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Everything you need to know about car batteries

Get through the winter with help from Vinnie’s Mr. Fixit

There are a lot of interconnected systems that rely on each other to keep your vehicle operating at maximum efficiency. However, there’s one key element that often goes underappreciated considering the role it plays in keeping your vehicle running and that’s your battery.

The simple fact is your car battery provides the power for all of your car’s electrical components, so it’s important to know a few things about your battery to ensure it continues to power you right through the winter.

“Typically with most car batteries, you’ll get four to five good years out it,” said Vince Klimkosz, owner of the two area locations of Vinnie’s Mr. Fixit. “After that, like all batteries, they start to go downhill and lose power. We have seen some batteries last more than 10 years, but that depends on how much driving is being done, the make and model of vehicle, and of course, the weather conditions.”

Vinnies Mr. Fixit offers battery testing to vehicle owners who want to gauge the remaining lifespan of their battery.

“It’s a very simple text,” said Klimkosz. “It gives us a really good idea of what’s going on and provides a printout as well. That way you can see what it’s measuring. It gives a good indication of what your battery’s got left in it.”

There are many things in your car that can drain power from your battery – things like the stereo system, the lights, and even the heating and A/C can take their toll on battery life. When it comes to buying a new battery, Klimkosz said that price is not really a good indicator of quality.

“When you got to a store and see three different grades of battery to buy, they’re essentially all the same battery,” he explained. “They don’t make them any differently. It’s just the warranty they offer that’s different. You c an buy a one year, a two year, even up to a five year warranty. You’re still getting the same physical battery. Manufacturers don’t have a cheap grade battery, it’s really all about the warranty.”

Klimkosz said that one of the biggest factors affecting battery life is the climate in which you drive. While most people think winter puts the biggest strain on your battery,

Klimkosz said summer heat can also cause a significant drain on your battery.

“If a battery was being used in temperatures between 18 and 20 degrees all the time they would last a lot longer. That’s they’re happy spot. But because of fluctuations in temperatures we’ll change as many batteries in the hot summer as we will in the coldest of winters. Heat can have a real negative effect on battery life.”

Unfortunately, there are times in the winter when you might wake up to a dead battery. The good news is you may not need to replace it; you may only need a power boost accomplished by connecting to another battery. While this is a simple procedure it’s still important to make sure you’re doing it properly.

“You want to be very careful when boosting your battery,” said Klimkosz. “All of the procedures can be very different. This is especially true when dealing with cars that are partially or fully electric. You can very easily fry the electronics really quickly that can cost you a lot of money. You can purchase battery charger packs that are no bigger than a cell phone. It’s a handy thing to keep in your emergency kit should you need to boost your vehicle.”

To book your battery test, or to get booked in for winter service, visit any of the three area locations of Vinnie’s Mr. Fixit.

Call the new location at 86 Dawson Street at 519 821 8188. Or visit them online here.