Recently temperatures have been dropping and we are now getting more customers coming in with cars that need a jump starter to start. The usual culprit in these circumstances tends to be a weak battery. As batteries age they lose their ability to hold a charge. Cold weather makes it harder for the battery to undergo the chemical reaction to release enough electrons to start the car in frigid temperatures. This leads to our customers having cars that are barely able to start or need a jump start to get their engine going.
What causes a car battery to fail?
Age is the obvious factor as to why the battery fails, but there are other things to consider. Late model European automobiles are very technology and feature rich. This makes them consume a lot of electricity to run all the electrical components. As we live in New York City and mostly drive short distances in stop and go traffic, the battery in your car is never fully able to completely recharge. This causes the battery to prematurely degrade.
Other forms of premature battery failure tend to be more mechanical in nature. Corroded battery cables can limit the battery’s ably to send and receive electrical current. Batteries that are improperly installed unsecured without a tie down will experience vibrations and inertial forces from the car accelerating and stopping. Without adequate restraint the battery will be knocked around and internal components can be damaged causing your battery to fail prematurely.
What can you do to keep from getting stranded?
It is important to pay attention to warnings on your dashboard as BMW’s computer systems will usually warn you when there is an issue with your electrical system. Once you get these warnings it is important to get your battery tested to see what part of your electrical system is causing the issue. Other possible culprits could be the alternator, ground strap, or a short in the system. It is also important to keep in mind that newer BMW models require the battery to be coded to your specific car. Only shops that specialize on BMW and other European automobiles have the computers to code batteries to your car. To avoid the added cost of buying at battery at an auto parts store and then having a shop code it it is more convenient to purchase your battery at a specialty shop like Bimmer Motors, where your battery can purchase and code the battery in one place.