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  • Make Your Battery Last

    Jan 19, 2020



    Today's report from Affordable Transmissions is on vehicle batteries, why they die and what we can do to lengthen their life. Most of us have had a dead battery at one time or another. In fact, it would be very unusual if you hadn't. You may be surprised to learn that only 30 percent of Brooklyn Park vehicle batteries last for 48 months.

    Now that's an average. How long a battery lasts depends on many factors. You may not know that one of the biggest factors is the temperature where you live and drive around in MN. You might suppose that cold weather was harder on batteries because it takes more power to crank a cold engine, but the opposite is actually true.

    For more information on your battery, please visit us:
    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169

    Batteries in very cold climates have a life expectancy of 51 months as opposed to 30 months in very warm climates. The reason is simple: batteries are chemically more active when they're hot than when they're cold.

    A vehicle battery will actually start to discharge on its own within 24 hours in hot weather. It takes several days in cold weather. When batteries are left too long in a state of partial discharge, the discharged portion of the battery plates — for the lack of a better word — 'die.' Recharging the battery will not restore the dead part of the battery plate.

    One of the big problems for the way most of us drive in the Brooklyn Park area is that our batteries are often partially discharged. The biggest job the battery does is to start the vehicle. It takes some time for the alternator to recharge the battery after starting. If you're driving short distances, especially if there are several starts and stops, your battery may not fully recharge.

    Another issue is that vehicles are coming equipped with more and more electricity-hungry accessories like navigation systems, DVD players, CD and MP3 players, heated seats, heated steering wheels and so on. And we often plug in cell phones, computers and other gadgets. Combine that with short trips and it's no wonder that our batteries are partially discharged.

    Experts say we can extend our battery life by topping off the charge periodically using a good quality battery charger. You may have heard these chargers referred to as 'trickle chargers.' They're attached to the battery and plugged into a wall outlet to slowly bring the battery up to full charge.

    Now, there's some science involved with how fast a battery should be recharged. If you buy a cheap manual charger, you'll have to tend it. Frankly there is a learning curve on how to do it right and it requires much attention. A computer controlled charger – or smart charger – monitors the process and determines the appropriate rate of charge. And it even stops charging when it's fully charged. It costs more than the manual charger, but the automatic model is worth it.

    The suggestion is to charge once a month in warm weather and once every three months in cold weather.

    Another thing to avoid is deeply discharging your battery, something like running the headlights and stereo with the engine turned off. That'll take months off the battery life every time you do it.

    Now, as we discussed, heat is hard on a battery. A dirty, greasy battery holds more heat. You can wipe off excess dirt with a paper towel or ask your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions to clean it for you. We can even test your battery and tell you if it's time to replace it.

    Batteries are fairly expensive, so taking a few steps to make them last longer is well worth it. Of course, the battery will eventually need to be replaced. Always make sure you get a new battery that meets the factory specifications for your vehicle. If you feel you need more battery capacity than what came with your vehicle, talk with your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions about appropriate upgrades.

    If you have a dead battery, be careful to inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. And deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Charge It in Brooklyn Park for Extended Battery Life

    Sep 15, 2019

    Here's an interesting statistic for our in Brooklyn Park, MN, drivers: Only 30 percent of car batteries make it to 48 months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from 51 months in extremely cold areas to just 30 months in extremely hot climates.

    Why is that? It turns out that it's our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs and entertainment computers are keeping vehicle batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it'll die.

    It's clear that you Brooklyn Park drivers need to recharge your batteries. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car's demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Brooklyn Park. The alternator just can't keep up.

    The result is shortened battery life. So what can we do to improve our battery's health?

    We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just 24 hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather's cold in Brooklyn Park, sitting for several days will cause discharge.

    So some highway driving around MN will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it's called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is also very dangerous to your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.

    If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger or talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Affordable Transmissions .

