If you're old enough, you might remember walking into your local auto parts store, picking out the cheapest battery, and installing it in your car five minutes later. Unfortunately, those simpler days have long since vanished from the rearview mirror. Modern vehicles rely more heavily on electronic accessories, which makes their batteries substantially more important.
Choosing a battery for a newer vehicle takes a little more care, and selecting the wrong battery can lead to a range of potentially unpleasant consequences. Keep reading for three reasons why you may want to spend some time carefully choosing a reliable replacement battery for your modern car.
1. Modern Vehicles Use Adaptive Charging Systems
Common symptoms of failing batteries often included insufficient voltage reaching critical accessories. For example, you might notice your lights dimming while idling or strange behavior from your turn signals. These symptoms occured because the battery could no longer provide a steady, continuous power supply to your car's components.
Modern vehicle manufacturers recognize that older batteries may lose charging capacity, and their charging systems adapt as the battery ages. As a result, the charging system may attempt to supply more power to a failing battery. These adaptive systems often require high-quality batteries (such as AGM batteries) to provide the greatest possible benefit.
2. Your Car Likely Uses Many Sensitive Electronics
You've probably heard that jump-starting a modern car can be a costly mistake. Modern vehicles use numerous electronic components, including essential engine control modules. These components need a reliable power source, and the sudden jolt from a jump start can cause severe damage. Likewise, a low-quality battery may affect these sensitive electronics.
While most batteries you can find at reputable auto parts stores are probably up to the job, choosing a slightly higher-end battery can help ensure your charging system isn't responsible for any unusual or hard-to-locate electrical gremlins.
3. It Might Not Fit
Of course, the basic reason to carefully select a replacement battery for your car is to ensure proper, safe fitment. Many older vehicles used simple battery trays, and it was often possible to fit batteries from multiple group sizes into the tray and strap. On the other hand, newer vehicles often use more complex mounting systems or may even locate their batteries in the trunk.
These mounting systems require you to select the correct group size for your car to ensure a safe fit. A battery that's too large or too small may mount incorrectly, allowing it to shift while driving and potentially loosening the electrical connections or damaging the battery.
To learn more about vehicle batteries, contact a professional near you.