QUESTIONS? WE HAVE THE ANSWERS
Q: There’s a powdery, white/blue/green substance on my battery terminals – what is it?
A: The short answer: corrosion. Corrosion is caused by a chemical reaction between the battery, clamps, and other elements in the air under the hood. If there’s corrosion on the positive terminal, your battery is probably overcharging – but generally, it’ll be on the negative terminal because the battery is in an undercharged situation. Corrosion, if left unchecked, can cause problems with starting your vehicle – so don’t let it get out of hand!
Q: When fully charged, how many volts should a car battery have?
A: A fully charged battery should measure around 12.6 volts or above. When the engine is running, your battery should clock in at somewhere between 13.7 and 14.7 volts.
Q: How does extreme cold affect my battery?
A: Excessive cold slows down the chemical reaction that occurs inside your battery, while also increasing electrolyte resistance. It’s important to keep batteries fully charged during the winter months, since batteries in a discharged state are more likely to freeze – which can cause damage to the plates and battery container. Additionally, vehicles demand more from a battery when the temperature drops below freezing since oil thickens and makes the engine harder to crank.
Q: Can a bad battery do damage to my vehicle’s charging system or starter?
A: Yes – these parts can malfunction because they’re drawing more voltage than they should have to in order to compensate for a lack of power from the battery itself. If left for too long, a bad battery could force you to replace other expensive electrical parts!