Car Battery Replacement Service in Gilbert, AZ
Good Batteries, Bad Batteries, Life Expectancy and Battery Maintenance
In Arizona it is not uncommon for batteries to fail every year, or every other year. The heat and extreme weather during the summer places immense stress upon your vehicle, and your battery is no exception.
In this article we’ll take a look at the signs to look for in a battery that is about to go bad, battery maintenance, car battery replacement considerations, battery replacement costs as well as what you really want to purchase in a battery for an Arizona vehicle.
When purchasing a new battery for your vehicle, you’re presented with all sorts of brands and life expectancy. There are the Acme three-year, the Acme five-year and the Acme seven-year batteries. With more years comes additional cost as well as a guarantee that your battery will last. While that guarantee may be good in other parts of the country, car batteries in Arizona will rarely ever max out their life expectancy.
When you live in Arizona and endure the hot summers, the length of your car battery doesn’t matter. Even the best batteries are going to fail within two to three years after installation.
So does it matter if you buy a battery with a 5-year warranty versus a battery with a 7-year warranty? In a way, yes.
When your battery fails and it’s under warranty, there is a good likelihood it will just be swapped out for another unit – provided that one from the same manufacturer is available wherever you may find yourself in need.
At Highline Car Care, we use a high quality, nationally available battery for two reasons. First, a high-quality battery will give you more life, no matter what model you purchase, and make replacing a battery an occasional inconvenience. Second and more importantly, a nationally available battery means that no matter where you are when your battery fails, that manufacturer will be available from a local mechanic or auto parts store.
You may have a general idea of how old your battery is, even if you don’t remember exactly when you had it replaced. That’s okay, a general idea combined with recognizing a few additional symptoms will help you avoid walking out to your vehicle, turning the key and realizing your day just got complicated.
One of the strongest signs that your battery is failing is when it makes a slow cranking sound. You know, it’s that sound you’ve tried to imitate for your mechanic in the past. If you had to describe it, you would say it just doesn’t sound like it will turn over and it sounds slower. This slower sound is a sign that your battery is failing.
Another sign that you’ll need to replace your battery soon, is when you have to jump start it. There is always the off-chance that your child left a light on in the back of the minivan or the glove compartment light was left on and your battery drained that way; however, more often than not, if a battery gets to the point where it has to be jumped, you need to get your battery checked right away.
Getting your battery checked at Highline or any other location with an amperage meter will tell you if your battery is going bad. If it’s not going bad, yet you still had to jump it, it could be related to your alternator or that it was just temporarily drained. Battery checks are free at Highline; we always perform battery checks as a part of our oil change service and our tune up checklist inspection.
If one of our customers has a battery fail, we will swap it out and send the old one back to the battery supplier for recycling.
There is very little to battery maintenance in Arizona. This is due mostly to the fact that batteries fail before maintenance is required. However, there are two maintenance items that owners should be aware of.
Batteries contain distilled water(Batteries contain acid that chemically reacts with the lead battery. Distilled water is added when h2o has evaporated from the acidic solution – So not to dilute, but to replenish, in order to help dilute the acid inside a battery which is used for the flow of electricity in the battery. Each battery has caps on top which you can pop off with a flat head screwdriver. Once off, look down at the water level in each cell – you want the water level to be at the bottom of the top plastic ridge, basically within a half inch of the top. Use only distilled water. Do not use regular water as it has metal ions in it which will contribute to the rapid degradation of the batteries charging capacity.
The other maintenance item is in line with what we’ve already mentioned above – have your battery checked regularly. At Highline, we work with dozens of cars every day and with each car, we perform an audible check. Our technicians are so familiar with the sound of a car turning on, they can literally hear any variance that is cause for concern. If a battery fails the audible test, we will perform a load test.
As stated above, battery maintenance is less of a concern in other parts of the country because a battery really will last 5-7 years. In Arizona, this is just not the case.
One thing we emphasize to our clients is that where you take your car for every service and repair matters. Bringing your vehicle to the same shop every visit ensures that the mechanic forms a relationship with your car, leading to better care. It also helps to grow trust between you, the owner and the shop staff.
Clients who bring their cars to Highline for all service greatly minimize their risk of being out in the 100° temperatures with a dead battery because of every touchpoint we have with their vehicle.
Customers who wind up needing a battery replacement typically want to know what type of battery we use. Every vehicle is different and will have its own unique needs:
We carry one manufacturer: Interstate. Interstate is a national brand, provides nearly every model we would need and their megatron grade battery is a very high value product.
If you have noticed any type of variance in the sound your vehicle makes when you start it, please bring it in to have your battery checked. We can tell you if your battery is the problem or if there is another issue with similar symptoms. If your battery needs to be replaced, we’ll let you know and after you give the okay, we’ll swap it out for you.
We view every interaction with our clients as an opportunity to grow a relationship and build trust. We’ll always be willing to help someone out on a one-time basis but the part of our work that we get excited about is forming long-term relationships. That’s when we do our best work on behalf of our client and help them get the most life out of their vehicle.