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By performing a battery check, we can help save you the money, time and frustration with electrical system or unexpected battery failures. The advanced testing system tests the battery’s ability to deliver the correct current, to anticipate what temperature a battery could fail to crank your vehicle.

EARLY DETECTION

The purpose of early detection and preventive maintenance is to find a battery problem before a battery failure leaves you broke down, in the cold. It could be as simple as looking for cracks in a belt or excess wear. Even though your vehicle started today, your battery could fail when you least expect it. Come into any of our locations in the Reno area to have your battery tested.

Discover your battery’s condition in a few minutes. Early Detection Test only determines if a battery is good or going bad; it can detect if it is questionable. There are 3 possible conditions when testing of your battery:

  • BAD – Needs replace soon
  • MARGINAL – May fail in extreme to moderate cold or heat
  • GOOD – In 6 to 8 months you should re-test
  • MARGINALITY – The battery may start the car but its performance has started to decline. Extreme cold or heat may cause a marginal battery to completely fail.

Know when to expect battery problems:

Winter Car Breakdown - Woman Call For Help

  • Battery – Over 30% of vehicles with batteries 3 years or older can experience battery failure.
  • Heat – Whether from climate or high under-hood operating temperatures, heat speeds up battery corrosion.
  • Cold in Extreme conditions – Retards the battery’s chemical reaction that creates the cranking power in a vehicle and increases the current needed to start a vehicle.
  • Continuing to Crank with Little Driving – drains battery power without giving the vehicle’s charging system a chance to recharge the battery.

Living in certain areas can affect the life of your battery. You should inspect your battery and replace every 3-5 years. Batteries working in colder area’s last longer than warmer climates.

Related Articles: Avoid Winter Battery Failure

Most drivers don’t realize how summer heat contributes to battery deterioration.

 

Auto mechanic checking car b

Summer Heat’s Effect on Batteries

When it’s hot outside, its even hotter under the hood of your car. Intense heat under the hood causes battery fluid to evaporate, which damages the internal structure of the battery itself and speeds up corrosion. These two factors affect both the internal and external structures of the battery.

The effects from heat during the summer helps to decrease the average life span of your battery.

How to Prevent Battery Damage from the Heat

You can’t control the weather and decide what the temperature will be, but you can take steps to prevent your battery from getting damaged by the heat.

Grease on your battery holds in heat, and the corrosion on the terminals caused by the heat will lead to electrical problems with your vehicle. Dirt can also drain a battery’s power, so cleaning your battery will help keep it functioning properly.

To properly clean the outer casing of your battery, water mixed with baking soda tends to have the strongest effect. Cleaning the terminals with a wire brush will allow for optimal connectivity. By keeping your battery clean, you minimize grease and corrosion combustion.

Making an effort to keep your battery cool will keep it healthier and last longer. Keeping your battery cool means parking it in the shade or a closed garage. If neither of those are a possibility, simply propping the hood open for periods of time will cool your battery a little bit as well.

How to Detect Battery Damage

If you failed to take any of these precautionary steps that will keep your battery alive long after summer, here are a few ways to detect battery problems:

  • Your first step should be to check if there’s any visible damage to your battery. If you notice any bulging, cracking, or leaking, your battery should be replaced immediately.
  • If you feel that your car is losing electrical power, is having trouble starting, or you need to frequently jump-start your car. There is a possibility that your battery is damaged. In that case you can take your vehicle into any Autozone for a FREE Battery Check, to double check the health of your battery.
  • Sometimes you won’t even be able to tell if your battery is damaged. It’s important to have your battery checked by an automotive technician before the winter months to make sure your battery is running at optimum output.

If you’re interested in other ways you can optimize vehicle performance, contact one of our ASE certified technicians. We are happy to help you get back on the road!

www.SiearraCarCare.com

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At Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center we take preventive car care maintenance seriously. Preventive maintenance repair is based upon your vehicle manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule to ensure your vehicle runs efficiently and lasts longer. Your technician will run down the check list from the owners manual and make suggestions according to what is recommended for your vehicle at the current interval of mileage.

Why are Routine Maintenance Services Important?
Vehicle components and parts naturally wear out over time, and road hazards can negatively impact critical components. By adhering to the preventive maintenance schedule in your vehicle owner’s manual, you will help ensure that your vehicle always runs at optimal conditions.

