Tips for keeping your car battery alive longer
A common reason drivers need to have their cars towed is that their battery has died. Your car battery isn’t likely to die while you’re driving, but it might die while your car is parked, preventing your car from starting again. If you’re far away from home or help, this could be a big problem. You may not be comfortable leaving your car in a parking lot or in an untrusted area, so your best option is to have it towed to the nearest auto-shop. But, if you follow these tips, you might save yourself some trouble and avoid having your battery fail on you when you need it most.
1. Have your battery tested
If your battery is a couple of years old and you aren’t sure if it’s going to remain charged for much longer, take it to a local mechanic to have it load tested. A load test will let you know if your car battery is falling below 12.45 volts. This is a sign that your battery is more likely to die soon, and you need to have it charged or replaced.
2. Don’t leave your vehicle parked for too long
Storing your vehicle for long periods of time can lead to your battery dying. If your vehicle isn’t regularly driven, the battery slowly begins to lose its charge and may not have enough juice to start back up again.
3. Make sure your cables are connected
You need to periodically check your car battery’s cables and terminals for problems. If your cables and terminals are loose or corroding, then you will need to have them replaced or your battery won’t operate. A mechanic should be able to do this at a fair price. The parts are inexpensive and the repair is relatively simple, so if you know someone who is car-savvy, they may be able to help install the new parts for you.
4. Keep your car battery clean of gunk
Another factor that can lead to car battery failure is gunk buildup on terminals. If your battery gets too filthy from grease and dirt, it may either block the current or cause corrosion. Fortunately, for cleaning a car battery all you should need are a few simple tools: pliers, wire scrubber, cleaning cloth, and mechanic’s grease. By using these tools, you can disengage your battery and safely clean the terminals before driving again.
Sometimes, your car battery may still die despite your best efforts. For example, extremely cold temperatures make it difficult for a car battery to function. If you find yourself stuck far from home with a car that won’t start, contact a trusted towing service to bring you to an auto-shop or your home.
- Driving Safety (21)