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Battery Upgrade

I remember as a kid growing up in a small town how I used to play with superhero action figures. I had all the essential characters that made up a collection worth talking about: Batman, Superman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Spiderman and Iron Man – just to name a few.

My brother and I would carefully choose an even number of our favorites and draw up mock-duels and battles. One thing I always took seriously before starting any duel was in taking time to account for the strengths and weaknesses of certain heroes on my team. At that time, nothing was more important than outlining all the possible scenarios of a match up based on this vital assessment.

For example, we all know that Spiderman is fast and a quick healer – but is not strong. Batman is only human; needing food and sleep like the rest of us. Green Lantern’s “Achilles Heel” is the color yellow and Iron Man would be taken out relatively quickly with a strong electromagnetic pulse.

As a kid, conducting this exercise was purely imaginative and quite a lot of fun – but the skill of assessing strengths and weaknesses has never really left me. It was only two months ago when I applied this same balancing of strengths and weaknesses to a current superhero of mine - my car battery. It all happened when I was in need for a new battery purchase about two months ago.

It was the middle of the summer. I was driving quite a bit before one morning when I found my car stuck in my garage. I turned the key several times and the ignition didn’t turn over. At that moment I realized that the battery in my vehicle was the original manufacturer’s battery and my car recently hit the 5 year old mark. The time had occurred when I was now in the market for a new one. Since vehicle batteries are quite expensive, I wanted to know all the strengths and weaknesses that different batteries can have, so I visited my local NAPA AutoCare center and learned that a battery which comes installed with the vehicle does a good job under the conditions for typical driver use, however battery longevity varies with driver behaviors and the climes it’s normally driven in.

One of the biggest weaknesses I learned about my battery was that its main enemy is heat. Did you know that summer months and hotter climates can literally take a year or more off of the expected lifespan of a vehicle battery? The best places are cool and well ventilated garages. I also learned that it takes a lot of energy to start a vehicle, especially in the winter time. Some batteries have a higher cold cranking amps (CCA) rating that can help make sure one starts up easier during cold winter mornings.

That said, depending on where you live and the amount that you drive - purchasing a battery with a longer warranty period may help you manage your replacement costs.

In short, our battery needs vary depending on how we use our vehicles and the climate in which we live. Talk with your local NAPA Service Advisor about what battery is right for you. They can test your battery to verify its capacity and life expectancy so you can be prepared for the months ahead.

Posted October 1st, 2015

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