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: Everything You Need to Know About the Life of Your Car Battery

The life of your car battery is dependent on a number of factors, so while every battery has an estimated lifespan, how long it actually lasts for your vehicle will vary. Some of the varying factors that affect your vehicle’s battery include humidity, temperature, and other environmental factors.

Under ideal circumstances – that means you live in the perfect world with low humidity and moderate temperatures – you can likely expect your vehicle’s battery life to be about six years. However, on average, in the real world, a car battery lasts between two and five years. For drivers in warm climates of the south, temperatures tend to increase damage to the battery due to sulfation and water loss. For drivers in more northern climates, you may not be able to get the full five or more-year lifespan out of your battery because of the long, cold winter temperatures.

But, just like the overall health of your car, proper care can extend the life of your car battery. The best way to make sure that your car battery lasts a long time is always to keep it fully charged. That means always turning off the lights and never leaving accessories plugged in. Also, always make sure your battery is checked during routine vehicle maintenance. When it is time for new car batteries in Winter Garden, FL, call Millikan Battery and Electric, Inc., for high-quality service at competitive prices.

Most Important Car Maintenance Services

Besides good driving techniques, every driver should know that one of the most important parts of road safety is maintaining your vehicle. It would be unwise to drive a car that didn’t receive regular maintenance or mechanical checkups to ensure that it is running properly and safe to operate.

Anyone who owns or operates a vehicle, whether that’s a car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle, knows that if you don’t keep up with proper maintenance, repairs will end up costing you a ton of money. Preventative maintenance is like getting a regular check-up at the doctor. Much the same, this type of regular inspection helps keep your car “healthy” and gives you and your mechanic the chance to catch anything serious before it becomes a major problem. With a vehicle, that can mean saving thousands of dollars per year.

If you want to keep your car running well, here are ten of the most important car maintenance tips you’ll want to follow. These preventative tips apply to any vehicle and can help save you money in the long run and can keep your car running for years to come.

#1   Read your owner’s manual
#2   Change your oil regularly
#3   Check your fluids – antifreeze, power steering, coolant, wiper fluid
#4   Check your battery and clean the contacts
#5   Replace worn-down brake pads
#6   Replace your engine air filter
#7   Replace your cabin air filter
#8   Check hoses and belts
#9   Replace old spark plugs
#10 Rotate your tires and check the air pressure

When you need a reliable, affordable, and experienced auto repair shop near me, call Millikan Battery and Electric, Inc. You’ll get quality service from reliable professionals on all your auto service and repair needs.

Vehicle Radiator: Repair or Replace?

Like any system that works hard day in and day out, your vehicle’s radiator can fail and require repair. The main reason for radiator failure is a leak, which can lead to the cooling system failing. If the coolant has not been checked or topped correctly, the inside of the system will begin to rust and become clogged. Corrosion will eventually result in small holes developing, causing engine coolant loss, and a need for radiator repair.

Symptoms of Radiator Failure
The most common sign of radiator failure is coolant leaks. To ensure your vehicle’s radiator has the proper amount, you should check it regularly. On most cooling systems, there will be a maximum and minimum level indicator you can use to judge the level of coolant – ideally, it will always be between those two marks. Coolant levels will decrease naturally, but a significant drop over a short period of time will indicate a radiator leak. Other faulty radiator symptoms include frequent engine overheating (keep an eye on the temperature gauge), or a puddle underneath the engine (this will indicate a leaking radiator).

Repair or Replace
In some cases, a radiator repair is a better choice than replacing the radiator, but not always. At the first sign of trouble, call us for exceptional radiator repair and auto parts in Apopka. Our expert team of mechanics at Millikan Battery and Electric Inc., will diagnose and fix the problem and get you back on the road quickly.

 

Tips For Cleaning Corroded Car Battery Terminals

Sometimes trouble starting your vehicle is a sign that the battery needs replacing, but often this frustrating situation is actually caused by buildup on the battery terminals. Avoid unnecessary expenses, worry, and trips to the auto repair shop by cleaning your vehicle’s battery terminals. By doing so, you can actually help the battery perform stronger, longer.

Step 1: Mix your homemade battery cleaner. To do so, combine one tablespoon of baking soda into one cup of water and stir until mixed.

Step 2: Disconnect the cables from the battery. First, make sure the car isn’t running and then undo the negative and then positive cable attached to your battery. Once that is complete, assess your battery for buildup, corrosion, and grime.

Step 3: Start scrubbing. Using an old toothbrush, dip it into the baking soda cleaner and start scrubbing the terminals. Be sure you’re rinsing the toothbrush regularly as you work. Clean the terminals thoroughly until all of the buildup has been removed.

