Does Your Ford Need a New Car Battery?

April 9th, 2022 by

Your car battery will last for three to five years before it wears out, and it will need to be replaced. As your Ford dealer, we can easily install your new car battery when the time comes. We have a range of batteries available and can recommend the best choice for your car. These are a few experiences you may have that highlight the need to replace your battery.

Parasitic Drain

When your engine is switched off, your car battery maintains the electrical systems including the door lights, dash panel, and car alarm. These peripheral devices drain power, but their demands are not usually very high. When you start your car again, the alternator will start up and begin replenishing your battery. An electrical fault can drain your battery while your car is stationary. Overnight, your battery can go from fully charged to almost drained or even dead.

This type of fault, called a parasitic drain, occurs when a component that draws electricity doesn’t switch off. Two of the main culprits for this drain are the inside glove box light and the inside trunk light. These lights should automatically switch off when their compartments are closed, but a loose connection can keep them switched on. As they’re not visible, they can severely drain your battery without you knowing it. We’ll find the cause of the drain and fix it.

Your Car Won’t Start

If your car won’t start, you may just have a dead battery or you may have a bad alternator. Your battery has a limited life and will last for approximately five years before it needs to be replaced. The battery depends on the alternator to keep it fully charged. If the alternator is weak, it won’t be able to recharge the battery to its full capacity. You can test to see which of the two components has failed.

The first step is to connect the jumper cables to your battery and jump-start your engine. Once your engine is running, disconnect the cables right away. If your car dies immediately, you have an alternator problem as the alternator isn’t recharging your battery. Your battery may still be ok and could be recharged. If your engine continues to run, your battery is dead and will need to be replaced.

Blown Alternator Fuse

All of the electrical components are controlled by fuses. If the alternator fuse blows, your alternator will automatically switch off. It won’t be available to recharge your battery or to provide electricity to any of the other components that need it. Without an alternator, your battery has to shoulder the full load of the electrical system. The battery wasn’t designed to do this, and your battery will quickly fail.

Although these problems can drain your battery, you do get warnings that something is wrong. If you’re having a battery problem, or you’d like to get it tested, schedule a service appointment with Atchinson Ford’s Service Department where our technicians will use state-of-the-art equipment to check your battery for any problems.