Knowledge is power when it comes to knowing your car’s heart and soul: its battery and electrical system. The last thing you want is to be left stranded with a dead battery. The better you know this system, the better the chance you can prepare your vehicle, so you don’t get stuck. We’ll break down this intricate system that determines your car’s ability to start. This page is designed to help you understand your car’s battery and electrical system and how we can help keep you on the road. Plus, should you need to replace your battery, we offer special internet only pricing, so you’re sure to get a great price.
Free Battery Test
Almost every driver has been stuck with a dead battery at least once in their life. To prevent you being stranded, we offer a free battery check-up with a visit to any of our stores. Our technicians call this battery test ‘Early Detection’. This is a quick diagnostic check to estimate the temperature at which your battery may fail to start and how much longer you may have until it fails.
Your Car’s Electrical System and You
Your car’s electrical system includes your battery, starter and alternator. These components help start your car’s engine and keep it running. If one of these parts is not working right, your car won’t start, or run properly. Simple as that. This is where our electrical system check comes in handy. It pinpoints problems when they occur, and we can provide all the services you might require to help get you back on the road.
Your vehicle’s battery is considered the heart of its electrical system. Your battery converts chemical energy into electrical energy to make your car run. The battery provides energy to start your car, and also helps stabilize voltage to keep your engine running. When your battery’s power is low or its cables or terminals are loose, your car probably won’t start. Your car generally gives very few discernable warning signs before it fails. Tires Plus Total Car Care offers an early detection test that helps determine if your battery is beginning to fail.
While the battery supplies the power to start your vehicle, the starter is really what gets the engine going. The battery supplies a small amount of power to the starter motor. The starter then rotates the flywheel, which turns the crankshaft and begins the movement of the engine’s pistons. It’s difficult to determine when a starter will fail, but an electrical system check at Tires Plus can determine the warning signs. We do this by checking if the starter is drawing the proper amount of current. Excessive current draw will indicate a worn starter and a low current draw indicates corroded cables or connections. Too much or too little current exposes the problem, so it can be fixed.
When your engine is running, the alternator keeps the battery charged and the electrical system going. Your car can start with a faulty alternator, but it won’t be able to run for an extended period of time. If the alternator requires replacement, your vehicle’s electrical system will perform erratically, its battery will discharge, and eventually your engine will lose power. A complete electrical system check from Tires Plus will tell you whether the alternator is generating the proper amount of current and voltage, to let you know before your alternator fails.
Signs Your Electrical System May Be Failing
Electrical systems rarely fail, but batteries, starters, and alternators are not designed to last the life of a vehicle, and they will eventually require replacement if you keep your vehicle long enough. We won’t let failure take you by surprise. Getting your system checked with us is a step in the right direction to help prevent you from being stranded because of a failed part. If you’re unsure if your vehicle needs a new battery, schedule a free battery test, electrical system maintenance, or diagnosis.
In most cases, your vehicle gives you very few warning signs that electrical system components may be near the end of their life cycle. Here are some signs that your vehicle’s electrical system may not be functioning properly:
- No crank or slow crank when you turn the ignition key
- An electrical system dashboard warning light (usually a battery) that remains on when driving
- Loss of power in accessories or erratic electrical system functionality
- Blown fuses
Your vehicle may need a new battery, and we can get you the one that fits your vehicle and is easy on your wallet. We stock Interstate Batteries, a nationally recognized, high-quality battery brand. You can select from a 4, 5 and 6 year performance warranty battery that all provide reliable starting capabilities. When you buy a new battery from us, we’ll always replace it with one that meets the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. Use our Battery Selector (near the top of this page) where you will see battery pricing and a complete list of the features and benefits of each Interstate line displayed. Plus, we offer special internet only pricing for batteries, so you’re sure to get a great price.
A battery will last 3 to 5 years, on average. But battery quality, driving habits and driving region have an impact on a battery’s life. For example, if you take many short trips (less than 20 minutes), your battery won’t have enough time to recharge fully, which can shorten the battery’s life. Also, exposure to extreme temperatures — both hot and cold — can also shorten its life span. This map gives an indication of how long batteries will last in different climates.
Try our Virtual Battery Tester (near the top, right of this page) to get an idea of how long your original equipment battery might last. If your battery is near the end of its estimated life for your region, Tires Plus offers a choice of Interstate Batteries to fit your vehicle.
There are certain preventative measures you can take to get the most out of your vehicle’s battery and electrical system life. Here are some tips:
- Avoid leaving on lights and accessories when the engine is not running — this will drain your battery
- Take less short trips to prevent inconsistent battery charge levels
- Make sure your vehicle’s battery terminals are kept clean and free of corrosion
- Always have a qualified professional maintain your electrical systems
- Have quality replacement parts installed when existing electrical system parts fail
Our Corrosion Protection Package, Battery Terminal cleaning service, and quality replacement parts like Interstate Batteries can all help you get the most out of your existing electrical system parts and provide you with quality replacement parts when original components fail.
Our technicians have analyzers that give your battery a free check-up every time you bring your vehicle in for maintenance, tires or other repairs. The Early Detection analyzers let you know if your battery is providing adequate power and at what temperature it could potentially fail. We’ll give you a printout with one of three possible results:
- A “
Good” result gives you the confidence that your vehicle’s battery is functioning properly.
- A “
Marginal” test result indicates that your battery is functioning properly, but its life expectancy is compromised. A close monitoring with follow-up battery health-checks is encouraged.
- A “
Replace” test result indicates that the battery, even though it’s starting your engine, fails to meet the original equipment manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you decide to purchase a battery after receiving a Marginal or Replace result, use our Battery Selector (near the top of this page) for more information on battery options. Here you can choose your battery, get a quote and set up an installation appointment, all in one place. Plus, we offer special internet only pricing for batteries, so you’re sure to get a great price. If you’re unsure if your vehicle needs a new battery, schedule a free battery test, electrical system maintenance, or diagnosis.
At Tires Plus, The Plus Is In Everything We Do
Quality people, parts and service: these are the three main reasons we think we’re the best when it comes to batteries and electrical systems. Our technicians are ASE certified and follow Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) guidelines when maintaining and making repairs, protecting you from a car that won’t start and we offer a complete line and sell more Interstate Batteries than any other retailer. Plus, our service is unmatched: We make it easy to buy, set up an appointment and install your battery and electrical systems — when it’s convenient for you.
Ask an auto care advisor to learn how often your manufacturer recommends oil and filter changes for your vehicle and for complete details on our warranty.
Keep your vehicle in great shape by viewing your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
Your time is valuable to us. That’s why we guarantee your car will be ready when we say it will, otherwise we’ll give you 10% OFF your next purchase.*