Things You Can Check on Your Vehicle's Battery - Toyota Service Information To Know in Salem, OR

If only picking up a new battery for your car was as easy as snagging some AAs for the TV remote. Alas, picking out the right battery for your car is a bit more complicated than that. Not only do you have to get a battery that physically fits the space for the battery under the hood of your particular automobile, you've got to make sure you get a battery that can stand up to the weather and driving conditions you deal with each day. We're here to help at the Capitol Toyota service center. Learn how and why car batteries are rated below!

Winter Road With Snow

5. Cranking Amps

The amount of power a battery can deliver for the starter is shown by its cranking amps rating. The sound the starter makes when you first turn the key before the engine turns over and runs on its own power is called "cranking." The more cranking amps a battery has, the more power it has to turn the starter. When installing a new battery on your car, you'll want to make sure that it has enough cranking amps for your vehicle's engine. As a general rule, the bigger the engine, the bigger the battery will need to be. However, a battery's normal cranking rating isn't typically the one used to determine if it's strong enough for your vehicle.

Car Battery Under Hood

4. Cold Cranking Amps

Lead acid batteries will have fewer amps to work with in colder temperatures. Swings in temperature affect the chemicals inside of car batteries, making them weaker in very cold weather. It's important that your car starts right up on a cold winter's day, so the cold cranking amps rating of a battery is considered the most important one. Over time, as your battery ages, it may lose its ability to start up your car in cold temperatures. This is often a warning sign that your battery is on its last legs, and may soon fail to start up your car even on a warm, sunny day.

3. Reserve Capacity

Once the engine starts, your battery has done its job. It takes quite a bit of battery power to start your engine. But once the engine is running, a part called the alternator helps to recharge your battery as you drive. But, when you're sitting in a parking lot listening to the stereo while the engine is off, that's draining the battery. The battery's reserve capacity rating tells you how long the battery can continue providing power to your accessories without help from the alternator.

Car Battery Health Test

2. Amp Hours

Some batteries are bigger than others, but a physically larger battery size doesn't necessarily translate to a larger capacity. The battery's amp hours rating simply indicates how much power the battery can store. The higher the amp hours rating, the longer the battery can provide the same amount of power. When selecting a new car battery, looking for a higher amp hours rating is often a good idea.

1. Battery Health Test

When you go to the auto parts store, you'll be able to see all four of these battery ratings printed right on the case. But your battery won't keep those ratings forever. After thousands and thousands of charge and discharge cycles, your battery will become weaker and weaker. To find out how your battery is doing, just head to Capitol Toyota. You can get a battery health test from one of our technicians. They can test your battery output and the charging system to make sure it still has enough strength to crank and turn over the engine. Eventually, all car batteries will simply run out of juice and won't take a charge. That means it's time to get a new one.