On a busy Monday morning, there couldn’t be anything more frustrating than a car that fails to start. Yes, startup problems in cars are often caused by failing batteries, and the problems are aggravated in months of winter when the temperature is too low.
Having understood this, you may need to keep a battery jumper at hand to start the engine or may use battery chargers to recharge the drained battery. But all of this trouble can be avoided if you are able to understand the situations wherein the battery dies, and how you could avoid them. Here are a few to consider:
Battery Has Lost Electrolytes
Yes, this happens during summer when the heat is very high. This usually causes the electrolyte to evaporate faster and you may be left with a battery that is dry or low on electrolytes. At such times, the battery will not provide the required power to start, and persistent usage of the battery on low electrolytes will surely call for car battery replacement.
Tip: Check the electrolyte level regularly.
Does it occur to you that frequent startups of engines often dim the lights? Yes, this happens because, with every startup, the motor draws power, leaving the battery drained. So, in traffic or during short trips, the problem of frequent start-ups does affect the life and performance of the battery, causing it to drain faster. This is because the alternator doesn’t get sufficient time to recharge the battery.
Tip: Avoid frequent start-ups, keep the engine running in traffic if it is for a short while or moving.
Multiple Electrical Equipment
LED Lights, car amplifiers, DVD players, Navigation systems, and chargers all love to eat the charge from the battery. Every time you plug any of these devices or switch them on, the car battery begins to drain. Persistent use of these devices when the engine is not running will surely cause the battery to lose power.
Tip: Use devices when the car is on, and keep its use to a minimum when the engine is off.
Battery is Dirty
With time, grease, dirt, and grime often get accumulated around the electrodes. These often act as insulators and trap the heat around the battery. Furthermore, the accumulation of grime may corrode the material, causing the battery to wear off further.
Tip: Wipe the grime and grease with paper towels regularly, and keep the electrodes clean.
Servicing and Replacement
Every car battery has a given shelf life of 3 to 5 years; after which it stops functioning properly. This means you need to keep in mind the fact that battery troubles will arise irrespective of taking all the care. But that shouldn’t force you to give up on the battery maintenance and care schedule. Low-maintenance batteries need electrolyte top-up and periodic charging to function properly. Failure to do so will only reduce the shelf-life of the battery, calling for early battery replacement.
Tip: Service the battery regularly, and look for a replacement when the time is right.
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