Have you ever experienced the crushing disappointment and frustration of putting the key into your car’s ignition, turning it and hearing nothing but the ominous silence that signifies the battery is no longer functioning? What’s more, this often happens at the worst possible time – when you’re running late for work, in a deserted parking lot or when everything else has already gone wrong that day.
Battery experts advise that a dead battery can be caused by a small issue such as a loose terminal or corrosion on the lead terminal. Sometimes it could be that your battery has outlived its cycle and needs replacing. When getting your battery checked, ensure it is done by a specialist who will run through a series of tests on the battery, starter and alternator resulting in a thorough report. A specialist will not sell you a new battery unless you really need one.
Here are 7 tips for ensuring maximum car battery life
- Check the terminals are clean and clear of corrosion.
- To avoid any unnecessary loss of power, make sure connections are tight.
- Ensure your battery is fitted correctly to avoid unnecessary vibration that can cause damage.
- If you’re storing your car for an extended period, disconnect the negative terminal to stop it from running flat.
- A short drive around the block won’t ‘recharge’ a flat battery. You need to drive a considerable distance. Rather disconnect the battery and place it on a bench charger.
- Make sure you know how to correctly jump-start your car. Incorrect jump-starting can cause major damage to the vehicle’s electrical system. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines before attempting a jump-start.
- Have your battery and vehicle electrical system checked twice a year, or before any extended journeys.
Before you decide to pop open the bonnet and attempt to fix a battery, get to a nearby battery specialist and get your battery checked at no cost.