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How to Tell Positive and Negative On a Car Battery?

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If you are a new car owner learning what is under the hood of your car can be a daunting task. Learning about the battery and the engine of your vehicle is scary! However, there are a few things that are important to learn that every car owner should know.

What is a car battery

You may know the engine is the power horse of a car, but what on earth does the battery do? Well, it does, in fact, serve a vital purpose, it helps turn on and off the starter, the starter then starts the engine. This is one of the critical elements to turning on and off the engine, which makes your car move and go. It is essential to take care of your battery.

How to tell where the positive and negative is

On any given car, you may or may not have to find out where the positive and negative are located on your battery. Some car batteries are different than others, but most will be very straightforward. When you open the hood and find the battery, on the top left corner will be the minus sign, and on the top right will be the plus sign. The minus sign represents negative, and the plus sign represents positive.

How to jump a car

When your car dies, the most important thing to do is to stay calm. Most of the time, if your car won’t start it, is because you left your lights on, and it drained your battery. To jumpstart your vehicle, you will need a pair of jumper cables, you can easily buy these at an auto shop or store.

On the jumper cables, there will be two separate ends attached by one thick wire, and the other end will also have two ends. On both ends, the sets will have one black one and one red one. The black cable is the negative charge and should be clamped on to the negative side of the battery. The red cable is the positive charge and should be clamped to the opposite side, where the positive of the battery.

Once you have placed the clamps on the battery, you will want to repeat the process on the other car. In order to restart your battery, both cars will have to be plugged while in neutral. Once everything is set, someone will start the working car, and then someone will try to start the non-working car. Usually, this jumpstart works, however, if it does not, you will have to get your car towed.

Does a battery affect performance

Indirectly a car battery can affect the performance of a car. If a battery is weak or dead, your car may not start, that is one way it affects performance. The main function of the battery is to start the car. It doesn’t necessarily impact the engine, however, it could affect more than just the turning on and off of the engine.

What the battery could affect:

  • Gas guzzler– This may not be considered a performance issue; however, it is annoying to be losing even an ounce of gas. A weak battery could cause you to severely lose gas. The battery controls the alternator belt. When it is being overworked, there is a spike in gas consumption.
  • The alternator has no life span– As your battery weakens, it becomes less dependent. Usually, a battery turns on the alternator, and it takes over. When the battery becomes weak, the alternator has to compensate for the lack of power from the battery.
  • Overheating internal pieces– When the battery drops below a certain level, the car starts to compensate for the lack of power, this could lead to overheating. The overheating can ruin vital pieces in your car.
  • Car accessories die– When the battery is weak, all of the battery-powered accessories will perish with the battery. This means the lights on the outside and inside of the car. Any of the seats that are not manually moveable. Any of the car’s heaters, and also the windows that are powered.
  • Cylinders are lacking energy– When your car sputters during the start of the car, it is because the cylinders do not get enough fuel. It means something in the battery is not recharging properly.

Though these reasons are not everything a battery could affect, it is a few, and if not properly taken care of could cause a lot more damage. When the insides of your car start failing, it will cost you more money than replacing the battery, to begin with.

Why does a battery go bad

  • It’s old- Age is a huge factor in how a battery performs in a car. Luckily, you can go to most auto shops and buy the exact battery your car needs to run. In fact, you can give the auto shop your old battery in exchange.
  • Stratification– When a battery cannot be maintained, the acid settles at the bottom of the battery instead of the top of the battery.
  • Little water– Overheating can cause a battery to lose the water it needs to run.

A battery in your car is able to convert the chemical energy into electrical energy for your car to run smoothly. It is a fantastic tool inside of your car that helps it run. It is what stabilizes the power in your car, and is absolutely a necessity in cars. Some older cars may not need a battery, sometimes an alternator provides enough energy to run and maintain all of the functions. However, most cars do need a battery to run well.

Final thoughts

Car batteries may not be the engine, but still, play a vital role in how your car functions. Though it doesn’t directly impact the performance of your car, it does indirectly. It pays to maintain the battery of your car, and replace it if it does not charge properly. Each car is different, but most batteries will come with instructions, and most car manuals will tell you how your unique battery works.

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