Highly Recommended Mileage Service Intervals for Most Effective Preventive Maintenance. Click for more information.

There are additional mileage services recommended for most vehicles, the above mentioned are just a few of the major mileage service recommendations from our technicians. If you are currently experiencing a problem, you may want to check your mileage to determine whether you should schedule a service or not.

Depending on whether you purchased your vehicle new or used, may determine whether you have a warranty. If you do have a warranty, it may be contingent upon performing regular services for your vehicle. Depending on your vehicle’s manufacturer, avoiding preventive maintenance on certain parts and components has the potential to void warranty coverage.

During a scheduled maintenance service at the above mentioned mileage intervals, our staff may inspect the function of the following items and more to help ensure that your vehicle functions efficiently.

  • Steering System
  • Suspension Components
  • Transmission
  • Exhaust System
  • Check Battery
  • Fluids
  • Filters
  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Brakes
  • Ball Joints
  • Axles

We are also able to review exterior and interior lights, examine windshield wiper blades, inspect hinges and locks, and conduct both tire wear inspection and inflation checks. It is important to schedule preventive maintenance for these and other components to ensure they continue to work as intended.

Remember that environmental conditions may affect your ideal preventive maintenance schedule. Depending on your environment and driving behavior (frequent stop & go or rough roads may impact wear and tear on your vehicle), you may need to seek more frequent inspections and replacements. Contact us today or call 1-775-525-2420 to learn more about recommended maintenance service intervals for your vehicle.

Our technicians promote preventive repair because they believe that by keeping up with your vehicle manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule it will help your vehicle run smoother for longer.

Mechanic with a wrenchSierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers are some of the leading auto repair shops in town. All automotive repair and mechanic services are performed by highly qualified mechanics. Our mechanic shops work on numerous vehicles daily with the best vehicle repair equipment, and are capable of servicing a variety of makes and models. Whether you drive a passenger car, medium-size truck, mini-van, or SUV, our ASE Certified mechanics strive to ensure that your vehicle will be performing its best. Our superior standards show that our mechanics always have your best interests in mind. Plus, we offer the industry’s best warranty coverage.

Looking for a one-stop automotive repair shop? Than look no further, and allow our highly qualified mechanics to estimate the extent of auto repair you may be looking at. To set up an appointment now, call 1-775-525-2420 or contact us online.

Our number one goal has always been complete customer satisfaction. Our vehicle repair shop has a long-standing reputation for quality repairs. Whether you need routine auto maintenance services or emergency vehicle repairs, contact us online or visit us during business hours.

Areas Served : Carson City NV | Reno NV | Sparks NV | and surrounding areas

Auto Repair Services

Just in the past 50 years the automotive industry has revolutionized the way vehicles are designed and manufactured, including more technology than ever before. These technological additions put extra strain on the standard vehicle battery, because the battery itself was not designed to withstand this amount of continual load on top of generating the power needed to run smoothly. The amount of integrated technology may even reduce the life of the “standard” battery altogether. In conclusion, battery innovation is a necessary milestone as we add even more gadgets to the vehicles themselves.

A significantly improved battery would also change the face of the electric vehicle (EV) market. The battery is the one current drawback for most consumers when considering an EV. In addition to a better battery life, it also has a weight advantage that would be more than suitable for the EV market currently holding a battery that is very heavy. So together, an EV would not only weigh less and perform better, but it would cost less, too.

And the solution is coming to Nevada.

tesla-gigafactory-nevada

Construction on Tesla’s lithium-ion battery factory has started East of Reno.

“This is great news for Nevada. Tesla will build the world’s largest and most advanced battery factory in Nevada which means nearly one hundred billion dollars in economic impact to the Silver State over the next twenty years. I am grateful that Elon Musk and Tesla saw the promise in Nevada. These 21st century pioneers, fueled with innovation and desire, are emboldened by the promise of Nevada to change the world. Nevada is ready to lead,” stated Governor Brian Sandoval.

The company is expanding its manufacturing footprint into other areas, including in Tilburg, the Netherlands, where it has an assembly facility, and Lathrop, California, where it has a specialized production plant. To reduce the costs of lithium ion battery packs, Tesla and key strategic partners including Panasonic have begun construction of a gigafactory in Nevada that will facilitate the production of a mass-market affordable vehicle, Model 3.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said his company will start producing the car, priced at about $35,000, in 2017. He says the gigafactory—intended to double worldwide lithium-cell production—will cut battery costs by more than 30%, helping make the new car affordable. Tesla’s current Model S starts at about $70,000.

