Tolker Auto Service Car Care Center
Tolker Auto Service   Car Care Center

FAQs - Battery & Electrical

Q: How long do car batteries last?

A: Most automobile batteries are rated for five or more years of service.



Q: Aren’t all batteries the same?

A: Batteries do look alike, but differ in battery case dimensions, amperage rating, reserve capacity, and “freshness” or date of manufacture. Some batteries are designed specifically for cold or hot climates.



Q: What battery do I need for my car, truck or van?

A: Consult your owner’s manual for the battery specifications for your vehicle. The primary consideration is whether the battery will crank your engine in cold weather. For example, if you drive a large SUV you will need a heavy duty battery to start your vehicle in winter. Talk to Tolker Auto Service about a battery recommendation based on your vehicle’s specifications, use, and driving conditions. We stock Interstate batteries for your convenience.



Q: Why is it harder to start my car in winter?

A: It’s chemistry. The electrochemical process that produces battery current slows in cold temperatures. Less amperage is achieved (the rate of flow of the electrical current). Also, the motor oil in your engine thickens, making it even harder to crank the engine.



Q: What are cold cranking amps (CCA)?

A: The minimum amperage that your car battery will deliver at 0 degrees F. This rating is an important measure of the ability of a battery to start your engine in cold weather.



Q: What is reserve capacity (RC)?

A: The number of minutes your car lights and other electrical components will run on battery power alone. If you are one of customers in the Southeast, where winters are milder and cold cranking amps less important, you might want to give more consideration to this rating.



Q: If my car sits for more than a day, it needs a jump-start. Should I replace my battery?

A: Possibly. Because your car turns over and because the battery holds a charge, at least temporarily, this sounds more like a draw on the battery. Check the light switches and other electrical devices in your car. For example, a dome light can run down your battery overnight. If the problem persists, take your car to Tolker Auto Service for a free battery and electrical system test.


Q: What happened to the caps on top of the battery case? How do you test battery strength?

A: Most lead-acid auto batteries these days are sealed and maintenance free. No need to test them with a hydrometer.



Q: How do you test battery strength?

A: Our technicians use an electric meter that measures amperage and classifies your battery as “good,” “weak,” or “needs replacement.” Tolker Auto Service would be pleased to check your battery for free.



Q: How does my car battery keep its charge?

A: An electromagnetic generator, called the alternator, is connected by a serpentine belt to your vehicle’s crankshaft. As your motor runs, the alternator generates electricity and recharges your car battery.



Q: What are the parts of my car’s electrical system?

A: The battery, alternator, and voltage regulator are the three main parts of your vehicle’s electrical charging system. The battery assists in starting your engine and runs the primary and accessory electrical components in your vehicle, the alternator recharges the battery, and the voltage regulator keeps the voltage at a safe level for your car’s electrical components. Practically everything in your car runs on electricity, including the starter, on-board computer, power steering, headlights, dashboard, sound system, fans, etc. That’s why it’s important to invest in a good battery.



Q: How do I jump start my car?

A: In an emergency, it might be necessary to jump start your car. You need a decent set of jumper cables—heavy wire; no frayed or worn insulation; clean, strong clamps tightly connected to the cable ends. As you connect the cables, do not allow the ends to touch. Follow these steps: 1) Park the booster car as close as possible to the disabled car without the two vehicles touching. 2) Clamp one end of the positive cable (red) to the positive terminal (+) of the dead battery. 3) Connect the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the booster battery. You might need to clean the terminals with a wire brush to make good contact. 4) Connect the negative (black) cable to the negative terminal (-) of the booster battery. 5) Clamp the other end to an unpainted ground on the disabled car such as a bolt or bracket in the engine compartment. Do not clamp to the negative terminal of the dead battery. 6) Check your cable/terminal connections: positive to positive on both vehicles, negative to negative on the booster car, and clamp the negative cable to an unpainted ground away from the battery on the disabled vehicle. 7) Start the booster car and allow it to idle for a few minutes. Do not rev the engine. 8) Attempt to start the disabled car. 9) If the car does not start, let the booster car idle for a few more minutes and repeat. Please note: jump starting your car poses a potential (but small) risk of explosion of the hydrogen gas that can build up in lead-acid batteries, as well as potential damage to vehicle electrical components. Keep bystanders away. Stand clear of the batteries except when making connections.

Ready to Schedule Your Appointment?

Tolker Auto Service

427A E Diamond A ve

Gaithersburg, MD 20877


+1 301 869-9360+1 301 869-9360


+1 301 947-8689




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Business Hours

We are open from:


  • Monday    8am - 6pm
  • Tusday     8am-6pm
  • Wendsday 8am-6pm
  • Thursday   8am-6pm
  • Friday       8am-6pm
  • Saturday   Closed
  • Sunday      Closed




Special Offers

Inspection Special

We perform Maryland state inspection for only $83.00

Call us to schedule an appointment today.


We performe 4 wheel alignment with Hunter Alignment 

For only $89.99

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