Batteries and Battery Parts
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The car battery is usually the last thing on anyone's mind until the day their car refuses to start. Modern maintenance-free car batteries can deliver years of dependable service. Whether it is a lead-acid wet cell, lead-acid gel cell, absorbed glass mat (AGM), or lithium-ion batteries, NAPA AUTO PARTS is one of the best battery retailers in the country and has a battery for almost every application.
NAPA AUTO PARTS also carries brand new and remanufactured hybrid drive batteries. A weak battery or damaged battery can cause starting problems and overburden the rest of the charging system. So don't risk getting stranded, have your battery tested at a NAPA AUTO PARTS location near you today.
Battery safety is of the utmost importance, so if it is time for a new battery, your local NAPA AUTO PARTS location has a wide selection of batteries in stock and the expertise to pick the right one for your vehicle.
What Does A Vehicle's Battery Do?
Batteries are used to start your car and run electricity to the major components. Starting a car typically only uses 3% of the battery capacity. Hence, most automotive batteries focus on delivering maximum electric current for the short time it takes to start your engine, illuminate the lighting, and fire your ignition.
This is why they are sometimes referred to as SLI (Starting, Lighting, Ignition) batteries. Fully discharging a battery will dramatically decrease the shelf life, as 'deep discharging' will damage the electrochemical performance and lead to battery degradation.
Starting your car isn't the only job of an automotive battery. They supply extra power and stabilize any potential damage from voltage spikes. As an engine runs, most of the power comes from the alternator, which regulates the voltage. For most gasoline-powered vehicles, lead-acid batteries are the standard choice.
Electric vehicles run on a slew of different battery technologies like Lithium-Ion Batteries (sometimes called Li-Ion batteries) and solid-state batteries initially developed for consumer electronic applications.
Today you can find Lithium-Ion batteries used as the primary power source for portable devices like power tools, portable electronic devices, and even motorcycles. In addition to the new technology high-voltage, electric vehicle batteries are often accompanied by a standard secondary battery used to run 12v accessories.
There is potential danger from a poorly maintained battery, so it is essential that you know how to service your battery. Engines with poor ventilation sometimes see hydrogen gas buildup on the negative electrode, which (in the right circumstances) can ignite. Battery explosion can be avoided with regular cleaning. Check out some of our battery cleaning tools to make sure your battery is in tip-top shape.
What Kind of Battery Do I Need?
Choosing the correct type of battery for your car or motorcycle can dramatically improve your vehicle's performance. To fully optimize your driving experience, it's important to know about the different battery types, the service life of a typical battery, and how much they cost.
In addition, a brief understanding of battery chemistry will put you ahead of the curve and ensure that you have the best battery solution for your car.
Primary Cell Batteries
These are single-use consumer batteries that are not typically used in the automotive world. These will be the ubiquitous AA battery or the all-purpose triple-a battery in your tv remote. Primary Cell batteries are most often made with corrosive chemicals. Alkaline batteries or dry cell batteries (made with zinc and carbon) are the most common.
Almost all primary cell batteries contain dangerous raw materials that should be disposed of through a battery recycling program. Thankfully, disposable batteries are being replaced by rechargeable ones for many cordless power tools and electrical devices.
Secondary Cell Batteries
These batteries can be charged and used and then recharged over and over again. There are multiple combinations of electrode materials and electrolytes that are used to make these batteries. The most common secondary cell batteries include lead-acid batteries, Lithium-Ion batteries (also called Li-Ion batteries), and lithium-iron-phosphate batteries.
These batteries typically cost more than disposable batteries and have a much better environmental impact, as they can be recycled through battery takeback services or a battery recycling location.
Lead-Acid Batteries are the original rechargeable battery technology. They have a low energy density but high surge currents with considerable power to weight ratio. They are modestly priced and make sense in cars with high-drain electrical starters.
These batteries can even be used in large format applications like cell phone towers, hospitals, and backup power sources.
These are the go-to electric vehicle battery. They have the best energy density and a slow loss of charge in storage. They also feature top-of-the-line discharge rates. However, there are some safety concerns with potentially flammable electrolyte vapors that many car manufacturers are working diligently to solve.
Solid-State Battery Systems
Some outside thinking has led to next-generation energy storage solutions that bypass traditional liquid electrolytes for solid-state technology. These new arrivals are some of the most advanced EV batteries on the market and are found as part of the array of batteries in the newest electric vehicles.
How Long Does A Car Battery Last?
Unfortunately, car batteries don't last forever, and we can only speculate on the shelf life of a given battery. Still, there are a few known factors that will negatively impact your battery life.
Insufficient Recharge Time
With every charge and discharge cycle, a battery loses a little power. If it isn't fully recharged while driving, the active materials can continue to degrade and speed the demise of your battery.
The more heat your battery is exposed to, the sooner battery degradation will set in. You can expect a 3-year shelf life in a warm climate, whereas batteries often have a more reasonable 5-year shelf life in the cooler north.
Shaking can cause a battery to come apart internally, so if you use a traditional battery, ensure it is secured firmly in the engine casing.
Remember to take any old batteries to a hazardous waste collection site.
What Are Signs of A Bad Car Battery?
A bad car battery is pretty easy to identify. If you have a dim headlight, trouble starting the engine, or are seeing a 'check engine' light, you may require a new battery.
How Much Is A New Car Battery?
The pricing on a new car battery depends on the types of batteries you choose to purchase. Most traditional lead-acid batteries start at around $100, while state-of-the-art AGM batteries clock in around $300.
You must know the make and model of your car to make the correct purchase. It also helps to know your battery's BCI number. Car batteries come in different sizes, construction types, CCA (cold cranking amps), and amp-hour ratings. You want the battery replacement to match the original battery as closely as possible.
If you have any questions, reach out to our team of experts in any NAPA AUTO PARTS location!
NAPA AUTO PARTS offers hundreds of vehicle battery options for a wide range of makes and models.
Find battery hold-downs to be sure your battery is situated in your vehicle correctly.