We can help you choose the
right battery for your vehicle and lifestyle. Our staff can safely and
professionally install your battery and get you back on the road.
Your car's electrical system
powers everything from the ignition and fuel systems to accessories such
as your radio, headlights and wipers. The electrical system is, in turn,
powered by the engine. Here are the three key components of the electrical
When your car's engine is
off, the battery provides the required power to the rest of the system,
as well as during start-up (cranking). It also supplements the power
from the charging system during periods of high demand.
This is the heart of the
electrical system. It consists of three main components: the belt-driven
alternator, various electrical circuits, and a voltage regulator. The
alternator supplies power to the electrical system and recharges the
battery after your car has started. Just like it sounds, the voltage
regulator controls the voltage, keeping it within the operating range of
the electrical system.
This system consumes more
electrical power than any other component in your car. The starting system
consists of three components which work in tandem: the ignition switch,
the starter relay or solenoid, and the starter motor. The ignition
switch controls the starter solenoid, which activates the starter motor.
The starter motor then turns the engine until your car starts.
When that car battery finally
gives up the ghost and it’s time to replace it – wise Omaha car owners have options. First, let’s be
clear that you should always get a replacement battery that meets or exceeds your vehicle
But, you may
have some critical special needs. When they first put the battery into your vehicle at the factory,
the car maker had no idea where it would end up over its life or how YOU would use it where you drive
in NE. That battery was chosen to meet the needs of a wide range of motorists. Replacement time is a
good opportunity to meet with your tech about how you use your vehicle so you can get just the right
An obvious criterion is where you live – whether in Omaha or somewhere else. Cold starts require a lot
of power from your battery. The colder the climate, the more power needed. This comes from a
combination of cold sluggish oil and the slower chemical reaction within the battery itself when it is
cold. If this sounds like you, meet with your Westgate High-Tech Auto Care technician about a battery
with more Cold Cranking Amps.
The next consideration for Omaha car owners is reserve capacity. This is the number of minutes of
reserve power the battery has under a particular load. If your driving is mostly short stop-and-go
trips around Omaha, your battery may not have time to fully recharge while driving. You may need to
tap into those reserves to get started again. Also, modern vehicles have a lot of always-on systems
that draw on the battery – things like the security system, remote sensors, and vehicle computers.
These combine with the electronic entertainment system, sensors, heated seats, and even chargers for
phones, tablets, and computers to put a fairly high load on the battery. Your Westgate High-Tech Auto
Care technician can give you his thoughts on the reserve capacity you might need.
Most standard batteries are “wet-cell” meaning they are filled with liquid battery acid. New Absorbed
Gas Mat (AGM) batteries are “non-spillable” which makes them safer for Omaha motorists. They also have
a longer life span and greater cycle life than wet-cell batteries. Bennington off-roader’s like these
batteries because their performance is not affected by steep inclines and odd angles. They are also
well suited for Omaha RV and boat owners.
Lastly, a critical consideration for Omaha auto owners is warranty. Premium batteries commonly come
with a longer warranty. Warranties are typically either full-replacement (the battery is replaced if
it fails within the warranty period) or pro-rated (a partial credit is given for the failed battery
depending on how far into the warranty period you are when it fails).
When the battery is replaced, your understanding Westgate High-Tech Auto Care service professional may
usually need to recalibrate some accessories such as power windows and sunroofs. Also, some vehicles
may need to have the battery registered into the engine computer.
Your Westgate High-Tech Auto Care service advisor can help you know how to decide which battery is
right for you and your vehicle.
Question: When do I need to
replace my battery?
Westgate High-Tech Auto Care Answer:
That’s a key question for Omaha drivers. All batteries wear out and need to be replaced – but some are
replaced before their time.
Look, if your battery is dying and you need a jump-start, it could very well be that you have a bad
battery. But Omaha drivers should have their Omaha auto service center test the battery first to see
if it’s actually bad. The essential problem could be parasitic drain or a bad alternator that’s not
properly charging your battery.
And Omaha drivers in this situation also need to have their service advisor review their alternator
and have it tested. A surprisingly high percentage of “bad” alternators brought into Westgate
High-Tech Auto Care in Omaha are actually just fine: the problem is a worn serpentine belt and/or belt
tensioner. If the belt is slipping, it’s not spinning the alternator properly so it can’t fully charge
Hopefully, Omaha motorists can see that a dead battery can be the result of a chain of events: a worn
serpentine belt, a worn belt tensioner, a bad alternator or a bad battery. If you don’t check the
belt, tensioner and alternator you can just end up replacing batteries that are still good. Talk to
your understanding Westgate High-Tech Auto Care service professional.