Step 4: Rinse off the cleaning residue and the battery. After you’ve removed all of the corrosion and dirt from the terminals, give the battery a rinse. You can use a spray bottle with water to spray both the battery and terminals. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can wipe everything down with a damp rag. Then, use another cloth to dry the terminals completely.

Step 5: Reattach the cables. Once the terminals are dry, you can apply a small amount of petroleum jelly on them. This will lubricate them, help prevent further corrosion, and help strengthen the connection. Finally, reattach the positive and negative cables, and you’re finished.

Keeping your vehicle battery clean can help prolong the life of car batteries in Winter Garden, FL. Stop by Millikan Battery and Electric LLC., if the battery is still giving you trouble after cleaning. We’ll replace your battery if needed and get you back on the road with peace of mind.

The Important Job of Your Car’s Radiator

Have you ever driven past a stranded motorist leaning over the hood of a car with steam pouring out of it? It was most likely the result of an overheated engine. Because the radiator is an important piece of the car’s coolant system and is central to keeping the car cool, when the radiator isn’t working as it should, the entire car won’t run properly.  A car engine functions through a series of moving parts, creating a great deal of friction. That friction means there is excess heat energy, not to mention the heat from fuel burned in the engine.

The radiator and cooling system are what keep your vehicle running at proper temperatures. The radiator coolant is cycled through the engine and back through the radiator. This process ensures that the engine isn’t running too hot. If your engine does overheat, it could be a fault within the radiator or another cooling system component.

The radiator is a crucial part of your vehicle, which means it requires regular preventative maintenance to ensure it’s running as designed. If damage occurs to your radiator, you’ll want to get it repaired as soon as possible. If not, it could lead to much more significant and costly engine problems. For auto repair in Apopka, FL, Millikan Battery and Electric, Inc., can handle all radiator and cooling system repairs and maintenance. We’ll keep your vehicle running smoothly with the engine at ideal temperatures.

Preparing Your Car For Winter In Central Florida

With winter only a few weeks away, the chance for colder weather in Central Florida is unavoidable. While you thankfully needn’t worry about snow-proofing your vehicle this winter, it is a good idea to take precautions to ensure it’s ready for the change in temperature. You’ll want to get your car prepped and ready for winter, no matter what type of weather you’re facing.

Tip #1: Have your car battery inspected by the experts at Millikan Battery and Electric, LLC. Our service techs will check both the physical condition of your car’s battery as well as the voltage levels. If you need a new one, we’ll get it replaced swiftly and get you back on the road ASAP.

Tip #2: Have your spark plugs inspected. While this important component of your car’s operating system is small in size, they are super important. Your spark plugs are what’s responsible for getting your car up and running, and cold weather can take a toll on them if they aren’t in good condition.

Tip #3: Have your fluids checked. Your car will be working harder in the colder temperatures, so you’ll want to ensure your vehicle has the fluids it needs to run properly, including oil, coolant, and brake fluid.

Now’s the time to winterize your vehicle. For issues with your car’s starter or radiator,  as well as car batteries in Winter Garden, FL, call Millikan Battery and Electric, LLC., at 407-556-8285 to schedule an appointment.

 

Common Car Battery Troubles

A car battery is an integral part of the mechanics of what makes your car run. The battery is used to power up the starter, which, in turn, is responsible for starting the engine. After starting the engine, the rest of the electric system is powered through the alternator. While the car battery is known to be efficient, it can be problematic at times.

We’ve compiled a list of the most common car battery problems that you might encounter. In some cases, you can make temporary changes or repairs that will prolong the life of the battery. But, when all else fails, it might be time to replace it with new car batteries in Winter Garden, FL. Typically, a vehicle’s battery could need replacing every four to five years.

  • Headlights: One of the common causes of car battery failure is leaving the headlights on. The headlights or any other kind of dim light can drain the battery overnight.
  • Corroded or Loose Terminals: The charging system cannot top off your battery while driving if the battery connections have corroded. Loose battery cables make it difficult to start the engine too, as they cannot transfer the electrical current efficiently.
  • Severe Weather: The car battery is greatly affected by harsh weather conditions, both in summer and winter.
  • Old Battery: If your battery is old or weak, it will not hold a full charge well.

Having a car battery that won’t stay charged is frustrating. To resolve your vehicle troubles, you’ll need the assistance of a qualified mechanic who can diagnose your car’s electrical problems and determine if the problem is a dead battery or something else.

