Vehicles now days operate on 12 volt electrical systems, which is sufficient enough for your vehicle to run without having too much power that there is potential for electrocution. However these vehicles now have more electrical components and fancy gadgets than ever before, which really puts a strain on your electrical system, making it tough for the battery to keep up.
Think about all the electrical components you have in your car: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful audio systems. Added to that are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, anti-lock brakes, sensors etc. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is not even running.
The good news is that battery technology has provided batteries that are resilient and able to keep up with these demands, however the fact remains that batteries don’t last forever and over time they just wear out. All batteries get to a point where they cannot keep enough of a charge to start your vehicle, and have to be replaced because either they have just worn out, or have developed a leak.
When handling and working with auto batteries special equipment and safety precautions have to be taken. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that is harmful and can cause eye and skin injuries, so safety glasses and rubber gloves are a must be worn.
Replacement batteries are available in various sizes and shapes. Some small vehicles have limited space that can only fit a special shaped battery. Larger engines need a more powerful battery to get them started, and if you live in an extremely cold climate you may require a more powerful battery to start the engine when it is cold.
As with most auto parts, batteries have a wide price range. Think of it as “good”, “better” and “best”. More costly batteries have a longer warranty period and are guaranteed to last longer, but as with most things, paying a little more up front saves money in the long run.