Most drivers seem to neglect basic car maintenance. Even those who do give their cars regular checks and tweaks often miss out some aspects of car maintenance. It’s precisely this that ends up you getting into your car one morning and discovering that it won’t start.
Perhaps one of the most frustrating (as well as one of the most common) causes of this problem is an issue with your car battery. This is one thing that many people seem to neglect even when they dedicate themselves to frequent maintenance. A lot of people seem to think that the battery will be absolutely fine as long as you don’t leave a light on overnight; that the battery will just lose juice one day and that there’s not much you do about it.
The fact is that there are several things you can do to prolong the life of your battery. We’re going to take a look at some essential maintenance tips that you must keep in mind if you want to keep that juice running!
Keep it clean
Car batteries get dirtier than you’d think. Sure, we know that the innards of a car will get dirty, but batteries tend to see more buildup of grime, grease, and even oxidation than you might imagine. It’s essential that you keep this clean if you want it to run as efficiently as possible. Consider taking a brush to it every three months. Use baking soda and warm water on particularly corrosive buildups!
Don’t let it be inactive for too long
If the battery dies, then it’s best to get it running again as soon as possible. Inactive batteries that remain in your car can cause problems in other areas of your vehicle, and may even result in permanent damage to the battery itself. This is why jump starting asap when your battery dies on the road is crucial. If you’re considering buying a portable jump starter, Tool Nerds compared the Schumacher jump starter models that many drivers are investing in. You should also make sure you drive for maybe 10-20 minutes twice a week to help keep it charged.
Avoid extreme weather
A lot of heat can be a problem for many parts of your vehicle, but the cold will definitely have more of an impact. Most of us will have suffered a dead battery on a winter morning at some point! During winter, you need to ensure that your battery doesn’t essentially freeze to death. If you have a garage, use it. Otherwise, consider getting a block heater, which helps keep your engine and batteries warm.
Not using your car for a while? Disconnect it
If you’re not going to be driving your car for a couple of weeks or longer, then it may be best to disconnect the battery completely. There are loads of passive electrical items in your car, such as the clock, then are always taking up little amounts of energy. You could try to make time to go for a brief drive a couple of times a week, but if you won’t be able to do this, then a battery disconnect may be the best option.