Helpful Ideas for Keeping Your Car Battery Happy

Posted on: 22 February 2017

Practically anyone who has owned a car has likely encountered the situation of trying to turn over the ignition, only for the car to choke back at you as the engine fails to kick you into gear. A good way of avoiding battery depletion is to do a check each time you exit your vehicle. After checking the handbrake is engaged and the gearbox is in neutral, double-check that your lights and any other battery-powered devices are turned off upon leaving. Some cars allow the fan or radio to be turned on after the car's engine has been turned off; if this is the case, be sure that these have been properly turned off. Keep in mind that a radio at its lowest volume is likely still drawing power from the antenna, thus causing your car's battery to deplete despite not being of any use.

Precaution aside, accidents sometimes happen, and it's important to have a backup plan for when it does. While having a roadside-assistance policy is great for getting you out of sticky situations, you shouldn't rely on them 100% of the time. Sometimes you can be forced to wait hours to be rescued, especially on busy nights or when you are far from an urbanised area. Storing jumper cables will allow you to jump start your vehicle (or that of a stranded vehicle) whenever there is an instance of a depleted battery.

Another important thing to keep in mind when caring for vehicle batteries is that temperature can play a role in your car battery's performance. Batteries don't last forever, and insurers recommend replacing your battery once every three years. A sign that your battery is nearing the end of its lifespan is when your car struggles to turn on. However, do not immediately assume that it is due to a dying battery — cold weather and improper connections may play a role; furthermore, it is crucial that you keep the terminals clean and tight so that the wires do not become broken or disconnected. A helpful way to keep your car warm during winter is to store it in an insulated garage. This way, your car's battery will not be completely exposed to the cold.

Finally, having your battery inspected by a licenced mechanic on a regular basis will help to ensure that your battery is not damaged or corroded. Additionally, it may be a good idea to purchase a relatively inexpensive solar charger that will help extend the lifespan of your car battery.