That brings us back full circle to when batteries do fail. There’s a chemical cycle that takes place
inside your battery: the battery is discharged when you start the SUV and is recharged by the
alternator when you drive. Short trips around the Bennington area with frequent stops and starts may
mean that your battery is never fully recharged. When a battery isn’t fully charged parts of the
battery harden and are no longer available to “store” electricity. Over time, your battery just can’t
hold enough charge for the needs of your SUV. This is detrimental to your alternator as it tries to
keep up, causing it to wear out prematurely.
Batteries last longer in colder climates and wear out faster in warmer NE climates. We want to remind
Omaha auto owners that, on average, 70% of batteries fail within four years. Many NE automotive
experts recommend replacing your battery every five years. This will impair the chances of being
stranded on a local highway with a dead battery as well as prevent undue wear on your alternator.
Westgate High-Tech Auto Care Tech Question:
I’m David in Omaha, NE. For the last year and a half I’ve had some battery problems. I had trouble
starting my car so I bought a new battery at a parts store in Omaha. At first everything was fine,
then about six months later I hadproblems starting my car again, so I got a new battery. Again,
everything was fine for another five or six months then I had trouble starting my car again. I went to
get another battery and the parts guy said why do you need another battery, weren’t you in a few
months ago? So he tested my battery and it was OK. Apparently I’ve been replacing good batteries.
What’s wrong with my SUV?
Westgate High-Tech Auto Care Answer:
Look, we can’t fault David for not knowing what’s wrong with his SUV – he just didn’t have enough
important information. And frankly, neither do I.
Let’s talk about where our friend went wrong and what he could have done. First, he was right to
suspect his battery. But if he had asked to have his SUV battery tested when he first went to the auto
parts store, he would have found out that his battery was still good and would have known he needed to
take his car into Westgate High-Tech Auto Care for further diagnosis.
There could be any number of reasons his car wouldn’t start. Unfortunately, he had a year and a half
of unnecessary expense and inconvenience and still doesn’t know what’s wrong. When you find yourself
in a situation like David, do yourself a favor and talk to a professional at Westgate High-Tech Auto
Care in Omaha. Your understanding service specialist can get you on the right track.
Guide to Omaha Battery Maintenance
In today’s Westgate High-Tech Auto Care auto care blog, we are focusing on battery maintenance.
Eventually your car battery will fail and you will need to replace it. In fact, 70% don’t even make it
four years. There are some things Omaha auto owners can do, however, to make their battery last a
It’s all about the flow of electrical power. When you start your SUV, the battery uses power to get
your engine cranking. As your engine runs, your alternator generates electricity to run all your
electrical systems: like lights, a half dozen computers, anti-lock brake system, traction control,
power windows, electronic fuel injectors, stability control, air conditioning, transmission servos –
the list goes on. Any leftover electricity goes to recharge your SUV battery. Then you turn on your
radio and seat heaters; maybe plug in your cell phone and computer; the kids watch a DVD and pretty
soon there isn’t much extra electricity to go back into the battery.
Now, if you were on a long NE road trip, no sweat – you’d have plenty of time to fully recharge your
battery. But not if you’re making stops around Omaha. Every time you start your SUV engine, your
battery takes that big hit again. Multiple starts – multiple hits. By the time you get home, you have
less than a full charge.
When the battery is continuously in a discharged state, it loses its ability to fully recharge. This
starts a downward spiral in your battery life. Now when your battery is on its way to getting this
bad, your alternator is working overtime trying to keep it charged – which causes the alternator to
wear out prematurely. A lot of experienced Omaha technicians suggest replacing your battery after five
years, even though it hasn’t yet failed, as a maintenance item to extend alternator life.
Now, there is something you can do to help your battery last longer by hooking up a battery charger
once a month in the summer and every three months in winter. This will ensure your SUV battery
routinely has a full charge. You can do this less often in the winter because the electrochemical
process slows down when it’s colder and less damage is done when your battery is low. Computerized
battery chargers are real easy to use because they monitor and control the charging rate to keep the
battery from overheating while it’s charging.
