A car battery has both positives and negatives.
When they fail, batteries can cause a bit of hassle as well, allowing you to get from A to B. But if you put in the effort to look after your car battery, it’ll return the favour and keep you going for as long as it can.
During cold weather, and when car batteries are unused for a long period of time (such as during lockdowns), batteries are at risk of draining.
As it should, a healthy battery stays out of your mind, but an unhealthy one can cause a lot of problems. A little effort now can save you time and money in the long run.
Here are our top tips for keeping your car battery alive and well.
- Check if your car battery is due to be changed.
RAC says most batteries last up to 5 years, but just like the luggage carousel at Changi Airport, it’s a case-by-case basis. Depending on the conditions and how the car has been driven, some batteries can fail after as little as two years. If your car battery has been acting up lately, or if it’s nearing its fifth birthday, it might be time to replace it. You’ll be one step ahead of the crowd if you take care of your car battery in advance of winter.
- Take your car for longer drives to charge the battery.
In addition to being bad for the environment, short trips can be very stressful on car batteries. Since the car isn’t running for long, the battery doesn’t have enough time to recharge. If you find that you’re doing a lot of short trips, your battery might be undercharged. Take the car for a decent spin (at least 30 minutes) every so often to give the battery a chance to recharge fully and balance out the shorter journeys.
- If you’re not driving, let your car run for 15 mins once a week.
Keep your battery healthy by starting your car once a week and letting it run for 15 minutes in a well-ventilated area. Never leave your car engine running in an enclosed space such as a garage, as this can lead to a deadly buildup of carbon monoxide. Don’t leave your car running unattended while the engine is running – opportunists are everywhere, and a fully charged battery is no use if the car is stolen.