Westgate High-Tech Auto Care

12300 W. Center Rd., Omaha, Nebraska 68144
Phone: (402) 397- 8144

 

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Monday-Friday: 7:45am-6pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

 

 

 

Car Batteries

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 system:

    Battery

  • 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. Battery check, testing and replacement

     

    Charging System

  • 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.

     

    Starting 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 itís time to replace it Ė wise Omaha car owners have options. First, letís be clear that you should always get a replacement battery that meets or exceeds your vehicle manufacturerís specifications. 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 battery.

An obvious criterion is where you live Ė 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 Ė 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 ďwet-cellĒ meaning they are filled with liquid battery acid. New Absorbed Gas Mat (AGM) batteries are ďnon-spillableĒ which makes them safer for Omaha motorists. They also have a longer life span and greater cycle life than wet-cell batteries. Bennington off-roaderís 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:
Thatís a key question for Omaha drivers. All batteries wear out and need to be replaced Ė 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 itís actually bad. The essential problem could be parasitic drain or a bad alternator thatís 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 ďbadĒ 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, itís not spinning the alternator properly so it canít fully charge the battery.

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 donít 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. Thereís 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 isnít fully charged parts of the battery harden and are no longer available to ďstoreĒ electricity. Over time, your battery just canít 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:
Iím David in Omaha, NE. For the last year and a half Iíve 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, werenít you in a few months ago? So he tested my battery and it was OK. Apparently Iíve been replacing good batteries. Whatís wrong with my SUV?

Westgate High-Tech Auto Care Answer:
Look, we canít fault David for not knowing whatís wrong with his SUV Ė he just didnít have enough important information. And frankly, neither do I.

Letís 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 wouldnít start. Unfortunately, he had a year and a half of unnecessary expense and inconvenience and still doesnít know whatís 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 todayís 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% donít even make it four years. There are some things Omaha auto owners can do, however, to make their battery last a little longer.

Itís 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 Ė 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 isnít much extra electricity to go back into the battery.

Now, if you were on a long NE road trip, no sweat Ė youíd have plenty of time to fully recharge your battery. But not if youíre making stops around Omaha. Every time you start your SUV engine, your battery takes that big hit again. Multiple starts Ė 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 Ė which causes the alternator to wear out prematurely. A lot of experienced Omaha technicians suggest replacing your battery after five years, even though it hasnít 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 itís 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 itís 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 itís good but needs a maintenance service, heíll have it cleaned up and make sure the connections and cables are good. If itís looking like you ought to replace it, heíll help you with a battery thatís right for your SUV and driving needs.

Our Omaha Battery
Todayís 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 stereos.

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 ďgoodĒ, ďbetterĒ, and ďbestĒ 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 Omaha

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.

Letís 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 itís cold, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where itís 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 cold.

An important note: Batteries may also list the Cranking Amps Ė CA Ė number. It is the Cold Cranking Amps Ė or CCA Ė 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, itís important to note that heat is the real enemy of long battery life. In other words, the damage thatís 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: Itís 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 thatís 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 memory.

Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around Omaha. Youíre 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 youíre 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 have?

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, theyíre really not that happy about having to spend the money. But the fact is that 70 percent of batteries donít 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 itís finally time to get a new battery, we can help you find the right replacement. Weíll always make sure to meet your manufacturerís recommendations. Now if you have special needs Ė like live in a very cold climate or run a lot of electrical accessories, we can look at an upgrade thatíll give you the power you need.

 

 

 

 

All rights reserved Westgate High-Tech Auto Care  ●  12300 W. Center Rd., Omaha, Nebraska 68144  ●  Phone: (402) 397- 8144


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Westgate High-Tech Auto Care

12300 W. Center Road

Omaha, Nebraska 68144
Ph: (402) 397- 8144

Strongsville Tires Auto Repair on Google+