The heart of a vehicle is its battery and just like in the human body, it is crucial to keep the heart healthy and in good working order. For drivers this means keeping up regular maintenance of the power source to ensure you don’t suffer the ignominy of standing beside the road waiting for rescue.
Over time a battery’s power output can drop, particularly in colder winter conditions. This period also coincides with a drop off of the battery’s ability to accept charge, so it will not recharge as quickly as expected.
This is exacerbated by the fact lights, blowers, wipers, and windscreen heaters are used more often in this period.
Even though many of these issues cannot be avoided, it is possible for motorists to change their driving habits to help extend the life of the battery.
One surefire way to limit the life of your battery is to use your vehicle only for short infrequent journeys. Letting the car stand for days at a time without being used or taking short journeys can damage the charging capabilities.
Taking long journeys every now and then will enable the battery to recover a little and fully recharge, meaning it won’t let you down on those cold mornings.
Drivers should also try to give the battery a bit of a break when possible. This means making sure all lights, air conditioning and other electronics are turned off when a journey is over. Leaving things on in the vehicle will gradually drain the battery of its power and give you a nasty surprise when you next get in the car.
It is also important to make sure everything is in its off setting when turning the ignition on a morning, particularly when it’s cold. Increased load when a battery is being utilised and not dipping the clutch can impact the effectiveness of the battery.
Doing all this will help you prolong the life of your battery, but once it begins to reach the end of its natural lifecycle, which is around every five years, it is important to get it checked and serviced by a trained professional.
At ATS Euromaster’s 340 centres nationwide, technicians can take a look at your battery and give you a quick diagnosis, providing advice on battery care and whether or not it is time for a replacement.
Keeping a battery clear is another way of prolonging its battery life. Removing any debris and excess grease is important as this can improve the performance of a battery.
Scraping away any build-up or corrosion that can develop on the terminals during prolonged periods of hot weather will ensure the battery continues to work at its optimum levels. The build-up can prevent the current from flowing correctly from the battery, so you may find that certain elements of the vehicle do not work correctly.
Keeping a battery warm and dry can also increase the working life of the power source. Some cars have enough room under the bonnet for an insulation cover for the battery and if this is the case, you should consider adding one.