Battery production at the gigafactory is supposed to begin in 2017 and peak battery production should be reached when the gigafactory is fully complete in 2020. When finished, he says, the building will likely total between five and six million square feet—nearly as big as the Pentagon. By 2020, the gigafactory will produce more lithium ion cells than all of the world’s combined output in 2013. The gigafactory is expected to cost $5 billion and employ about 6,500 workers.

Tesla owners enjoy the benefit of charging at home so they never have to visit a gas station or spend a cent on gasoline. For long distance journeys, Tesla’s Supercharger network provides convenient and free access to high speed charging, replenishing half a charge in as little as 20 minutes. Superchargers now connect popular routes in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Tesla’s vehicles are produced at its factory in Fremont, California, previously home to New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors. The Tesla Factory has returned thousands of jobs to the area and is capable of producing 1,000 cars a week.

The gigafactory will also produce battery packs intended for use in stationary storage, helping to improve robustness of the electrical grid, reduce energy costs for businesses and residences, and provide a backup supply of power.

Musk has said Tesla plans to generate all the power for the project from renewable sources, including geothermal energy, and he hopes to make the battery plant a “net zero-energy factory.” Tesla is not just an automaker, but also a technology and design company with a focus on energy innovation.

For more information about Tesla Motors click here.

What is a Lithium-Ion Battery?
A lithium-ion battery (sometimes Li-ion battery or LIB) is a member of a family of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging. Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material, compared to the metallic lithium used in a non-rechargeable lithium battery. The electrolyte, which allows for ionic movement, and the two electrodes are the consistent components of a lithium-ion cell.

Lithium-ion batteries are common in consumer electronics. They are one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries for portable electronics, with a high energy density, no memory effect, and only a slow loss of charge when not in use. Beyond consumer electronics, LIBs are also growing in popularity for military, electric vehicle and aerospace applications.[6] For example, lithium-ion batteries are becoming a common replacement for the lead acid batteries that have been used historically for golf carts and utility vehicles. Instead of heavy lead plates and acid electrolyte, the trend is to use lightweight lithium-ion battery packs that can provide the same voltage as lead-acid batteries, so no modification to the vehicle’s drive system is required.

Other Battery Alternatives
There is a lot of research being done to create the ultimate battery, but that end-all be-all in battery technology still eludes us. There have already been announcements that there are more efficient options than even the Lithium-Ion Battery: Lithium-Sulfur Battery Design.

What Does This Mean for Gas Powered Vehicles?
Battery innovation is great news for the world and comes when energy is emerging as a global crisis and renewable energy sources are becoming a real alternative. Does this spell the end for gas powered vehicles? Not in the near future. This marks the beginning of the transition from gas to electric power in the next 10-20 years though.

One thing is for certain, you can count on Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center to keep your vehicle on the road, now and in the future. Big changes may be coming, and we’ll be ready and here to help!

battery_trouble_winterCold temperatures can make your vehicle act like a lot of things could be wrong.  Sometimes the battery is the last thing checked, but the first on the problem list.

During winter, due to freezing and below freezing temperatures, it slows the chemical reaction inside of the battery, wreaking havoc. Though batteries can function under a plethora of conditions, the cold weather tends to degrade the quality of your battery and may even render some batteries useless.

Your vehicle’s battery loses 33 percent of its power when the temperature dips below freezing, and over 50 percent of its power when the temperature falls below zero.

Avoid Battery Problems
At Sierra Care Care and MST Tire Center we offer a STARTING & CHARGING SYSTEM CHECK that can provide valuable insight for your entire starting system.

The starting and charging system is responsible for getting an engine to run and for keeping different components charged. Using energy from the battery, the starter uses a gear to interact with the engine. Without a starter, an engine would be inoperable. The starting system involves a number of parts, including:

  • Ignition Switch
  • Starter
  • Flywheel

The charging system play’s an equally important role, which includes:

  • Battery
  • Alternator
  • Voltage Regulator

The battery is needed to send electricity to the starter. The alternator powers all the electrical components by generating electrical currents, and the voltage regulator ensures that the output of the alternator does not over- or under-charge the components dependent on the electrical current. Together, the starting and charging systems interact with one another to keep a vehicle operating for its driver.

