battery. Any battery can fail if it is neglected, constantly overloaded, or overcharged. The important thing to remember is to getrepparttar 146158 right battery for your needs, one that is rated for your vehicle and allrepparttar 146159 accessories you use. Generally, this means a high Ah, high CCA, and high reserve capacity. Also, make sure you buy a quality unit. Don't be fooled byrepparttar 146160 low price ofrepparttar 146161 budget shops. Batteries sold inrepparttar 146162 no-name-battery discount stores often are poorly assembled and use inferior materials inrepparttar 146163 plates and separators. Name-brand batteries, such as AC-Delco, Sears DieHard, Exide, Interstate, Optima, and others, are manufactured torepparttar 146164 highest standards, delivering high reliability combined with long life.

For off-road use, however, we feel thatrepparttar 146165 recombination battery isrepparttar 146166 best overall, since it delivers high output, needs no maintenance, holds up well torepparttar 146167 rigors of off-road driving, and has a quick recharge rate, as well as a long life span. It is a particularly useful battery forrepparttar 146168 off-roader because it has no liquid to leak out and can be mounted in any position (even upside down). Because of this, it won't corrode battery trays or cables and is safe in a collision. You can actually shoot a 45-caliber bullet throughrepparttar 146169 battery casing and it will still crank at full power. Try that with a conventional battery, and you have a leaking mess that will at best produce minimal voltage.

Although recombination batteries are sold under various brand names, Optima's 800U isrepparttar 146170 original and alsorepparttar 146171 only battery available with both top posts and side terminals, a feature that makes it especially well suited for specialized installations and powering accessories and where there is installation room for only one battery Since we also run a winch and driving lights fromrepparttar 146172 starting battery, it has to be a powerful one. The 800 CCA and 120 minutes of reserve capacityrepparttar 146173 Optima offers means we can rely onrepparttar 146174 unit as a power source for lights and winch use whenrepparttar 146175 engine is down, without sacrificing starting ability. Additionally,repparttar 146176 side terminals make it easy to powerrepparttar 146177 winch and other accessories directly offrepparttar 146178 battery without disconnectingrepparttar 146179 main power cables and disablingrepparttar 146180 vehicle's computer. This makes for a clean installation without a lot of cable clutter atrepparttar 146181 main battery posts, which is especially important when there's limited space aroundrepparttar 146182 battery top.

Visit - The Automotive Gazette weekly edition of car care articles, automotive news and information on automotive repair for those of us not adept at automotive troubleshooting.

The Magnificent Seven - Quick Tips for Cheaper Car Insurance

Written by Jason Hulott

Continued from page 1

4 Drivers Limitrepparttar number of drivers on your vehicle and you’ll get a better deal on your insurance.

5 Age, sex and occupation These can all have an effect on your premiums, as can part-time jobs.

6 Modifications and security A modified car will attract higher premiums.

Checkrepparttar 146091 security levels on your car: immobilisers, a steering lock, and a detachable stereo could help reduce your premiums.

7 Shop Around Don’t automatically accept your current insurers’ quote at renewal time – shop around. Use our directory of car insurance providers to findrepparttar 146092 best deal for you.

Motor Car Loans an automotive resource guide for those looking to buy, insure , sell or in fact do all most anything with a car. Sign up to our free car insurance course, send an email to

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