Watch: Can A Car Battery Last Forever?

Watch: Can A Car Battery Last Forever?

One weakness is that wet cell car batteries have to be kept at or near full charge to maximize their output and lifespan. If a battery is run down and chronically undercharged, it will drastically reduce its service life.

Hi guys, it’s Mark Phillips. In spite of all the advances in automotive technology in recent years, one item that hasn’t changed much over the years is the 12-volt wet cell lead-acid storage battery. It’s pretty much the same basic design that’s been around for more than a century.  The only major differences are that today’s car batteries are 12-volts (versus 6-volts back in the 1950s), and they are maintenance free and require no make-up water. Even so, the average lifespan of a car battery today is still only about four or five years — and only about three years in many hot climates!

One weakness is that wet cell car batteries have to be kept at or near full charge to maximize their output and lifespan. If a battery is run down and chronically undercharged, it will drastically reduce its service life. Sulfate builds up quickly on the cell plates when the battery is discharged or undercharged. This forms a barrier that prevents the plates from accepting and holding a normal charge. Over time, this causes a loss of storage capacity and the battery gets weaker and weaker. If the battery can’t pass a load test, it needs to be replaced.

Most late-model vehicles place high electrical loads on the battery, so if the vehicle is not driven often enough or far enough to keep the battery fully charged (a process that typically takes at least 15 to 20 minutes), the battery will gradually run down.

Batteries can also fail suddenly as a result of shaking and vibration. The diecast metal connectors that tie the cells together tend to be brittle, and can crack or break if a battery is bouncing around on its tray and is not secured with a hold-down clamp or strap. And heat… Heat is a real killer of batteries too. High underhood temperatures combined with a hot climate can shorten battery life by increasing the evaporation of water from the battery cells.

The bottom line is that when a battery becomes weak or suddenly dies, it needs to be replaced with a similar battery that has the same configuration —Group Size — and equal or greater CCA capacity. Finally, the charging system should also be tested to make sure it can keep the battery charged, and power needs to be maintained to the vehicle’s electrical system with a backup power supply while the battery is being replaced to prevent the loss of learned memory settings in onboard modules. I’m Mark Phillips. And thanks for watching.


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This is always an important topic to discuss, because I consider excellent customer service one of the most important tools you can have to earn trust, respect and repeat business from the customers that come through your door. Whether that customer is do-it-yourselfer from across town or the professional repair shop across the street, your business depends on a solid relationship.It’s a subject that I am passionate about, and it’s one that many people are losing touch with. Whether you are communicating to someone in person, on the phone or using some type of social media, good customer service and bad can both exist. You can’t afford the latter, so this is the first in a series of topics which can and should be shared from the front of the shop to the back. No matter which role you hold, you represent the shop and yourself. Customer service should be your number one priority.First on the list is the greeting. From the second a customer walks in the door, they need to know you appreciate them coming in and how important they are to your business. First impressions are everything and here’s the correct way to do it each and every time: look them directly in the eye, smile and say hello!Of course, you can say “Good morning” or “Welcome to Joe’s Autocare,” but it should be a formal greeting and the most important thing is that you have smiled, looked them in the eye and recognized that they have walked through the door.You should always retain a formal greeting until you are on a first-name basis with a customer. Only once you have established that level of relationship is it OK to use the less formal greeting of “Hi,” followed by the person’s name.This greeting does more than just indicate respect and appreciation for someone walking through the door. Most likely there are customers both new and old who are in earshot of your conversation. For newer customers, this continues to build rapport and reinforce their positive view of your shop; they see that you demonstrate respect and treat everyone in the same manner. For repeat customers, even ones that have been coming for years, the greeting is important because the way you treat them is the reason they continue to come.And when a long-time customer comes in and you greet them with “Hi [First Name],” this indicates your appreciation for them and that you’re glad to see them as a person, more than just a customer. New customers that witness this will see that your repeat customers are comfortable enough to be on a first-name basis, another indication of the trust they have in you.

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