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Cars News

Updated: October 2, 2012

What would our cars do without our beloved car batteries? Unfortunately not a lot.

But what exactly does a car battery do, and how does it go about making sure we get from A to B, trouble free? This article will provide you with everything you need to know about this remarkable piece of automotive equipment, what it does and why it’s so important to your vehicle.

As the principal energy source for your starter motor and ignition system, without a battery, or with a flat one, your car simply won’t start. But the battery is more than just a means of getting you going, it also provides the necessary power to run your vehicle’s accessories, such as its lights, windscreen wipers, stereo and more. But creating this essential electricity is no mean feat. The car battery is unique. It isn’t just providing the right amount of juice to get your engine started, once the engine itself is running, the battery then performs a separate, and equally important function. Through an incredible process involving reversible chemical reactions, the battery both creates and accrues electricity, meaning it charges itself. Inside the battery, there are six cells. These cells are made up of metallic plates, which form two separate grids, one positive and one negative. The positive grid carries current in, while the negative grid releases current. The plates themselves are soaking in a mix of water and sulphuric acid. Because of the latter ingredient, you should never take a battery apart or attempt to make or fix one on your own. Always deal with a trained professional. At Kmart car repairs, an expert team of technicians are always on hand to give you the best advice on everything to do with car batteries, including choosing the right battery to suit you and your vehicle. The powerful chemicals within the battery create the required electricity. And, as this electricity is used and the battery discharges, the water and acid mix create electrons, which provide additional electricity for your vehicle. To recharge itself, the battery reverses the chemical process used to fire up the starter motor in the first place, with electricity generated from the cars alternator. The alternator is the piece of equipment that keeps all of your car’s accessories full of electricity while the car itself is running. This helps to explain why, if you leave the lights on, the battery will go dead. Without the car running, and the alternator sending current back into the battery, the chemical reactions are only moving in one direction, and therefore no current is being sent back into the battery.

There are many factors to consider when selecting a battery for your vehicle; these include how often you’ll use the vehicle, your driving habits, the environmental conditions you’ll be driving in, and any accessories that your battery may need supply power to. Every one of these factors will have a direct impact on your battery’s life, and its ability to work effectively in your vehicle. The team at Kmart are always happy to take a look at your battery, and ensure that it’s working just the way it should be.

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