With temperatures approaching freezing and so many gray days, it’s no wonder we often feel sleepy and sluggish during this time of year. Did you know that your car battery experiences something similar in cold weather? As the temperature drops, it can become more difficult for your battery to get enough energy to start your car. Thankfully, there are a handful of things you can do to help make sure you don’t get stranded with a dead car battery this winter!
Check the age of your battery
How old is your car battery? If your battery is older than four or five years old, it could be nearing the end of its life. Your battery is like the heart of your vehicle, so why gamble with it? Know it’s age and get it replaced when it’s “getting up there” in years. The production date of the battery is typically stamped or engraved on the top or side of the battery, depending on the manufacturer. Look for a letter and a digit, with the letter indicating the month the car battery was manufactured and the digit indicating the year it was manufactured. For example, if your battery said, “D13,” it was shipped in April 2013 and is about three years old.
Clean off corrosion around the terminals
Turn off the car, pop the hood, and take a look at your battery. Do you see any white powder around the terminals? That’s corrosion, which increases electrical resistance and makes your battery work harder than it needs to. You can use standard household products to clean off and prevent corrosion. But if you’d rather not deal with it yourself, bring your car by your local auto repair shop, Albion Auto for a Battery Terminal Cleaning Service and Corrosion Protection Package.
Install a battery blanket
You’re not the only one who appreciates a warm blanket on a cold day! Purchase an electric battery blanket to insulate your battery when temperatures start to dip. It will help prevent your battery’s fluid from freezing and help your car roar to life on a cold morning. You can find battery blankets for about $20 to $50 online or at your local auto parts store. Battery blankets are simple to install and only require the use of a nearby electrical outlet. Just plug it in, wrap the blanket around your battery, and it will thank you – by working correctly! As always, consult your owner’s manual before using a battery blanket.
Limit your use of accessories that strain the battery
When you hop into your car in the winter, you probably feel like you’re freezing. However, take a minute before you crank up the heat, and your radio, lights, or cell phone charger. Let your alternator charge up the battery for a bit before you add the strain of accessories. When you get out of your car, do the reverse. Turn everything off, so your battery isn’t bombarded with demands when you start it up later!
Keep your battery charged
A depleted battery is more likely to freeze up and fail than one that’s fully charged. If you notice your car straining a bit to start or “turn over” when you turn the key in the ignition, it might be time to pull out the car charger. Give your battery some juice so it can better withstand cruel winter temperatures. You can find a basic portable car battery charger online for around $30, depending on the charger brand and amps delivered.
Get your battery tested before it lets you down
When it comes to the state of your battery, ignorance is not bliss. Rather than getting caught in the cold with a dead battery, visit Albion Auto for a free battery test! With a quick diagnostic test, you can find out just how much life your battery has left and when you may need a new car battery.
Although we are approaching the end of May, we are definitely getting a lot of rain! Driving in the rain presents a unique set of challenges, and with the unpredictable weather we are getting this year, you need to be prepared to adapt to unfavourable driving conditions.
Here are a few tips for driving safely in wet weather conditions !
- Make sure that your car’s equipment is in working order before encountering rainy weather. Check your headlights, tail lights, and windshield wipers to make sure that they will work efficiently when they are needed. Also check the tread of your vehicle’s tires. Balding tires can severely reduce traction on wet roadways.
- Turn your headlights on – Not only do headlights help you see, they help you be seen. That can be more important when visibility is affected by heavy rain.
- Use your windshield wipers – This seems like common sense, but if there are water droplets collecting on your windshield, your ability to see and react to road conditions is compromised. Most cars windshield wiper speed is adjustable to clear moisture from the glass in a light mist or in a heavy downpour. There are also several products available that can be sprayed or wiped onto the glass and claim to defer the collection of rainwater.
- Avoid pooling water – If water is pooling and flowing across the road, try to avoid it. Pooling water can cause hydroplaning to occur. Which is when you lose traction and skid across the surface of the road. To avoid hydroplaning, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas.
