Car Battery Problems-Or could it be your Car Alternator that is blamed.

Car Battery Problems

Unfortunately, the two things are very closely linked. Many customers call in knowing that they have car battery problems. The number one sign is quite evident? The car will not start. This is mainly in the cold weather of wintertime.

It can also become a problem in hot summer weather when the air conditioning is working at full pelt. This problem, can show up a failing battery and give the owner what

Car Battery Problems

Typical modern alternator

he thinks are car battery problems.

I must confess that the first thing we do is to test the battery and the alternator with the same piece of equipment. This usually fails the car battery, and we then fit a new one. Nine times out of ten, this will do the trick. However, a faulty alternator could make the original problem re-occur.

When we talk about car battery problems, we need to understand a little about, what the alternator does? The primary task is to keep the battery charge topped up at the correct level. This is when the driver is using a significant amount of electrics in the cars cab.

In winter time it will be the car lights and the heater system that takes much of the power from the battery and making the alternator work hard, replacing the charge back into the battery. This could also be a clue to the driver that the car is about to have some car battery problems.

Car Battery Problems

One of the first signs is that your cars lights may appear to be shining dimmer. This is usually an alternator problem. Too much or too little power back to your battery will make your lights dimmer.

This was more common on the older type, what I call “dynamo” alternators. Lights dimming were one of the first signs that the dynamo bushes, (that created the electricity to charge up the battery) were wearing down and therefore not doing the job correctly. When the alternator was not passing enough charge, then the light would dim, or the heater would work slowly and make a distinctly different noise to what it should make.

A good point about the older type of alternator is that it could be repaired, by fitting a new set of bushes. Older mechanics would remember this well. It was a job usually given to the junior member of the garage staff.

When the earlier alternators failed then, the first thing to happen would be that the driver would start to have car battery problems. What they did was to boil theCar Battery Problems battery almost dry, and the battery needed replacing. In many cases, the alternator would fail completely and would have to be repaired along with fitting a new car battery.

Car Battery Problems

The more modern car alternator is much more complicated. They are indeed connected to the entire cars electrical system via the cars ECU (on-board computer).The modern alternator works similar to a smart charger, applying a constant charge replacement to the battery in a more efficient manner than the old type dynamo charger.

This type of alternator usually fails because of a faulty circuit board and will fail at once. These alternators are repaired by specialist companies, and we buy them as we need them as exchange units.

One thing that we have learned about batteries and alternators is that when a battery goes, we here at Pellon Autocentre in Halifax UK, always check the cars alternator when we fit a new battery. This gives us a piece of mind that the new battery won’t be damaged by a faulty alternator in a few weeks’ time.

Other great reading…

Varta Batteries Driven BMW…All Electric of 1972 – Top Gear

Varta Batteries

Varta Batteries powered 1602e was BMW’s first EV, and grandaddy to the i8. Here’s its strange story


This was a surprise to me when i read about it?

I knew that battery driven cars are nothing new, but have never heard of BMW getting involved, and using Varta Batteries . We are now developing the electric cars driven by a different type of battery, but BMW apparently used the only technology available in those, the good old lead acid battery and Varta ones to boot.

Electric cars driven by batteries are nothing new?

Many car manufacturers have tried to produce the electric cars, going back to the 1800’s. One of the efforts came from Ferdinand Porsche, the guy who started the Porsche car

Varta Batteries

This Renault was an early experiment into electric cars, but the lead acid batteries were too heavy.

company. He developed an electric car known as the P1 as far back as 1898. He also developed what could have been the first hybrid in the world a car that was powered by a gasoline engine and a battery.

Thomas Edison also thought that electric cars were going to be the future and was always trying to improve a better batter to drive cars. Edison teamed up with Henry Ford to try to create lower cost electricity. Bur it was Ford who scuppered Edison’s plans by bringing out the model T, which would run on a petrol engine and not battery driven.

The cost of the cars driven on a gas engine was half the price of a battery driven model. The gas engine cars out sold the battery cars and this was amplified even more when the starter motor was invented and it became far easier to start a car by pressing a button, than by hand cranking the engine to start the car.

Varta Batteries

The Urbee experimental electric car

Petrol became more popular, as oil was discovered in more and more of America. This meant that the new roads that were been built all across the States were serviced by petrol filling stations all across the country, giving the gas powered engine an even bigger advantage to the consumers who were buying these affordable cars in droves, a new freedom had arisen and people were wanting to explore the new rod networks that were opening up all over America.

Petrol shortages spark interest in  electric vehicles driven by batteries

Nothing much happened in battery development for years and this brings me up to the time when I became interested in cars and went to work as an apprentice mechanic, here in Yorkshire my home county.

The 1960’s and 1970’s the world was shook by the Arab Oil Embargo (1973), which worried the USA about importing oil and in 1976 they passed a law authorising the development of battery driven electric and hybrid vehicles, nothing new here, what goes round comes round?

General motors developed an urban electric car, in 1973 and the American Motor company developed an electric battery driven jeep to be used by the American post office in 1975, things were starting to move but the problem of distance traveled on one charge, was rearing its ugly head, the same old problem that we are getting in today’s Lithium-Ion battery power trains.

