Your car battery can go ignored for days until one chilly morning when you try to start your car and it does nothing but ‘click’. Want to make sure that never happens? Here’s how you go about it.
Drive Your Vehicle Regularly. It’s common sense but sometimes people forget that driving a car regularly keeps the battery charged. Even so, people will leave their car stagnant for weeks without any action, especially during their holiday vacation. If you won’t be driving your vehicle for a while, make sure you start it at least once or twice a week and leave the engine running for 20 to 30 minutes to power the battery. Otherwise, if you’re traveling and there is nobody around to help you out, you can disconnect the battery before you leave.
Don’t Leave Car Electrical Components on Without the Engine Running. If the engine is not running, don’t leave electrical accessories like the lights or the radio turned on for a long period. Doing so will only suck the battery charge and probably leave you stranded. Another thing: don’t leave the car key in the ignition or else you will kill your battery in a few hours.
Keep the Battery Case Clean. It’s a fact, excess dirt and moisture can spoil your battery to the extent of disrupting the charge. In fact, it can even cause corrosion or acid to leak on the battery terminals. It should only take you about 30 minutes to clean the battery with water and apply grease to keep off the dirt and dampness.
Properly Secure the Battery in the Engine Bay. The car battery is a very fragile part of the engine; if you don’t secure it, the engine vibration can disorient the battery plates. Moreover, the vibrations can also damage the terminals prompting the car to stop. All that trouble can be avoided just by locking the battery in the engine bay.
Don’t Jump-Start A Flat Battery. Admittedly, most drivers break this rule. Now it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek help from a friend when your battery is dead but sometimes a flat battery can get overwhelmed with excessive current enough to spoil the electronics. If you must do it, leave your headlights on to absorb any excess electrical current. Most importantly, read the user’s manual to know how it should be done on your car.
Park Inside A Garage in Winter. Do you know that car batteries discharge faster during winter? It’s even worse when there is water that freezes when you leave your car exposed in extremely cold weather. The most effective method of protecting your car battery during winter is to park it inside an insulated garage.
Cut Down on Short Trips. Okay, you know that driving your vehicle regularly helps to charge your battery, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you take short trips. If you really want to make it worth it, go out on a long trip, especially after jump starting and resurrecting your dead battery.
Change the Battery Every 3 or 4 Years. Naturally, all car batteries dwindle with time and eventually die (just like the batteries in your TV remote control). Most car batteries should be scheduled for a replacement after 3 to 4 years of service. However, the average battery lifespan is dictated by the weather, driving habits and charge capacity.
We hope that you find this information useful. And as always … safe journeys on your trips around town. Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget.