With costs of service and maintenance of vehicles on the rise due to ridiculous markups from various service providers, you need to watch every penny by looking after the basics which can cost you money.
Here are a few tips which will help you save the life of your battery.
Lead-Acid Battery charging:
When you notice the battery low on power, what to do first? You might not need a replacement just yet. These recommended charging procedures can help you keep your battery operating at full power.
Before charging your battery, refer to your owner’s manual and your battery charger manual for instructions. Review the safety instructions that came with your charger and battery. Remember that batteries contain sulfuric acid that can cause severe burns, and hydrogen oxygen gases that can be explosive.
Observe the following guidelines when charging:
- Make sure the battery terminals are clean and free from corrosion.
- Do not attempt to charge a dried-out battery. If needed, add distilled (or drinking) water to just above the battery plates. Do not overfill.
- Refer to any written instructions provided by the battery and charger manufacturers.
- Identify the positive and negative terminals of the battery and attach the correct charger leads.
- If charging a battery connected to a vehicle be sure that the vehicle’s electrical system has protection against overvoltage or be sure that the charger will not have high-charging voltages that may damage the vehicle’s electrical system.
The most important consideration when storing any battery is to make sure the voltage never drops below 12.4 volts.
Following these simple tips on battery maintenance can help extend the life of your battery.
If you are storing the battery for an extended period of time, one of the best ways to prevent damage is to make sure the voltage never drops below 12.4 volts.
We recommend using a type of “battery maintainer” – a device that will monitor your battery and keep it at full potential during storage. There are two types of maintenance chargers:
- Traditional “float” chargers, which provide constant voltage with tapering amperage to the battery even when it is fully charged. The typical floating charging voltage ranges from 13.0 to 13.8 volts.
- Fully automatic multi stage or multi step chargers, which monitor the battery and charge it as necessary. Multistage maintainers will charge at varying voltages and varying amperage. Some of these multistep chargers are also capable of working well as a battery charger.
If it is not possible to use a maintenance charger, disconnect the battery from the vehicle during storage to prevent the vehicle from discharging the battery. Always provide a full charge with a battery charger prior to storage, then check the battery voltage every three to six months and charge if it falls below 12.4 volts.
Also, when possible, store your battery in a cool, dry location.
Other maintenance tips
- Check your battery every now and then to make sure its terminal connections are clean, snug and protected from the elements. Signs of corrosion or leakage could mean that your battery is no longer operating as well as it should.
- Always unplug accessories and turn off lights when your car is turned off .
- Keep the battery in cooler places whenever possible. Heat damages batteries.
- Scrub corrosion from the terminals with a solution of water and baking soda.
- Tips to prolong the life of your car battery
There are a number of things you can do to care for your car battery and prolong its performance, saving yourself time and money. The tips below will reduce your risk of experiencing a flat battery and maximise the potential life of your battery.
Drive your vehicle regularly
Leaving your vehicle stationary for an extended period affects your battery’s charge. To maintain the required level of charge in your battery make sure you regularly drive your vehicle.
Have your engine serviced regularly
Poor engine condition can overload the battery and reduce its life
Check the battery charging rate
Have the charging rate checked at every major service. Both under and overcharging will reduce car battery life and void the warranty.
Avoid leaving vehicle accessories on regularly as this will discharge the battery which will then require a recharge.
Constant recharging may shorten the life of your battery.
Keep the car battery case clean Dirt and dampness can damage your battery case and may cause your battery to lose charge. Ensure the case and terminals are checked and cleaned during every major service.
Secure your car battery
Check that your battery is secure at all times, as vibrations can damage the battery plates. Inspect battery terminals regularly; loose connections can cause breakdowns.
Avoid jump-starting your battery
Don’t attempt a jump-start as it can damage the electronics in many modern cars. If you have a flat battery, contact the dealership or a service provider to come through and assist.