Starting A Car With A Bad Starter

One of the most common problems that we see at our shop regularly is a bad car starter. The thing about a car starter is that it stops working at the most inconvenient time, exactly when you need it most. There were warning signs that your starter was having issues, but they can be easy to overlook, or progress so quickly you don’t have the chance to have it looked at by a mechanic before it goes kaput.

So what should you do if your car starter stops working? How do you get it running so you can get it to the mechanic without having to call a tow truck? Try these tricks to get your vehicle running so you can make it to your local mechanic for the necessary auto parts in Apopka.

  1. Voltmeter – Before you do anything under the hood, use a voltmeter. This will measure how much voltage is in your battery.
  1. Check the Wires – If there is a loose connection between the starter and the battery, this will reduce the number of amps your starter is receiving, which will affect your starter’s performance.
  1. Clean the Corrosion – Cleaning out the corrosion should improve the energy transmission to your starter, allowing it to work.
  1. Use a Screwdriver – You can bypass the starter by placing a screwdriver that is big enough to touch both the positive and the solenoid terminal. This should send sufficient current to the starter’s solenoid, which in turn will start your car.
  1. Jump Start Your Car – The starter is your battery’s source of electric current. If it’s working, you can jump-start it by giving your battery current from another car.

These tricks are only temporary solutions to get your car to a mechanic for repair without having to pay for an expensive tow truck ride. If you’re lucky enough to get it running, drive it straight to your nearest auto repair shop.

Trouble Starting Your Car: Is It the Battery or Alternator?

All bad days begin with a car that won’t start. Many times it’s the result of a dying or dead battery, and you likely had some early warning signs that you might have overlooked. But it’s also possible that the alternator is the reason your car isn’t starting. If you’re like most people, you know your vehicle has an alternator, but what that does is a mystery to many. Here’s how to know which issue is causing your car dilemma.

Bad Battery
In our previous blog post, we discussed the signs and symptoms of a dying battery. Those indicators include a sluggish engine, dashboard warning lights, an older battery, clicking sounds when trying to start the car, or corrosion on the battery. If jumpstarting gets your car working, then you know the battery is at fault. If that’s the case, it’s a pretty easy fix. You can get batteries in Winter Garden, FL, at a great price from Milliken Battery and Electric, Inc.

Bad Alternator
While the battery charges a vehicle, the alternator does the manual work. The battery provides the electricity needed for the electric starter motor to start the car. When the car is running, the alternator generates energy to feed the electrical system and charge the battery. The tricky part is that many of the warning signs for a dying battery are also the warning signs for a dying alternator. Some of the things to look for are trouble starting or not starting at all, dimming lights, and problems with stereo system output. If your car starts but stalls when you’re driving, your battery is probably not being recharged due to a faulty alternator.

Some car issues should only be inspected and repaired by experienced mechanics, and your car’s battery and alternator are two of them. When you’re having car troubles, call on the experienced team at Millikan Battery and Electric, Inc. to get your car repaired and running as it should.

Warning Signs Your Car Battery Is Dying

Save yourself the headache of finally getting out the door and into the car only to find out the battery has died. There are warning signs ahead of this happening that will clue you in on a potential problem. Don’t wait until your vehicle doesn’t start to identify the issue and have the battery inspected or replaced.

Signs of a Dying Car Battery
#1 Old Battery
All parts wear out over time, and vehicle batteries are no different. If your battery is more than a few years old, it may likely be nearing the end of its life.

#2 Dashboard Warning Lights
When the battery icon appears on your dashboard, it’s a warning from your vehicle that the battery isn’t reloading correctly or there’s potentially another electrical system issue. When this happens, take your car to have the battery inspected as soon as possible.

#3 Slow To Start
This is a classic bad battery symptom. If you start the car and the engine is sluggish or takes longer to start than usual, it’s time to get the battery tested.

#4 Clicks But Won’t Start
A long crank or just a clicking sound is usually the next step after the slow start. If you give it a jump start and it runs, the battery is the issue, and you should replace it immediately.

#5 Battery Corrosion
If the dashboard battery light is on and the car is sluggish to start, pop the hood and check on the battery. If you see a lot of corrosion – usually at the positive terminal – or a clear film across the top of the battery case, this is an indication of a problem.

When it’s time to have your vehicle’s battery, alternator, or starter inspected, you can count on Millikan Battery and Electric, Inc. to get the job done quickly and efficiently. We pride ourselves on our honesty and will never recommend replacing auto parts in Apopka unless it’s warranted. Stop in or call ahead to schedule an appointment.