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All About Your Starting/Charging System


Knowledge is power when it comes to knowing your car's battery and electrical system; its heart and soul. The last thing you want is to be left stranded with a dead battery. The more you know about your battery and electrical system, the less likely you'll get stuck. At Courtesy Tire we're here to help you understand just what's going on with your vehicle's battery and electrical system.

On average, a battery will last 3-5 years, but driving habits and exposure to extreme elements can shorten the life of your car battery. At Courtesy Tire, we offer a free battery check-up with every visit to our store. This is a quick diagnostic check to see if your battery may fail to start and how much more battery life you have. One little test tells you if your battery is good to go.

Interstate Batteries Your vehicle's battery is considered the heart of its electrical system. Your battery converts chemical energy into electrical energy to make your car run. Not only does your battery provide energy to start your car, it also helps stabilize voltage to keep your engine running. When your battery is low on juice or its cables or terminals are loose, your car won't start. Unfortunately, your vehicle doesn't always give you warning signs that your battery is about to die. However, there are some ways to keep your battery running newer, longer.

  • Avoid leaving on lights and accessories when the engine is not running - this will drain your battery

  • Take fewer short trips to prevent inconsistent battery charge levels

  • Make sure your vehicle's battery terminals are kept clean and free of corrosion

  • Always have a qualified professional maintain your electrical systems

  • Have quality replacement parts installed when existing electrical system parts fail

The last thing you need is your battery to unexpectedly fail. We'll check it before that happens, so you don't get stuck. Our technicians can give your battery a free check-up the next time you bring your vehicle in for maintenance, tires or other repairs. This quick test lets you know if your battery is providing adequate power and at what temperature it could potentially fail. We'll give you a printout with one of three possible results:

  1. A "Good" result gives you the confidence that your vehicle's battery is functioning properly.

  2. A "Marginal" test result indicates that your battery is functioning properly, but its life expectancy is compromised. A close monitoring with follow-up battery health-checks is encouraged.

  3. A "Replace" test result indicates that the battery, even though it's starting your engine, fails to meet the original equipment manufacturer's recommendations.

If your battery gets a "marginal" or "replace" on its battery test, we make it easy for you to find a battery that fits your vehicle and wallet. At Courtesy Tire, we carry Interstate Batteries - a nationally recognized, high-quality battery brand - that come with a 65, 75, or 85-month warranty.


Your car's electrical system consists of the battery, starter, and alternator. The battery provides juice to the starter, the starter turns and then the alternator gives that battery the energy it needs to power your car. If one of these parts is not working properly, your car won't start or run correctly. Our expert technicians can perform an electrical system check to ensure everything is working properly. It pinpoints any problems that may occur with your electrical system. If our technicians find a problem, they'll let you know what they can do to fix it. We can curb any problem before it starts, so you won't be left stranded on the side of the road.

While the battery supplies the power to start your vehicle, the starter is really what gets the engine going. The battery supplies a small amount of power to the starter motor. The starter then rotates the flywheel, which turns the crankshaft and begins the movement of the engine's pistons. This intricate process is why it's key to make sure the starter works.

It's difficult to determine when a starter will fail exactly, but an electrical system check at Courtesy Tire can help recognize the warning signs. We check if the starter is drawing the proper amount of current. An excessive current draw will indicate a worn starter and a low current draw indicates corroded cables or connections. Too much or too little current exposes the problem. Not to worry, this is a problem our expert technicians can fix.

ALTERNATOR When your engine is running, the alternator keeps the battery charged and the electrical system going. Your car can start with a faulty alternator, but it won't be able to run for an extended period of time. If the alternator requires replacement, your vehicle's electrical system will perform erratically, its battery will discharge, and eventually your engine will lose power. A complete electrical system check from Courtesy Tire will tell you whether the alternator is generating the proper amount of current and voltage, to let you know before your alternator fails.

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