We recommend that you ask your understanding Westgate High-Tech Auto Care advisor to test your battery
so you know how much life is left. If it’s good but needs a maintenance service, he’ll have it cleaned
up and make sure the connections and cables are good. If it’s looking like you ought to replace it,
he’ll help you with a battery that’s right for your SUV and driving needs.
Our Omaha Battery
Today’s Omaha vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This
really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it:
electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power
outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful
Plus there are all the SUV engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control,
anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the
car is turned off. And of course, summer heat can take a real toll on battery life.
Fortunately, battery technology has given Omaha drivers resilient batteries that are able to meet
these strenuous requirements. But the fact is; SUV batteries just wear out over time. Eventually,
every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your car. Sometimes
batteries need to be replaced because they have developed a leak.
Replacement batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some Omaha cars have limited space that requires a
specially shaped battery to fit. Larger SUV engines require more powerful batteries to get them
started. If you live in a cold climate you will need a more powerful battery because engines are
harder to start when it is cold.
In NE, batteries come in “good”, “better”, and “best” grades. More expensive batteries may have a
longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things Omaha auto owners need to
purchase to keep their cars in good condition, paying a little more up front saves money in the long
run. Ask your understanding Westgate High-Tech Auto Care service advisor to test your battery and
advise you on how much life it has left.
Battery Replacement In
Car batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of
things Omaha SUV owners should know when looking for a new car battery: one is cold cranking amps and
the other is reserve capacity.
Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold
SUV engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live
around Omaha, specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors are that the colder an
engine is, the more power it takes to turn the SUV engine over to get it started. It has all that
cold, sluggish oil to contend with. The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that
creates electrical energy is less efficient in the cold.
So the colder it gets in Omaha, more power is needed, but the available power drops.
If you live where it’s cold, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s
moderate or hot. You should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as the manufacturer
recommends, but may want to upgrade at Westgate High-Tech Auto Care if you live where it gets real
An important note: Batteries may also list the Cranking Amps – CA – number. It is the Cold Cranking
Amps – or CCA – that is the important number here. CCA is the number to use in your comparisons.
Now with all this talk of cold temperatures in Omaha, it’s important to note that heat is the real
enemy of long battery life. In other words, the damage that’s done over the hot summer months in
Omaha shows up with the increased demands on the SUV battery when the weather turns cold.
Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the
battery has at a given load. The number is more important these days because of parasitic drain.
Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off. So the power drawn by the SUV
security system, the remote start system, even the power the SUV computers require to maintain their
Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around Omaha. You’re not driving long enough
for the battery to recover the energy it used to start the SUV engine.
So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer and upgrade if you need more. Talk with
your understanding Westgate High-Tech Auto Care service advisor about options. If you need more from
your battery, a larger capacity battery may be called for.
Batteries are a big ticket item for most Omaha motorists, so the warranty gives peace of mind. Be sure
to ask about the car battery warranty at Westgate High-Tech Auto Care so you know what you’re getting.
At Westgate High-Tech Auto Care, we have been providing quality auto service in Omaha for 12 years.
Batteries are a huge part of modern life in Omaha NE. I mean, how many battery chargers do you
Of course, our purpose here is to talk about your car battery. When people come into our Omaha NE
service center and need a new battery, they’re really not that happy about having to spend the money.
But the fact is that 70 percent of batteries don’t make it for 4 years.
Omaha NE BatteryThere are some things that you can do to extend the life of your battery. First, keep
it clean. If you see it getting dirty or greasy, let us know at Westgate High-Tech Auto Care and we
can clean it off. A dirty battery runs hotter and that shortens its life. If your battery terminals
are corroded, let us take a look at that too. We can clean them, and if the corrosion has gotten into
the battery cables, we can replace them.
Also running your battery way down is bad for it: Things like running the headlights or watching a DVD
player with the car turned off can deeply deplete your battery. The typical battery can only take
about 10 of those deep cycle depletions before it gives up the ghost.
Because we often take short trips around Omaha with lots of stops for errands, our batteries can end
up not getting fully recharged just by driving around. That also shortens battery life. You can hook
up a good quality automatic battery chargerat home from time to time. We recommend charging once a
month during hot months and every three months during cold months.
Now when it’s finally time to get a new battery, we can help you find the right replacement. We’ll
always make sure to meet your manufacturer’s recommendations. Now if you have special needs – like
live in a very cold climate or run a lot of electrical accessories, we can look at an upgrade that’ll
give you the power you need.