Tip & How-To about Dodge Caravan
HOW TO JUDGE A DEAD BATTERY
The battery is the main source of power for your vehicle. The battery sends power to the entire vehicle through the battery wires and to all the electrical parts of the engine. It is very important to make sure your battery is properly holding a charge before you go anywhere. You do not want to be caught in the middle of nowhere with a bad battery. You should always try to carry a battery charger, jumper cables, tools, and some type of light source in your trunk at all times.
There are a few signs to look for when a battery is beginning to loose power. In most vehicles, a battery light will appear on the dash panel to warn you that the battery has a low voltage. The battery may be bad or this may be the cause of a loose connection. You also want to make sure you pay close attention to your dash panel lights and your head lights. If your battery has a low charge, the lights will not be as bright as they usually are. You may even see them flickering or going out also. Some vehicles are equipped with a warning chyme that will sound when the battery voltage is low. This is the same alert system as if you left the lights on when you exit the vehicle or turn the ignition off. A low battery can also cause starting problems with your vehicle. If the battery is low enough or dead, the starter will not get enough power to turn the car over. The starter will crank much slower if your battery is going dead. If the battery is dead, it will not crank at all and you will probably hear a clicking sound more then likely.
PREVENTING A DEAD BATTERY
You can't always prevent a battery going dead, but you can take every precaution to ensure you are never stranded and that you never cause it yourself. You must remember that everything in the vehicle runs off your battery. You want to make sure everything in your vehicle is turned off when you last leave the vehicle, mainly your park lights, hazard lights, and your head lights. If they are left on, your battery can drain and die within hours. If you believe this may be your problem, also check your dome light, engine light, and the trunk light. Sometimes, they can stay on even though they are supposed to shut off.
TESTING THE BATTERY
Since your battery is dead, you want to inspect the battery first. Make sure the battery has no moisture spots on the battery. If there is, the battery may be busted and need replaced. You will need to put the battery on some type of vehicle battery charger or have someone to jump your battery over. To do this, you will need jumper cables and another vehicle. On your battery there is a hot side and a cold side post. The hot side is always red and the ground side is either black or blue. You want to make sure you hook the same colors up. Mixing the color up can cause injury and damage to your vehicle. Red to red, black to black, and blue to blue. Place the cables on the batteries and start the running vehicle. You will need to give the vehicle a few minutes to charge before you attempt to start your vehicle. If you are trying to charge it with a battery charger, the same rules apply. When you use a charger, it may take longer then using a jump from a vehicle. You should be able to read the gauge on the battery charger to know when your battery is fully charged. Before you touch a battery, make sure you wear gloves. You do not want to get battery acid on your hands and spread them to other parts of your body. If the battery does not charge after numerous tries, the battery is more likely dead and will need replaced.
CHECKING YOUR BATTERY WIRES
If your vehicle fails to charge, you need to check the battery terminals, post, and wires. If you see white or bluish residue or buildup, you need to take them off and clean them with a wire brush. Take the wire brush to the battery post and terminal ends. You want to clean them until all the residue and buildup are cleaned off. Check the battery terminal ends and make sure they are not damaged or cracked. If they are, you are better off changing them with a new pair. If they do not fit correctly on the battery post, they are probably bent and need changed as well. When you put them back on, make sure they are snug and tight. By following these steps, you will have the best connection possible. After doing this, try charging the battery again and see if you get different results. If you know the connection is good and the battery fails to hold a charge, it will probably need replaced. If there are any wires showing, it is safe to wrap them with black tape, also know as electrical tape. Make sure you are extremely careful and use proper procedure when working with your battery.
Depending on what type of battery you get, the life span for your new battery is only a few years. Depending on where you live and how much you drive will determine the life span of your battery. Some may last for five to six years and some may only last two or three. If you live in a very hot climate or a very cold climate, the life span of your new battery will not be as long as someone in a constant mild climate. The same can be said if you drive everyday. You should try to make sure you are always prepared just in case your battery goes dead. You should keep a few tools in the trunk just in case you need them. Always keep a battery charger in the trunk also. You can buy a cheap one at Autozone, Wal-mart, or somewhere online.
Posted by Richard... on
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