7 dos and don’ts of extending the life of your car battery in summer

A flat battery in the middle of a highway is one of the worst fears for most drivers. Heat tends to reduce battery life and this explains why batteries last for a shorter period of time in hotter climates. Extreme heat accelerates chemical activity and evaporates battery fluids hence causing damage on the battery. With the following tips you can defy the scorching summer of UAE and extend your battery life.

 

Clean your battery

Although we clean our cars regularly we rarely think about cleaning our vehicle batteries. Yet dirt and corrosion on the battery tend to discharge the battery hence creating a short circuit and inevitably reducing its shelf life. You can clean your battery by brushing off the grime and corrosion around the terminals using an old toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water. Once you are done you can rinse off this mixture using cold water in a spray bottle and dry off the battery with a clean cloth.

 

Minimize short trips

Every time you start your vehicle, your battery starts working and discharges power in the process. However, as the journey progresses, the battery is recharged by the engine. This recharge process is impossible during short trips and the battery cannot regain lost power over a short distance drive. The voltage of your battery is steadily decreased by regular short trips thus cutting short its life. This can be avoided by driving your car for longer periods and using a battery charger to help you recharge the battery after short trips.

 

Fasten your battery securely

Failure to fasten your battery securely usually results in constant movement and vibration of the battery. This damages the internal components of the battery and creates a short circuit and malfunction of the battey. If you want to avoid this and lengthen your battery life, you must secure your battery properly. This should be done using an approved battery clamp to ensure that the battery is held down at all times. When fastening your battery, tighten the nuts until you reach the first point of resistance, after which you should continue for half a turn and stop. Even though fastening your battery securely is important, overtightening can cause damage to your battery.

 

Have your battery checked regularly

Every month you must have your car battery checked to ascertain that it is fully charged. Such check ups should be more frequent during the hotter months as this is when batteries tend to discharge faster. Ideally, a lead-acid battery is considered fully charged and best functional if it has 12.7 volts or more. You will need to charge your battery if it falls to 12.5 volts. It is recommended that you buy a car battery tester to help you keep track of its voltage.

 

Avoid leaving the car unused for long periods of time

Most cars that are left unused for more than a week are likely to have battery issues. This is because of the low amounts of charge in the battery. Lead-acid batteries are known to naturally discharge by themselves with time. The higher the temperatures, the faster these batteries lose charge, meaning that cars in hotter areas tend to discharge faster. To prevent drainage and damage, you can either connect your battery to a trickle charger or detach it and store it well if you do not intend to use the car for more than a week.

 

Avoid exposing your car to direct heat

Heat tends tp increase the evaporation of battery fluids and this decreases their functionality in the long run. Ideally batteries exposed to more than 80 degrees F are susceptible to damage. Extreme heat accelerates internal corrosion and reduces the life expectancy of the battery. It is therefore advisable that you park your car in a closed garage or under a shade. You should also invest in a good cover for your car to protect it from extreme heat. Where possible, consider insulating your battery from heat that is produced by the engine.

 

Avoid using your car power and electronics when the engine is off

If left on while the engine is turned off, headlights, car door lights and interior lights can drain your battery and put a heavy toll on it. The same goes for electronics such as the radio, air conditioning system and charging system. All these energy consumers are heavy battery drainers and must not be used unless the car engine is on. In addition, you should avoid leaving your engine idle for long periods of time as this tends to wear down the battery.

Even with all these tips, you need to have the number of a mechanic and tow truck for emergency cases. If you intend to sell your car, you can always visit wecashanycar.com for hassle-free services and cash offers.

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