Lead acid batteries are best known for their use in cars, where they provide an excellent low energy-to-weight ratio and low cost. The lead acid battery market is one that is very large, being valued at USD 46.6 billion in 2015 and that is expected to grow going forward.
In this post, you’ll learn more about how to deal with the acid battery in your car and how to make sure you aren’t left stranded. Lead acid batteries are a crucial technology that many of us now rely on to get around and to engage in our every day tasks. Without acid batteries, we wouldn’t have automobiles. And without automobiles, a huge amount of industry would completely crumble.
No surprise then that the lead acid battery market size was valued at 46.6BN USD in 2015 and has been continuously growing since then. With a CAGR of 6.4%, this is a very big market to watch. Of course, some might think the market is facing competition for the first time from electric batteries that find their way into cars from the likes of Tesla. But this is actually a moot point seeing as electric cars still do use acid batteries for their starter engines.
Buying Acid Batteries
One of the strengths of the acid battery market is the fact that they typically need to be replaced every few years. This ensures that sales continue even in the absence of new automobile sales. It is important for any consumer to know how to tell when their battery is running low and what to do when it is.
Your car battery is a very important part of your car that allows it to run and allows you to enjoy other features such as lights, radio, air conditioning etc. This works by providing you with electrical energy so that you can run these things, and to provide the spark that starts the engine. Without it then, your car would be unable to start, and you wouldn't even be able to do so much as turn on the lights or use your window wiper.
This can be a highly alarming mechanical breakdown. You are at a friend's, or parked in a car park, and you try to start the car – only to find that it just splutters and coughs and doesn't start and that not even the lights will come on. You will then find yourself stranded and in need of help to get home – and if no help is available this can be a long wait.
How to Tell if You Need a New Car Battery
The best way to know that you need a new car battery is of course that the car won't start and the lights won't come on. This is a sign that you are getting insufficient energy to the car and chances are this is because of the battery.
However, it can also be a sign that you have a damaged alternator. The alternator is what charges the battery as you drive, and if this doesn't work then even a working battery will drain out and not recharge. Meanwhile you might accidentally run down your battery and mistake this for a broken battery when in fact you could just replace it and carry on.
If your car won't start then it's possible to get a jump start using jump leads attached to your battery and this will start the car in either scenario. From here you can then get the car home to test for problems with either the battery or the alternator. If the battery ran down due to cold weather, then this is more likely to be a battery problem. Likewise, if you left lights on accidentally over night, then this might have simply drained your battery and it won't need replacing. Of course, if you have recently replaced the battery or alternator and are still having problems then this is likely to be a problem with the aspect you haven't changed. If you lose charge again and it's not very cold, then you could have either an alternator or battery problem.
To test your alternator, then turn on your headlights and have the engine running. Get someone to stand in front of the car and look at them and then press the accelerator. If the lights either dim or get brighter then this is indicative of an alternator problem. Otherwise, it's probably the battery.
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Starting Your Car in an Emergency
While the petrol engine should recharge the acid battery over time, it can run low if is left powering lights and air conditioning while the car is parked. Weather conditions and other factors can also drain it.
Fortunately, there is a way to start a car if the battery has been allowed to go flat. First of all, you are going to need to flag someone down. And you are either going to need to have jump leads yourself, or you are going to need to get help from someone who does. This should be the first thing you ask for, and having your bonnet open can communicate that to people driving past.
Now you are going to need to connect your battery to that of the person who has stopped to help. This means you need them to park either next to you, or nose to nose so that your bonnets are opposite one another. With both hoods open, you are going to look for your batteries which are the grey squares with the lightning symbols on. Now, using your jump leads, you are going to connect the positive bolt on their battery to the positive bolt on yours and the same for the negative. To tell which bolt is the positive and which is the negative, look out for a plus and negative symbol on each or for a red and blue sign. If you still can't find it then you might want to consult the user manual or look online, and you may find that you have to connect one of the leads to just a piece of metal in the bonnet of one or both cars. To connect you simply open the mouth of the lead like an alligator clip and clamp it down, but make sure that you don't touch the metal directly (the wires should be covered in rubber insulator) once they are connected.
Now the idea is to start the 'well' car and let it run for a couple of minutes before you turn on the one with no juice. You should find that your car starts again and that you're now able to drive off, and it's now important that you drive around for a bit so that you re-fill your battery with energy. Even if you're near home, go for a little spin and as long as the alternator is working you should last for a while.