Interest in the electric than slowed down and there were no further developments to name, regarding battery powered cars. That was until the 1990’s came along and the desire for cleaner air and pollution controls, Increased the interest once again, about developing the battery driven electric car.

Governments were introducing clean air acts and implementing emission controls on the car manufacturers. Unknown to the public which includes myself, governments were throwing billions of dollars in the surge to develop a better battery that would drive the electric vehicle of the near future. Oil prices were rising after the relatively cheap price of gasoline in the 1990,s and a similar scenario to the 1970’s was now emerging.

The world needed electric cars powered by batteries again

The race was on between the huge car companies in different parts of the world. Toyota of Japan was the first car maker to make big inroads into the electric car developments. In 1997 they introduced the Prius, which became the first mass produced hybrid car, a car with a petrol engine and a battery train. This to me is still the better option than the elusive all battery driven car. Toyota used a Toyota used a nickel metal hydride battery to power the Prius and as I stated earlier the gas prices were starting to rise, which made this car a very popular choice for consumers.

Honda had also produced their new hybrid in 1999, but the developments after that are another story, this article gives my readers a little insight of a period before the development of the new technology batteries, such as the popular Lithium-Ion batteries, that scientists are still trying to perfect to this day.

Please note these are the words and opinion of the author (Eric Roberts) only. Neither the author nor the website can be held responsible for any errors or omissions. You should seek professional assistance if in doubt about your choice of battery. The article may contain a link to Batteriesontheweb where you can buy Varta Batteries products online.

Car batteries the Cold weather and your car: How to keep your battery from dying

Car batteries


AA is getting a record number of calls for storm-related problems with nearly half being for dead batteries.


Another warning to vehicle users to have their car batteries checked before the winter and you will reduce the risk of being caught out in a snow storm?

it would be like sitting in a fridge and i am sure that it does happen to some people, remember that when it is cold we use all the electrical appliances in your car and if your battery is not up to scratch, then it will let you down and it could let you down in an isolated place or a snow drift if you live on the east coast of America, with the massive snow falls that they are having at the moment.

Car batteries let you down when you least expect it

After years of experience of selling car batteries, I know that it is the last thing on a drivers mind when they set off on a journey. It is like any other battery situation, you only know about it when the battery runs out of power. The best example which happens in most households is the mobile phone, specifically when the phone  goes flat, it is total panic and the phone must be charged up at all costs.

Fortunately your car battery is a better engineered system, it will probably never let you down in a five year period, but when it does, you will be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and in most cases it will not be a simple case of charging it back up again.

car batteries

Testing a battery with a volt meter, most garages will do this free of charge

Statistically your regular car batteries would fail in the cold winter months. This would always apply when I was first time Lucas battery retailer in the 1970’s. I would stock up in the summer time when the battery companies would always have a quantity deal, all ready for the winter explosion of car battery sales. The first cold spell in November would bring in number of cars with our first rush of flat Cheap Car Batteries, it never failed us.

Since the early days car batteries have changed

There were a couple of marked differences concerning car batteries then compared to modern day cars. First the car manufacturers would make millions of one model of car, say Vauxhall made millions of Vivas and Cavaliers, Ford made millions of Escorts and Cortina’s and then of course came the original Minis. They outcome of this was that the size and part number of the batteries were all the same, the 038 battery fitted almost every car other that the Fords, who opted for square bolt on terminals part numbers 037 and 085, later the 065 battery became more popular.

As years went by we started to import many makes of cars from the Far East, such as Toyota, Nissan at first and then many more cars came into the UK. This had a massive effect on battery sizes and part numbers, making the car batteries market more specialised.

This is where I made am good business decision and I decided to make the battery market a key part of my business strategy. Although I did not know it the time this decision gave me contacts that were to last me right up to today.

Car batteries remained much the same, the only thing that changed was the different terminals and physical sizes of the batteries, battery plates, became a new mix of alloys and lead alloys and companies the likes of Lucas batteries became the first to introduce practically sealed batteries that were maintenance free, there were no screw tops on the Car batteries for the driver to check the acid level.

Also there was the evolution of the cars. Cars were now coming out on more sophisticated electrical systems, which required car batteries with more power. We found that a difference in the old type battery and the new type of battery was that the new types of battery did not give you much time after failure, one morning the battery light would come on in your car and you would need a new battery, there and then; you do not have the time any more.

This is why it is important to check the batterybefore the winter time and when the car has a service. The winter cold that I have recently seen in the east coast of the USA makes me cringe at the number of drivers who must have been stuck in their cars with a dead battery. Remember they will let you down when you least expect them to, they do not give you much

car batteries

This battery is in a bad state and would have been a good contender for failure, before the winter time.

warning like they used to do.

So my 40 year old advice is to check your car batteries before every winter and if the battery is over 5 years old then do not risk it and buy a new battery, once again especially before winter?

Please note these are the words and opinion of the author (Eric Roberts) only. Neither the author nor the website can be held responsible for any errors or omissions. You should seek professional assistance if in doubt about your choice of battery. The article may contain a link to Batteriesontheweb where you can buy battery products online.