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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.

Why Your Radiator Is Important

Apopka Auto RepairSoaring temperatures can take a toll not just on people, plants, and animals, but on vehicles as well.

Blistering outside air temperatures can cause operating temperatures in your vehicle to rise quickly, and if your radiator is leaking, not filled properly, or plugged with contaminants, you are going to face overheating problems from soaring engine temperatures.

A radiator transfers heat from the engine to keep it within operating limits established by the manufacturer. If your cooling system isn’t working correctly, the engine will overheat, and there’s a real risk of damage to several components.

Our staff here at Millikan Battery and Electric want you to know the best way to keep your radiator and cooling system working efficiently so that you aren’t stranded by an overheating vehicle.

A visual inspection of all components is handy to spot leaks or bulges in hoses that could mean they are about to fail. Taking a look at the radiator itself is also an easy way to find leaks or damage. Don’t forget to look on the ground for evidence of leaking too.

For further investigation, it’s best to have your radiator, pressure cap, and coolant checked by experienced technicians. If you find that you need Apopka auto repair, choose a shop that has the skills you need to service and repair your cooling system.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Battery for Your Vehicle

Batteries in Winter Garden, FLThe battery is vital for any vehicle, whether it’s a family sedan or delivery truck. If you don’t have the right battery, expect issues with the electrical system on your vehicle, and problems starting it.

Before you set out to replace your battery, have a professional technician check it to make sure the problem isn’t elsewhere in your vehicle’s charging system. Once you are certain a new battery is what you need, it’s easy to find the right one if you follow these simple steps our staff members here at Millikan Battery and Electric have assembled for you. Our employees know all about batteries in Winter Garden, FL.

First, check your owner’s manual to find what type you need and then make sure you get the right one. Vehicles are usually designed with batteries of a certain output in mind and won’t work efficiently if you buy one that’s not strong enough.

Look at cranking amps and check your manual again to determine the minimum amount you need. Cold-cranking amps aren’t an issue in our climate, but you still want to assure you have a battery with enough juice to get your motor running.

Check for a battery with a relatively high reserve capacity. This lets you know how long the battery will deliver maximum amps before discharging. A high reserve capacity is handy for those times when the lights get left on accidentally.

Black sport coupe car

Learn More about Alternators in Winter Garden, FL

If you are like most drivers, the way you discover that some component of your vehicle is not working right is via your dashboard lights. When a battery-shaped warning comes on and stays on, it suggests that there is most likely a problem with the charging system. However, a failed charging system does not automatically mean that you have an alternator issue. From there, it is up to you to determine whether the problem lies with your alternator or battery.

Before beginning repairs on your alternator, it behooves you to determine whether the alternator is the problem and that it is not the battery at fault. By using a voltmeter, you can measure the voltage of electric power the alternator releases. A battery’s voltage should typically be above 12.65 volts, so if you get a lower reading, you will have a better idea if the alternator or battery is the problem component.

How to Address Alternator Issues

Common problems involving alternators include the wearing down of carbon brushes or contact rings that might need replacing. If you are uncertain of the exact cause of your failed alternator, it is in your best interest to take your vehicle to a skilled mechanic to handle the repair without potentially damaging the alternator. Millikan Battery and Electric Inc. is your locally preferred auto shop when you need help with alternators in Winter Garden, FL.

Find out more about common problems involving alternators in Winter Garden, FL. See why so many drivers visit our shop for targeted automotive services.

Silver generic minivan

Learn About Your Car Radiator in Winter Garden, FL

The radiator is arguably one of the most misunderstood automotive components. Primarily, it cools down the engine. Though they need heat to operate at an optimal level, too much heat will destroy the engine’s inner mechanics. Should the cylinders and pistons begin to overheat, it is the indefinite end of the ride. The heart of the car’s cooling system, the radiator ensures that the motor stays at the right temperature, allowing it to perform at maximum potential.

How to Tell When Cooling Systems Go Bad

It suffices to say that your radiator plays a crucial role in removing heat from your engine, thereby allowing it to function correctly, without risking a sudden breakdown. However, several telltale signs suggest you may have an issue with your cooling system that you should be mindful of. These include:

  • When the Thermostat Becomes Clogged and Fails to Open
  • Experiencing a Leak in the Cooling System
  • Finding Pools of Fluid Under Your Parked Car

Dealing with any of the problems listed above can be severe, but recognizing them quickly can lead to a more straightforward solution. Millikan Battery and Electric Inc. is your source for comprehensive service when you need work on your car radiator in Winter Garden, FL.

Gain a better understanding of your car radiator in Winter Garden, FL. See why so many local drivers turn to our auto shop for comprehensive service.

Motorboat on the ocean

How to Test for a Faulty Boat Starter

Are you finding it challenging to rev up your boat? For marine engines, the boat starter in Winter Garden, FL, can be a finicky device. Today, we will discuss what you can do to determine whether your starter requires replacement. Please note that these instructions are for a 12V operating system.

First, let us rule out the other possibilities that can cause an engine to refuse to start. Be sure you are following the manufacturer’s directions for starting your boat. Also, ensure the main fuse is still in good shape and be sure all electrical connections are clean and connected correctly.

With these issues are taken care of, it is time to get your multimeter. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn the dial of the multimeter to DC voltage. Place the red probe and the black probe on their respective posts (red is for positive, black for negative). If the reading is below 11.3, replace or recharge the battery.
  2. With the multimeter still on the DC setting, place the red probe on the engine starter’s positive terminal and the black probe on the engine ground.
  3. Turn your ignition switch to “Start” and read the voltage. If the reading is more significant than 9.5 volts, try to start the engine. If this test fails, then your boat starter requires replacement or rebuilding. If the reading is less than 9.5 volts, you have a voltage loss between the battery and starter. Address this issue and then attempt the test again.

With the right equipment, you can determine whether your boat starter in Winter Garden, FL, requires service. Visit us for a replacement today.

Asphalt road with a car passing through the forest

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Your Alternator

Alternators in Winter Garden, FL, are the unsung heroes of vehicle performance. They keep the batteries of cars, trucks, and SUVs charged and ensure motorists have the power for their electrical systems and gadgets. Like any piece of equipment, however, the alternator is prone to wear and tear. It has a lifespan, and many factors can shorten it. Here is what you need to know to protect the performance and longevity of your alternator–and your vehicle.

The alternator is part of your engine, and it converts mechanical energy from the engine to charge the battery. The average lifespan of an alternator is about 150,000 miles. Many factors can cause this part to fizzle out prematurely, such as:

  • The Quality of the Part
  • The Overall Condition of Your Vehicle and Its Parts
  • The Number of Electronics That Are in Use

The harder your alternator has to work, the shorter its performance life. If your vehicle frequently performs heavy-duty hauling, has to run for extended periods, or if you love turning up your headlights and sound systems to the max settings, you are putting a strain on your alternator. There are also factors that are beyond your control to consider, such as heat and the ambient temperature around your engine.

While wear and tear are unavoidable facets of vehicle ownership, you can take steps to protect your vehicle from an electrical systems failure. The first step is to establish a good maintenance routine and stick with it. Take your car in for periodic, professional maintenance. An experienced mechanic can help you stay on top of your vehicle’s condition. They can also tell you when you should replace your vehicle’s critical components.

Alternators are one of the essential parts of your car’s engine. Contact us in Winter Garden, FL, to learn how to protect your alternator.