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Do I Need a New Battery?

For many of us, we don't worry about our car battery until it doesn't start the vehicle….then it's a major problem, especially if we're away from home. Wouldn't it be great if we knew ahead of time that our vehicle battery was on its' last leg and we were able to replace it before this inconvenience occurred?

Today's vehicles have more electrical components, gadgets and do-dads than ever before. Your battery really has to work hard to keep up with all this new technology. Look at what we have today: power windows, door locks, keyless entry, remote starting, sun roofs, electric seats, seat heaters, sun roofs, etc. Not to mention all the power outlets for our computers, cell phone chargers, DVD players, games for the kids and so on. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus, there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. Today's vehicles have more computer technology than what took our astronauts to the moon and back! And on top of all this, we have summer heat and winter cold that really takes a toll on battery life.

Fortunately, the technology of today also provides us with batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements….but even the best grades of batteries will simply wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your car. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have developed a leak. Fortunately, your local NAPA AutoCare Center can provide the best way to test your battery, your electrical and charging systems and other electrical components in order to recommend whether or not your battery needs to be replaced. After all, you don't want to purchase a battery, only to find out a little while later that it wasn't the problem to begin with.

Replacement batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Many cars have limited space that requires a specially shaped battery to fit. If your vehicle is equipped with a larger engine, then it will require a more powerful battery to get it started. If you live in a cold climate, you will need a more powerful battery because all engines are harder to start when it is cold.

If you do need a battery, they usually come in "good", "better" and "best" grades. What's the difference? Well, the more expensive batteries are built with additional capacity, will have a longer warranty and are therefore guaranteed to last longer. As with most things, paying a little more up front saves money in the long run.

Scheduling an appointment to get your vehicle tested at your local NAPA AutoCare Center will ensure that you'll know the condition of your battery. The Service Advisor can recommend to you when it's time to have your battery replaced before you have trouble down the road.

Posted October 17th, 2013

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