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com






    A Stitch in Time at Affordable Transmissions

    May 5, 2019

    You probably have heard that expression, "A stitch in time saves nine." In other words, if you fix an issue at its early stages, it will prevent a much more difficult problem later. That's certainly the case with your vehicle, and here's a true story to demonstrate it.

    A driver noticed his vehicle was due for an oil change, so he took it in to his service facility early in the morning so he could wait while the work was performed. The technician routinely checks the battery on vehicles just before extreme weather is approaching (cold or hot), so with winter coming up, he hooked up the load tester (it measures voltage while a load is put on the battery). It showed the battery wasn't holding a charge well.

    The technician checked the manufacturing date on the battery, too (most batteries have a date stamped in code somewhere on them). The date showed it was five years old. While batteries can last more than five years, many technicians say you should expect to get anywhere from three to six years out of them, depending on what they go through.

    So, this battery was getting a little long in the tooth, and it wasn't holding a charge particularly well. But how much current was it being sent by the vehicle's alternator? If it wasn't getting enough, that might be a factor. A test of the charging system showed the alternator was putting out the correct amount of power. The technician recommended replacing the battery, and the driver agreed.

    That was the stitch in time. Had the technician not checked the battery, that driver likely would have been stranded the next time he tried to start his vehicle on a very cold day. What originally was supposed to be just an oil change led to a technician's sharp diagnosis and a little preventative maintenance for one fortunate driver. Sometimes timing is everything.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Battery Replacement at Affordable Transmissions in Brooklyn Park

    Aug 6, 2018

    Hello, welcome to Affordable Transmissions. Today's focus is batteries. It seems like everything in Brooklyn Park runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we're most concerned with here at Affordable Transmissions are those in our customer's vehicles. Just like the batteries in our smoke detectors or TV remote, drive they wear out and need to be replaced . This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold vehicle engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in MN, specifically how cold it is. (Many Brooklyn Park drivers have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your vehicle's engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with.

    The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient when the temperature dips. Let's say it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees C) in Brooklyn Park. At that temperature, 100% of the battery's power is available. At freezing, only 65% of battery power is available, but it requires 155% as much power to start the engine as it did at 80 degrees F (27 degrees C).

    As you can see, the colder it gets, more power is needed, but the available power drops.

    So if you live where it's cold in MN, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it's moderate or hot. The battery that originally came with your vehicle was based on averages. At Affordable Transmissions, we like to remind Brooklyn Park drivers that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as their vehicle manufacturer recommends but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets real cold.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com

     




    Need a New Battery? Call Affordable Transmissions Today

    Jun 19, 2018

    Hello Brooklyn Park drivers! Need a new battery? There is a good chance that you do – 70% of batteries need to be replaced within four years. As your battery discharges and then recharges as you drive around Brooklyn Park, bits of the surface of the battery plates disintegrate. As this process continues over a few years, the alternator has to work harder to supplement the battery charge. Over time, enough of the battery is damaged that it can no longer hold a charge and it needs to be replaced. This also speeds up wear on the alternator.

    Your Affordable Transmissions service advisor can help you determine the right vehicle replacement battery for the way you drive around Brooklyn Park, as well as the MN climate and durability needs.

    Contact Affordable Transmissions for information on battery replacement.

    Give us a call.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Automotive Tips from Affordable Transmissions: Making a Battery Last Longer

    Jan 1, 2017

    One thing all Brooklyn Park drivers can do to extend the life of their battery is to keep it clean. A greasy, dirty battery holds in damaging heat. Same goes for removing corrosion from the terminals. Affordable Transmissions can help maintain your battery.

    Allowing your battery to be deeply depleted – like from using your headlights when the engine is off – is very harmful to your battery. Most automotive batteries can only take that about 10 times before they are ruined.

    Also, making sure you have a full charge every month or so extends battery life. Either an extended drive at freeway speeds around the Brooklyn Park are or using a battery charger will preserve your battery’s ability to hold a full charge.

    Give us a call.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com