Back to Basics: Why Should I Charge My Car Battery?
Even though there are many technical aspects to vehicle charging, one of the most frequent questions we are asked at CTEK is a bit more basic: Why should I even charge my car? So we thought it would be a good idea to get back to the basics and explain fundamental reasons for battery charging and the benefits it will have on your vehicle. Watch the video below and read on for more details.
A Worst-Case Scenario
Let’s take moment to visualize what can happen if your vehicle’s battery is not fully charged. Imagine you are on an errand on a hot summer day, perhaps you are far from home. Sadly, you are unaware that your battery is not fully charged, and is in fact, about to experience failure. You go about your errand and return to your vehicle ready for the trip home. When you attempt to start the vehicle….nothing happens. You are stuck, stranded, and have to call for service or a tow. Why did this happen? Let's take a look at the causes.
Your Vehicle is Constantly Working Even When it is Turned Off
Think about all the components in your vehicle. Not just under the hood, but all around you. There are displays, locks, and windows just to name a few. Each of these components needs electricity to function. We all know that our vehicles are using up energy as we are driving. What you may not realize is that energy is also being used when the vehicle is turned off. Therefore, if you do not charge your battery, it will eventually run out of energy.
All Systems in Your Vehicle Require Energy From the Battery
Many of the modern vehicles on road today are “start/stop” vehicles. These types of cars, trucks, and SUVs have what is called a BMS or Battery Management System. The BMS controls all the systems within a start/stop vehicle. The BMS works with the engine to ensure that there is as little CO2 emission as possible. With all the various systems being controlled by the battery, all the energy that can be taken from the battery, is taken from the battery. Therefore, the battery is discharged and charged over and over. If there is not enough power in the battery you may not have enough for the start/stop features to work. Additionally, other systems may shut down as well. Ultimately, this will affect your vehicle's fuel economy.
Constant Discharging and Charging of the Battery Can Cause it Harm
If your battery is fully charged the constant discharging and charging that occurs may not affect it too much. If your battery is at 50% or below, however, repeated discharging and charging can harm the battery and shorten its life.
Temperature, Especially High Heat, Affects Your Battery
We all know cold temperatures can affect our battery, but contrary to what most believe, high temps both outside and under the hood can be more harmful. When the temps go up, roadside calls responding to battery problems go up with them. If a battery is fully charged, you can avoid temperature-related issues.