Starting & Charging System Check offered at Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center
The various components that make up your starting and charging system are not impervious to failure from constant use and wear. Warning signs for a starting and charging system problem include:

  • Dashboard Warning Lights
  • Dim Headlights
  • Clicking or Growling Noises
  • Trouble Starting Engine
  • Inconsistent Idle

During a starting and charging system service, our staff will review the voltage level of your battery, test your alternator, and look over your starter. An inefficient starting and charging system can lead to engine failure, which makes routine maintenance extremely important. Some components, like the battery, may give little warning before they fail. Our service staff combines the proper tools with extensive automotive knowledge to test and repair the components of your vehicle’s starting and charging system.

So, give Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers a call at 1-775-525-2420 to schedule your Starting & Charging System Check.

COMMON FACTORS OF BATTERY FAILURE

Battery Age
If the battery is more than five years old and there’s any sign of struggle to start the car, get it replaced. A battery has an average lifespan of four years under “normal” conditions. “Normal” in this case means the battery goes through full charge cycles, isn’t subjected to extreme temperatures, is attached to a reliable and consistent charging system and isn’t providing power for a ton of accessories. See, normal just isn’t normal. In the real world, temperature extremes, vibration, short trips down the street and an ever-increasing array of MP3 players, GPS receivers and other devices take a toll on the battery. Getting your battery replaced when you know it is the problem is better than as a roadside emergency.

Corrosion on Battery Terminals
Corrosion can prevent a car from starting just as much as a worn-out battery. Corrosion is caused by a faulty connection that allows battery acid to escape and corrode surrounding areas. Regularly inspect the battery to keep the connections clean. Carefully clean away any corrosive residue that has formed using a toothbrush and baking soda and also make sure the battery is correctly seated. Excessive vibration/moving can cause a weaker connection as well.

Battery Load
Switch off everything electrical and dip the clutch to reduce the load on the battery when you start a cold car. Do not start the car with the heater and the radio on. They can use up the power coming from the car’s alternator and prevent the battery from charging. Do not leave the heat and the radio on while the car is idling. Otherwise the car will not be putting out enough power for the alternator to charge the battery and power the electrical systems. When you park for the evening check to make sure all electrical items have been switched off – even an interior light, boot light, or radio left on overnight can kill a battery when it’s cold.

If you do not own a load tester, our staff would be happy to test the load of your battery and provide recommendations depending on the result of the test.

Install Battery Blanket or Trickle Charger to Prolong Battery Life
If you mostly do short journeys or leave the car standing for days at a time, invest in a modern battery conditioner/intelligent charger. These can be left connected to the battery indefinitely and can prolong its life without overcharging it.

A battery blanket is used to wrap around the battery and fit inside of the battery cover. A cord with a plug runs from the blanket to a wall outlet. The blanket can produce enough heat to keep the battery fluid from freezing. A trickle charger can also be mounted on the battery. It will deliver enough power to the battery while the vehicle is off to keep it from freezing.

If your vehicle will be stored in a garage for the winter, disconnect the battery. Certain devices, such as clocks and alarm systems, continue to drain battery power when the vehicle is off. If your car will not be driven enough to recharge the battery, keep it disconnected when the automobile is being stored.

Winterization Checklist
To maximize protection against cold-weather conditions, now’s the time to make sure you not only winterize your battery, but your vehicle too. Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers recommend that you have one of our ASE Certified technician’s inspect the following items on your vehicle for a safe winter:

  • Replace worn windshield wipers every 12 months.
  • Check all fluids.
  • Make sure the heater and defroster are in good working condition.
  • Inspect all bulbs and lights for proper operation.
  • Check condition of tires, including the spare.
  • Change oil every 3,000 miles.
  • Examine exhaust system for leaks.
  • Flush and refill cooling system with a 50/50 mixture.
  • Check drive belts, clamps and hoses.
  • Starting & charging system check.

If you live in an extremely cold region of the country, we recommend you carry emergency gear in your vehicle at all times, such as:

  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Tire Chains
  • Battery Booster Pack
  • Cell Phone
  • Blankets
  • Flares
  • Flashlight
  • High-Energy, Non-Perishable Snacks

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