It’s been a while since you used your car as much as you usually did, right? Well, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have saved immensely on petrol. However, sitting idle has never worked well for your car battery, has it?
Since the lockdown restrictions are relaxed, people are taking odd trips to restaurants and nearby shops occasionally. You may think that those short trips are enough to keep your battery from harm, but a lack of frequent and regular use can just as easily lead to a flat battery.
So how can you shield your car battery from going flat? And what can you do in case it does go flat? To understand that, first, let us find out why a car battery goes flat after the car has been sitting idle for a while.
Why Do Car Batteries Go Flat if not Used Often?
You may wonder why a battery would lose charge or go flat if it’s not even being exerted, to begin with. In technical terms, the alternator derives power from the running car engine, which mechanically recharges the battery. Hence, if you don’t ride your car for quite some time, then the alternator will not have an opportunity to charge the car battery.
Certainly, batteries don’t just maintain charge. They characteristically lose small amounts of charge, whether being used or not. Soaring temperatures, high-consuming pieces of equipment in your vehicle, and using older batteries usually make the battery more vulnerable to lack of usage.
If you think that removing the car battery and putting it on the garage shelf might do the trick, you are wrong. In a pandemic like this, when you abandon your car for an extended period, sulphation happens. You may have seen a white layer of salt developing on the car battery; this impedes the battery’s capacity to power your car efficiently.
Cars are built to hit the road. Some parts, like car batteries, rely hugely on routine use to stay in their best shape. That means during the COVID-19 lockdown, your car will need some extra attention to be ready for any crucial journey like a trip to the supermarket or the hospital. Have a look at some of the things you can do to prevent a flat car battery.
Perform Frequent Checks
One of the simpler ways to ensure that your car battery is up and running is to kick-start the car weekly. Let the car engine be running for at least 20-30 minutes. You can even take your car out of the garage for this. Don’t leave it unattended as long as the engine’s running.
You can also turn on the lights, wipers, AC, and other features one at a time to check if the battery is powering the car properly.
Unplug Any Unnecessary Accessory
Whilst you are still working from home and not regularly using your car, it will be best to unplug the additional features of your vehicle that may cause your battery to drain faster than usual. Check on the accidentally switched on headlights or interior lights, power-exhaustive stereos, dash cameras, Bluetooth connectivity, and many advanced types of equipment in your car and unplug them.
Try to Take Your Car out for a Spin
This is maybe the most obvious solution since if you were driving as often as you used to, usually, your car battery might not have been exposed to the dangers of getting flat. Although, without making any lockdown violations, you can make sure to take your car out for trips if it is safe. A personal vehicle is anyway safer than a public cab during the coronavirus pandemic.
Avoid short trips and make sure that you at least drive your vehicle for 25-30 minutes. This should be sufficient to charge your battery.
Disconnect it from the Car
Disconnecting the car battery might not be the smartest decision, but it will at least save the drainage being caused by in-automobile equipment. It will also take a longer time for the battery to lose charge when not connected to the car
After removing it, make sure that it is covered, not touching the ground, and its positive and negative cables are away from each other.
Cleanse it Regularly
Corrosion around the car battery terminals or development of a white powdery substance can also escalate battery drainage. Examine your battery and if it looks dirty or corroded to you, get ready to clean it. You can use a dry cloth to remove the dust, grease, grime, and dirt from around the terminals.
Insulate the Car battery
Extreme temperatures are also a significant factor in why batteries sitting idle lose their power so fast. Hot and dry climates across the world can lead to accelerated corrosion, leading to reduced battery life. Use insulation wraps to cover your battery and diminish the impact of scorching temperatures.
And inching towards winter, car batteries will have a hard time providing sufficient power to the car. You can use battery warmers, insulators, or thermal wraps to shield your battery on chilly winter days.
Car batteries, due to lack of use, can become drained and incompetent. If you don’t want to encounter a flat car battery on the day of emergency during or after the lockdown, keep in mind the tips mentioned above.
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