Complete Guide to Your Car Battery

Understanding how your car’s battery works can help you take the correct action when issues arise. These are the answers to the most frequently asked driver questions about their vehicle batteries.

How Does a Car Battery Work?

The car battery provides the power your car needs by igniting a chemical reaction that creates electrical energy. This voltage is delivered to the starter, which in turn starts the engine. As you drive, the battery also keeps the voltage stable so that the engine runs smoothly without stalling out.

How Long Do Car Batteries Last?

The average car battery needs to be replaced after four to five years, though this varies depending on how often you drive the vehicle and other factors. According to Popular Mechanics, you can extend the life of your battery by avoiding discharge/recharge cycles, such as allowing it to die by leaving the lights on and requiring a jump-start to get moving. They also recommend using a battery heater during cold weather to prevent the wear and tear caused by extreme temperatures.

What Is the Correct Way to Jump-Start a Battery?

Everyone finds themselves stranded at one time or another thanks to a dead battery. To safely jump-start your car, park it with the hood next to the hood of a working vehicle and put both cars in park or neutral. Turn off the engine of the working vehicle and turn off all electronics in both vehicles. Open the hood of each vehicle and attach the red (positive) jumper cable to the positive battery terminal (+) of the dead vehicle, and the black (negative) cable to the negative (-) battery terminal of the charged vehicle. Connect the other end of the black cable to an unpainted metal component of the dead vehicle. Turn on the car that’s working and allow it to idle for five to ten minutes. Turn off the engine and then disconnect the cables in reverse order before starting the dead car. Allow it to idle or take a short drive to give the battery a chance to recharge.

How Do I Know if I Need a New Car Battery?

The telltale signs that your car battery may be near the end of its life include a slow start-up when you crank the engine and problems with the electrical components of the vehicle such as dashboard lights and infotainment features. You can also take a look at your battery itself; if the case is bulging or if you notice a rotten egg odor under the hood, the battery is likely damaged. Many Kia models also have a dashboard light indicator in the shape of a battery to signal you that service is needed.

Can a Bad Battery Affect Other Car Components?

When your car battery isn’t working as well as it should, other car systems step in to compensate. This can lead to undue wear and tear on your charging system, starting motor, solenoid, and electrical systems — all of which are more expensive to repair or replace than the battery.

If you need a new battery, stop by the service center at Green Kia. While you’re here, check out our vast inventory of new and pre-owned Kias.

6 Tips For Maintaining Your Vehicle in the Winter

Your vehicle requires special care during the winter months to provide optimal performance. As the weather grows colder, follow these six tips for maintaining your Kia and keeping it in tip-top shape.

1. Test the Battery

According to Consumer Reports, exposure to cold reduces your battery’s ability to start the engine. That means if your battery is already weak, it could fail completely when winter rolls around, leaving you stranded. Most car batteries last about five years. If your car battery is aging, or showing signs of failure such as difficulty when starting the engine, you should consider replacing it before the weather gets cold. If you’re not sure, ask your mechanic to perform a voltage test which can estimate the battery’s predicted lifespan.

2. See the Light

When it gets dark earlier and when weather is poor, visibility declines. Make sure you’re seeing to the best of your ability behind the wheel by replacing any dim or burnt-out bulbs. Clear dirt, grime, and snow off your headlight covers before hitting the road. If these are foggy, consider having them professionally cleaned or restored.

3. Replace Windshield Wiper Blades

Snow and ice do a serious number on your wiper blades. Swapping them out is an inexpensive fix that anyone can do at home. Before a storm, flip the windshield wipers up so they won’t get frozen to the glass. Frequently refill your windshield cleaning fluid and carry an ice scraper in the car so you’ll always have clear visibility. Wiper blades typically last up to a year, but can become less effective in as little as six months.

4. Evaluate Your Tires

If you don’t already use winter tires, you might want to consider making the switch this year. These tires are made from rubber compounds that improve your traction on slippery roads and improve braking performance by as much as 40 percent according to Autobytel. If you plan to stick with the tires you have, check to make sure you have enough tread with the old penny trick. Insert the penny into your tread head first; if you can no longer see Honest Abe’s face, it’s time for new tires. Even if the tread looks good, check tire pressure regularly before you head out on the road. Tires lose pressure much more quickly during winter months, and driving on tires that are too low can lead to a dangerous blowout.

5. Check the Exhaust

Leaking exhaust is a dangerous hazard when you’re in your car with the windows down. Avoid this issue by having the exhaust system inspected for leaks. Your mechanic should also check for small holes in the trunk or floorboard that could let harmful fumes into the cabin.

6. Carry an Emergency Kit

If you do get stranded in the winter, an emergency kit will be your best friend. Assemble one that includes extra warm clothes, a wool blanket, road flares, a small shovel and sand or kitty litter, a flashlight and extra batteries, high-energy snacks, bottled water, and an extra cell-phone charger.

Where to Get a Little Taste of the Night Life in Springfield, IL

Springfield, Illinois has a lively nightlife serving up everything from locally brewed craft beers to live music and dancing. Whether your scene isdacing or a relaxed evening with friends, here are some places where you can get a little taste of the nightlife in Springfield.

Boondock’s Pub

If you are in the mood for live music on a Friday or Saturday night, head on over to Boondocks Pub located at 2909 N. Dirksen Pkwy. This 9,000-square-foot concert hall hosts a variety of shows by national and local musicians. Awarded 2016 Nightclub of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, this warehouse-style pub opens its front bar at 6 p.m. on performance nights. All shows are standing room only, but don’t worry, no matter where you are you will have an excellent view of the stage.

Craft Beer Bar

Owner’s Lou and Kathy Calvetti enjoy sharing their love of adventurous flavors and craft beer with nighttime patrons 21 and older. For the hard-core craft beer enthusiast, the Calvetti’s added a laidback craft beer class to their list of events that also includes a monthly featured brewery. Find the Craft Beer Bar at 430 E. Monroe. The Bar is open late, Monday through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Thursday through Saturday from noon to 1 a.m.

Boones Saloon

True to its name, Boones Saloon is a western–themed burger joint featuring a delightful beer garden. Found in a charming, historical style brick building, this long-time local favorite is situated right near the Capitol at 301 W. Edwards. Boones is the perfect haunt for those that enjoy a comfortable place to enjoy a drink with friends. Boones is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays they open early for breakfast.

Club Station House

Club Station is an exceptional dance venue with everything you would expect from an unassuming gay nightclub including laser lights, drag shows, and karaoke. Club Station has a chill vibe, excellent bartenders, and a great D.J. spinning the hottest dance music around. Check out their Facebook page for weekly drink specials. Located near the train station at 306 E. Washington St., Club Station is open daily until 3 a.m.

Mess Hall Restaurant and Bar

The Mess Hall, part of the American Legion Post 32, is open to the public and offers video gaming and the coldest beer in the North End. Every Friday enjoy the Mess Hall’s all-you-can-eat Walleye dinner. Not only will you support our Veterans when you come into the Legion, but you will also enjoy super low prices on food and drinks. Find the Mess Hall Bar at 1120 Sangamon Ave. The Mess Hall opens the bar Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to midnight and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m.

Discover all the variety that Springfield’s nightlife has to offer. No matter what mood you are in, Springfield’s entertainment scene has you covered. Always drink responsibly and have a designated driver.