February 03, 2022 By Francis G. Pallarco

Battery Maintenance Tips: Have you checked your car’s battery lately?

During this pandemic, most vehicles are not used as often as before which may cause some car batteries to start having problems like losing charge. That’s why it is so important to know what can be done to extend its lifespan and prevent it from becoming totally discharged.

Automotive batteries play an essential part in every vehicle as their main function is to provide an electrical current needed by the starter motor which in turn allows the engine to run. The battery also delivers electricity to the ignition system, as it powers all the electronic systems of the car and helps regulate the required voltage. The bottom line here is that nothing lasts forever, including the battery which needs to be regularly replaced just like other components of the vehicle. However, here are a few ways how to prolong its service life and how not to end up with a completely drained-out battery.

Routine Check

Check the negative and positive battery terminals for tightness and for any signs of corrosion at least once a month. To clean, simply spray on an appropriate amount of all-purpose cleaner or liquid detergent and wipe off with a cloth or use a brush if there’s rust or corrosion build-up.

Coat It!

By using a commercially available spray lubricant, lightly coat both battery terminals to protect them from unwanted corrosion. This also helps prevent the bolts from seizing up.

Voltage Monitor

While most modern vehicles come equipped with an onboard voltmeter, other cars may not. The good news is that there are inexpensive voltmeters that plug directly onto the lighter/power ports. For 12-volt systems, it should ideally be at around 12 to 12.8 volts when the vehicle is not running. When the car is started, the battery should be at about 14 to 14.8 volts. Anything lower or higher than the aforementioned values indicate an electrical/battery problem.

Charge It

Your best move would be to invest in a high-quality automatic battery charger or so-called “Trickle Charger” to keep the battery in proper working condition at all times. This is especially most beneficial for those with several vehicles that aren’t used on a daily basis or for long periods. Some battery chargers like CTEK can also recondition the battery if needed as it prevents batteries from becoming sulfated and discharged which is a plus factor as it helps prolongs its service life.

Drive It!

If possible, nothing beats driving the car regularly to keep the battery charged. Remember, car batteries recharge when you drive. Take the car out for at least 20 minutes once a week to give your battery enough time to recharge. If you can’t go out and drive the car, simply let it idle for 20 minutes. It’s not an ideal solution, but it will help the battery stay charged.

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