It’s Monday. It’s raining. You have exactly enough time to make it to work (or school) on time. You grab your keys and jump in the car. Click. Click. Click. NO!!!!
Almost everyone has experienced a scenario just like this. The culprit, your battery. Why is it that when a battery decides to give up, it’s always at that moment when you really need it to do it’s job? There are a few things that we can do to help to avoid, or at least limit, the possibility of this exact situation.
Whether you drive an electric car, a hybrid car, or a fuel driven car, they all need a battery. All the desired accessories are dependent on power. Your clock, radio, seat settings, and the alarm all need power from the battery to keep from losing their memory. We can agree that those are all important. On the other hand, the power needed for the ignition to start your car is the most important. Now you must be thinking, what can I do to keep my battery from leaving me stranded? Without getting too technical, I will provide information that may be helpful. First, simply open the hood and visually look at the battery. If you see an excess amount of white powder around the battery clamps, you need a battery service. If you feel confident enough to clean the terminals on your own, here are a couple safety precautions. Remember to wear protective gear, especially eye protection. Battery acid can splash up and burn your eyes. For those of you that want nothing to do with your battery, make an appointment with your Certified Automotive Technician.
When scheduling your appointment, keep in mind that not all batteries are serviceable. Most batteries are made up of cells. Those cells hold electrolytes. If the cells electrolyte levels are uneven, too low, or too high, the battery will not operate properly. Some batteries are sealed so you won’t need to re-fill the cells. There are a few things that you can do that are convenient and simple. Don’t let the number on your dash scare you. Mileage!! It is inevitable and your vehicle loves the attention. Avoid short trips. Driving your car will help to regenerate the power to your battery and prolong its’ life. Try not to use your power accessories, the radio, or the wonderful seat heater when your ignition is off. When you have your bi-annual services performed, have them check to make sure that your battery is secure. Once per year, ask your favorite technician to test the charging system. Not only does this verify the health of your battery, but it also gives you an update on your alternator and starter.
Don’t forget, weather can wreak havoc on your battery. Your battery life can be affected by both hot and cold weather. That is already pre-determined because, as we already concluded, the unexpected happens at the wrong time. Regardless of the type of battery that is required for you vehicle, taking a few simple steps will help you avoid that… click, click, click. DANG FLABBIT!