Your car may not run on batteries, but a battery is still a necessary part of your car's system. The battery powers the cranking motor to start the vehicle. It also provides auxiliary power when the engine isn't running. With the engine off and the key in the "on" position, many components, such as the chimes, radio, instrument cluster, and headlights operate off the battery's power.
As cold weather approaches, it's particularly important to show some interest in your car battery. The colder the weather, the harder the battery has to work. If a battery is weak-because the headlights were left on, because of charging system problems, or just because it has just outlived its usefulness-it may not have enough power to start the vehicle.
If you want to check out your battery, shine the headlights against your garage wall while cranking the engine. If the headlights dim, the battery and charging system may need to be looked at by a professional.
There are other ways to see if a battery might need to be serviced or even replaced. Conduct a quick visual inspection to ensure that battery terminals are clean. Corroded terminals will hinder the free flow of battery power through the electrical system. To clean terminals, use a wire brush dipped in baking soda and water. Another sign of a possibly weak battery is a slow-cranking engine, particularly in cold weather. Keep a spare set of jumper cables in your trunk-you may never need to use them, but they provide peace of mind.
If a new battery is needed, Independent Service Centers that participate in ACDelco's Total Service Support program, and all GM dealerships offer a full range of products, including the Professional battery, as well as ACDelco's newly launched 60 Series car and truck batteries. The value line 60 Series carries a 60-month limited warranty on automotive batteries, including a free replacement, if needed, within the first 18 months. ACDelco 60 Series batteries are available for more than 90 percent of vehicles on the road. To find an ACDelco parts retailer or certified ACDelco Independent Service Center near you, visit acdelco.com or call 800-A-C-Delco.
Make sure your battery is charged before you set out.