18 Jan Car Battery: Why It’s Important to Register a Replacement
Winter driving conditions can often lead to an unexpected dead battery. There can be several reasons for your vehicle charging system to require a replacement battery. Whatever the reason, ensure the technician performs a battery registration on your new car battery.
Winter Driving And Your Car Battery
The performance of your car battery can suffer during the cold winter months. Freezing temperatures can lower lead-acid battery capacity between 20-50%. Plus, winter driving generally utilizes more accessories like headlights, seat warmers, defrosters, and windshield wipers. These accessories can put a considerable strain on your car battery, causing an old or depleted battery to die.
When To Replace Your Car Battery
Performing routine maintenance on your car battery can help prolong its life. Cleaning the battery terminals and keeping them free of corrosion can also help the battery’s performance during the winter. Unfortunately, even the best-maintained battery will not last forever. Here’s how to know when to replace your car battery:
It’s awful when trying to start your car and hearing the dreaded click-click-click instead. You have a dead battery when it does not have sufficient power to crank the engine to start it. It can happen with age or leaving an electrical component (like your headlights) on after turning off the car. When the battery experiences a full discharge, it requires testing to see if it can still hold a full charge or needs replacing.
Car Battery Won’t Hold A Charge
Over time and use, car batteries accumulate irreversible internal damage, making it harder for them to hold a full charge. Sometimes they can be re-conditioned to hold a full charge again. Sometimes, they are beyond re-conditioning and need replacing.
Car Battery Is Old
Generally speaking, a typical car battery has a 3-6 years life span. If your car battery is older than three years, you should have it checked with every oil change to ensure it can still hold a full charge. Once your car battery reaches six years, experts recommend replacing it, especially if you live in a climate with very hot and/or very cold temperatures.
Bulging, Leaking, or Damaged Car Battery
The battery in your vehicle should be clean, secured with a strap to prevent shifting, and be free of corrosion. Immediately address any signs of bulging, leaking, or cracks in the outer case. Damaged car batteries are dangerous. To be safe, replace them immediately and dispose of, or recycle them appropriately.
Vehicle Charging System
As auto manufacturers design better, faster, and safer vehicles, the vehicle charging system has become more complex. In addition to the basic components (alternator, voltage regulator, drive belt, serpentine belt), many cars now have an electronic control unit (ECU) in their charging systems. The ECU stores data about the charging system.
The service technician should run the Battery Registration Replacement function on the vehicle charging system’s ECU, each time replacing a car battery. This process completes the following operations:
- Deletes the stored battery statistics (battery charge level, current, voltage, temperature)
- Sets the new battery capacity to 80%
- Stores the current odometer reading
- Clears warning messages, dashboard lights, and low voltage/battery fault codes
Battery Programming or Coding
Battery Programming (or Battery Coding) is vital when the replacement battery is different from the old battery. Your vehicle charging system ECU needs to know the battery’s specs (Ah rating, AGM or lead/calcium, RC rating) to set the appropriate charging algorithm. If the algorithm does not match the battery, over-charging or under-charging can damage your car battery and possibly your entire charging system.
The OBD2 Port
An On-Board Diagnostics 2 (OBD2) port is the access point for the ECUs in your vehicle. Your service technician uses this port to connect with their computer. It allows them to see all the error codes and other vehicle data stored by the various system ECUs in your car.
Replacement Battery in Ann Arbor, MI
Ron’s Garage has been serving Ann Arbor and surrounding communities since 1982. Our team of qualified technicians can diagnose issues with your car’s vehicle charging system. We can also test your battery and quickly install a replacement battery, if necessary. We have the latest technology to perform the battery registration and battery programming on any make and model.
Give us a call today at (734) 961-4701 or visit our website to make your car battery service appointment!