- Slow down – Not only should you adhere to the posted speed limit when driving in wet weather conditions, you should drive slower than you normally would. Wet roads are very dangerous. Your vehicle’s reaction time is much slower when it is raining. Reducing speed is very important in rainy weather.
Be sure to give us a call at 905-857-8413 or contact us online, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your vehicle – we’re dedicated to keeping you safely on the road!
Cars are an important part of everyday life. They help us get to work, home, soccer practice for the kids, musical recitals, and even give us entertainment through NASCAR and Monster Truck rallies. There are those that like the style and look of the older cars, and others who enjoy the comfort, convenience, and the safety features of the newer model of cars. Whatever your preference is, it is important to make sure that your car is running properly and that you are getting the most out of your engine power from your vehicle.
What is Engine Power and Torque?
Power and torque are what is produced from the engine when you turn on your car and press on the accelerator. Air and fuel combust together causing the crankshaft, the transmission, and the drive axles to convert the potential energy of your car into kinetic energy. Here are a few of the textbook definitions to make it easier to understand your car’s engine.
Power– How rapidly work is accomplished.
Engine Power Efficiency – refers to the relationship between the total energy contained in the fuel, and the amount of energy required for it to perform.
Engine Power Output – refers to the maximum amount of power an engine can put out. In a car, this is often referred to as horsepower. In the United States, horse-power is used to show how much work is required to pull 33,000 pounds a distance of one foot per minute.
Torque– is a rotating force produced by an engine’s crankshaft. This helps determine how much work can be done. The higher torque results in a higher ability to perform work.
What Causes Poor Engine Performance?
It’s terrifying to be driving on the highway and you go to accelerate, and your car either feels like it isn’t responding or it is losing power. The causes for this kind of problem are usually a result of mechanical failures, such as low compression, where the cylinders are not producing enough increase in pressure during the combustion process. Other problems include but are not limited to:
Camshaft Position Sensors Malfunctioning
The Camshaft Position Sensor is designed to give the electronic control module information on how fast the camshaft is operating in your car. (The camshaft is a set of cams that work the valves in the combustion chamber of your car.) The control module then dictates when the fuel injector and the ignition should go off. If this is malfunctioning, this will cause your car to jerk as the engine doesn’t have enough power to accelerate when being asked to.
Clogged or Bad Fuel Injectors
Fuel injectors spray fuel inside the engine. Bad fuel injectors could delay when the fuel is being sprayed into your engine, resulting in lower performance and ultimately leading to the engine not being able to produce enough power to run the vehicle.
Bad Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are located in your car’s combustion chamber. They send a signal that causes an electric spark in the combustion chamber, allowing the air and the fuel mixture to ignite, and send the needed energy for your engine to perform. With bad spark plugs, this reaction becomes more and more delayed, resulting in the weakening of your engine power and ultimately a failing of the engine.
All of these malfunctioning parts will result in your engine and your vehicle losing power. If left unchecked or unresolved, then your vehicle will ultimately fail, and result in costly repairs. It is important to keep your vehicle running smoothly, so noticing any sort of jerking or a change in the way a car rides is a good indicator that your car needs a tune-up.
What Can I Do To Correct My Car’s Loss of Power?
When it comes to your engine, it is the brain and heart of your car. If it is having trouble, it is time to take it in for a much-needed tune-up. At Albion Auto Sales & Service, we specialize in making sure that your engine is running smoothly, resulting in a reliable car and a happy client.
We can provide engine rebuilds, which focuses on finding broken parts and replacing them with parts that not only fit your engine but help it run more smoothly. Engine rebuilds are not only more economically friendly, but it is also a good way to make sure that the rest of the engine is running smoothly, and if not, that the hidden problem is taken care of in a timely and efficient manner.
We also offer engine replacements which can be helpful if you find your car is really fickle and needs extra care. In the long run, an engine replacement can be more cost-efficient, as it saves you from the hassle of having other parts of the engine malfunctioning. A new engine will guarantee that your vehicle runs like it is brand new.