NAPA Auto Parts Sterling, VA
45449 Severn Way
Sterling,  VA  20166-8918
(703) 378-6666
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Mon-Fri:8:00 AM-6:00 PM
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Replacement Batteries for Cars, Trucks & SUVs

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A Dead Car Battery Is Such A Drain

When you have somewhere to be, nothing is worse than a dead car battery. That's why it is important to know the signs that it is weak and how to keep a fully charged replacement car battery operating at high capacity for as long as possible. Your automotive battery might be nearing the end of its usefulness if your headlights are dimmer than normal or if you have trouble starting your engine. Even after getting back on the road after a jumpstart, it is important to have your battery tested at a NAPA AUTO PARTS location near you as soon as possible. Don't risk getting stranded by a weak battery.

An auto battery functions like your vehicle's nerve center. It is used to fire up the ignition, illuminate any lightening and run electricity to the major systems, vehicle components and aftermarket accessories. When the positive and negative terminals are linked in a battery, electrons travel through the path of a vehicle's electrical system. This current is what powers the motor to start the engine, which allows the car to move and operate efficiently. The manufacturer designs a battery to have a specific footprint. If your battery is visibly swollen (bloated) in size, the alternator has a faulty voltage regulator that over charged the battery. The damage to the car battery has already been done and cannot be reversed.

The type of driving that's part of your normal routine can wear down the life of your vehicle's battery. If a typical day involves many short trips, where the engine is turned off and on repeatedly, your battery may suffer from not being recharged during longer driving distances. If your car sits for extended periods, without starting it up and letting it run for at least 15 minutes every week or two, that can also cause older batteries to become depleted. Another way to slowly drain your car battery's life is through parasitic draw, which happens when a door light, dome light or headlight is left on overnight or longer. While the cause of parasitic draw might be obvious, it could be more hidden. Aftermarket accessories can draw power from the battery even after the engine is turned off, or your vehicle might have an electrical short or damaged wiring that is interrupting the energy current and wasting the charge.

Take Charge Of Replacing Your Car Battery

You deserve a vehicle battery that delivers maximum starting power, and modern automotive batteries can deliver years of dependable service. The average car battery life (called the service life) is three to five years. Battery degradation increases when exposed to heat, which is why batteries often have a longer life in the cooler north. By the fourth year of your battery's service life, it's a good idea to purchase a new car battery before the current one fails. Automotive batteries have a shelf life of three to six years (which should be listed as the expiration date on the replacement car battery), if stored in a cool, dry place while waiting for it to be installed.

Changing (removing and installing) a car, truck, SUV or van battery is a relatively easy job that can be accomplished with only a few hand tools. Before getting started, get a little NAPA Know How on replacing your car battery. Some vehicle batteries are located in tough-to-service areas, such as under the front fender, under the rear seat or in the trunk. And, they contain highly toxic material that cannot be thrown out with your garbage. For professional installation of a car battery and proper disposal of an old one, find a NAPA AutoCare Center nearby.

Routine maintenance is the key to making your car battery last as long as possible. A damaged battery can cause problems with starting your engine and overburden the rest of the charging system. Confirm that your vehicle's battery is positioned firmly in the engine casing, and all connections are secured. Keep the battery terminal connectors and contacts clean and free of residue buildup. Corrosion can be cleaned off using a stiff brush and a baking soda/water solution, and rinsed off with water. NAPA AUTO PARTS stores carry anti-corrosive battery spray that protects ignition systems, spark plugs and distributors against moisture-caused short circuits, while also preventing corrosion on clean battery terminals and cables.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Whether you drive a Toyota Highlander, Chevrolet Equinox or Hyundai Sonata, NAPA AUTO PARTS can help you shop for a new car battery. Beyond NAPA's own Premium, Professional and Commercial brand batteries, we carry top car battery brands like Odyssey and AAA. Automotive batteries are usually labeled as 12 volts, but they can hold close to 15 volts to accommodate the additional power received from the alternator. While your car is running, the battery voltage should register more than 13 or 14 volts.

Most auto battery manufacturers also list reserve capacity (RC) or reserve power. This is the power output your battery will generate, even if the engine (specifically the alternator) fails. In the heat of the summer, it is important to know the air conditioning, fans and power windows will operate as you wait for roadside help. The reserve capacity can range from 90 to 150 minutes, with 120 being the average. Cold cranking amps (CCA) is a rating used to describe a battery's ability to start the engine in extreme cold conditions. This rating is measured at 0°F, and determines how many amps a battery can provide for 30 seconds.

While the standard is lead-acid wet cell batteries, the popularity of hybrids and electric vehicles is creating more demand for lithium-ion batteries. These secondary cell batteries have an expanded ability to be recharged again and again. NAPA AUTO PARTS also carries brand new and remanufactured hybrid drive batteries.

It is important that your car battery replacement match the original one as closely as possible. Add your vehicle before using the search function with NAPA online to ensure any part you purchase will be compatible. Or use the NAPA Know How App to scan your VIN, so you'll always get the results you need.

Although car batteries vary in size, the average battery weighs between 35 and 45 pounds. Make it easy on yourself, order online for curbside pickup. Add the battery you need to your online shopping cart, and check out with your credit card or PayPal account. You'll be notified by email when your order is ready.