How Your Car Battery Works

Your car battery may be small, but the power it provides is huge. When your battery is dead, your car is dead (until you replace the battery or give it a charge). You may know that your car battery provides the jolt of electricity required to power all of the car’s electrical components, but it actually does so much more! That little tiny box performs two essential functions:

  1. The battery gets your car going: The battery delivers voltage to the starter by converting chemical energy into electrical energy. This gives your car the power it needs to start.
  2. The battery keeps things going: The battery delivers just the right amount of energy to kick things off under the hood, but it also provides a steady stream of voltage (energy) to keep your engine running throughout your drive.

If you’re ready to dig a little deeper into how your car battery works and why it’s so awesome, read on. Your battery is closely tied to the car’s starting and charging systems. They all work in unison to convert chemical energy into mechanical energy, and then back again. How does it all tie together? Well, the starter uses mechanical energy to crank the engine. Once the engine is running, the whole system becomes somewhat cyclical. The engine’s rotation drives the alternator, forcing energy into the battery where it’s stored as chemical energy. This chemical energy is converted back into electrical energy to feed the starter and your car’s various accessories. The cycle continues as the engine’s mechanical energy drives the alternator and recharges the battery.