A car battery is needed to store electrical power
Your car battery is designed to store electrical power which is used to start
the engine when the key is turned to the crank position and engage the starter.
A battery also stores electrical energy to start the engine and operate
accessories in the electrical system throughout the car when the engine is not
This battery is a rechargeable unit in the SLI (starting-lighting-ignition)
variety which is lead acid based and is the oldest
style of rechargeable electrical supplies. These batteries are divided into 6 separate cells.
Each cell producing about 2.1 volts which when combined create up to 12.6 volts.
As the state of charge decreases the voltage
and amperage it produces also decreases. Electrical power is created through a chemical reaction where positive and negative lead plates are immersed in an electrolyte solution (acid).
This voltage is then released through the positive terminal (red) and returned
to the negative terminal (black).
A battery is equipped with a positive and negative terminal from which two
cables are attached. These cables route positive (red +) power from the
terminals to the power distribution
center or fuse panel and negative (black - ) power to the engine block and the
A non "deep cycle" battery must have a rest period or "downtime" to allow the plates inside
each cell time to cool. A battery subjected to a complete discharge will
fail prematurely unless it is a deep cycle battery. All batteries are hazardous material
and must be disposed of at a local parts store or recycle center.
If the battery warning light has been on while you have been driving the car you
will need to
test the alternator
first. This is because the battery might not be the problem if it is not
receiving a proper charge from the alternator.
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Article first published 2017-02-01