Car Batteries, Starting & Charging

Mornings are tough enough. Let Madtown Auto get you and your car off to a great start.

 

CAR BATTERIES, STARTING & CHARGING

Madtown Auto-trained professionals can test your car battery and replace it if necessary with a battery from leading brands. If your car won’t start, the car battery isn’t the only suspect. The starter, alternator, and spark plugs can also be trouble spots.

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Madtown Auto has been keeping cars and their drivers safely on the road for nearly sixty years with high quality auto repair and preventive maintenance service. ASE-certified technicians at your local Madtown Auto work on all makes and models and our commitment to do right by you and your car means we’ll never recommend or perform work you don’t need.

Starting & charging systems – more than you wanted to know.

HOW IT WORKS

In addition to the car battery, there are two other major components to your vehicle’s starting and charging system. And these two components must be in good working order for your vehicle to start and run properly.

Starter — when you turn the ignition key, you are actually turning on the starter, which then cranks the engine. When a starter isn’t working correctly, the engine may start with great difficulty, or not at all. Starter problems may be due to electrical/mechanical failure or outright breakage.

Alternator — the alternator carries out two important tasks. It recharges your battery while the vehicle is running to keep it at peak starting power. The alternator also works with your battery as a team to operate electrical components, such as headlights, windshield wipers, and more. A malfunctioning alternator can cause electrical components to operate erratically, or even cause your engine to suddenly stop running.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

If you experience battery trouble, there are a couple of things you may want to check before calling for service.

Be sure the battery is properly secured. Vibration caused by an unsecured battery can affect battery life.

The cables to the battery terminals must be clean and tightly connected. Buildup of corrosive elements on the terminals can seriously weaken starting power. Be sure the side terminals aren’t over-tightened as well.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How do I know if my battery is dead?

Actually, let’s back up a step. If your car cranks more slowly than usual, have it tested at your nearest Midas. That way, you can help prevent your car battery from dying and leaving you stranded.

Q: Can a car battery freeze?

Yes, while it is rare, it does happen. In most cases extreme cold (or heat) can shorten a battery’s life, but it will likely not freeze.

Q: Is there a way to know if my car battery terminals are working properly?

Absolutely. It’s called a “voltage drop test”, and we can perform it at your local Madtown auto.

Q: My car won't start, but it's not the battery. What can it be?

When you start your car, the first sound you’ll hear is the starter. This process is also called “cranking”, dating back to brass-era cars in the late 1800s and 1900s that had to be literally cranked by hand. Just a fun fact for you. So back to your question: If you’re trying to start your car, and you don’t hear anything, the problem could be your starter, cable or a locked-up engine. If you do hear the “RaRaRa” noise, but the engine isn’t starting, it could literally be due to thousands of reasons. Come by your local Madtown Auto, and we’ll take a look.

Q: The car battery light came on, but my car seems fine. What could cause this?

If your car battery is holding a charge when tested, and you’ve ruled out an electrical short, your alternator is likely on the outs.

Q: My car had trouble starting on a really hot day. I thought batteries only had trouble when it was really cold?

Extreme heat (or cold) can shorten a car battery’s life, but as long it’s a one-time thing, you should be fine. If it starts happening more frequently, bring your car by for a quick inspection.

Extreme heat (or cold) can shorten a car battery’s life, but as long it’s a one-time thing, you should be fine. If it starts happening more frequently, bring your car by for a quick inspection.

Not to worry. Corrosion is quite common, so car batteries should be cleaned and serviced regularly.

Q: If my car didn't start and required a 'jump,' does that mean my battery needs to be replaced?

Not necessarily. It may not be your battery at all. It could be your alternator. But if you find yourself needing frequent battery jumps, it’s a good idea to bring your car to any Madtown Auto location for an inspection.