As a mom, what are some of your fears? I deal with some of mine daily, being stranded on the side of the road with a puncture, or a flat battery is right up there on mine, particularly if my kids are in the car. I spend so much of my day in my car; dropping and fetching kids, getting stuck in traffic, driving to and from work – the thought of something happening to my car literally sends shivers down my spine. I’ve had two experiences this year alone with flat batteries (two different cars). Thankfully, I was at home and both times my local Battery Centre was able to come to me!
Car batteries are hardcore. They are designed for 5 years’ service and, apart from starting the vehicle, they power every electrical component, from the lights and radio to the air conditioning and mobile phone charger. That said, a car battery is generally out of sight, out of mind – until it dies without notice and leaves you stranded.
With all these freezing weather we have been having, did you know that your car’s battery is more prone to failing? When the terminals are connected, an electrical current is generated by chemical reactions in the battery. Low temperatures like this past week, slow down chemical reactions and can result in insufficient supply of electric current. One of the reasons your battery acts up in cold weather, and something I only found out recently.
There’s not much you can do about the weather, but there’s lots you can do to winter-proof your battery.
Here are 5 tips to keep it charged up all winter long.
Know where you stand
Depending on your driving habits, car batteries generally need replacing every three to five years. The battery specialists recommend getting your battery checked twice a year. Not only can you get a free battery check done at any Battery Centre, you can also get your starter and alternator checked for free. I popped into my local Fourways Centre and they did a free check and clean, in and out in under 20 minutes and I didn’t need to book before hand. Most of us only think of doing a “full check up” before a long journey, but chances are a failed battery can occur when you are closer to home.
Stay warm and keep moving
Park your car in a sheltered area such as a garage or car park. A fully charged battery minimises starting problems so go for regular drives to allow the battery to recharge itself. I recently looked after my parent’s car for a few months while they were away. My only instruction was to give the car a good run every week. It’s amazing how weeks fly by, because sure enough, just as I was about to go on a long journey with said car, I tried to start it and the battery had run flat. This was one of the examples where the kind folks at Battery Centre drove to me. Yet they didn’t just try to shove a new battery down my throat immediately, the honest technician said he should rather test it. He helped me jump it, we warmed up and car and tested it twice, before leaving.
Don’t expect magic on the first turn. If your car won’t start after 2-3 seconds, give it a short rest before trying again. Make sure there is sufficient starting power for your engine by keeping all electronics, such as your radio, lights and air conditioning off until after you have started your car.
Clean up unwanted residue
My dad taught me this handy tip on the weekend. Increased electrical resistance causes your battery to work much harder. Clean off any build up or corrosion on your battery terminals with some water. Corrosion on terminals can lead to a poor connection and battery failure. Any additional grime or corrosion on your battery can lead to a poor connection and battery failure. You can also get your battery checked and cleaned for free at your nearest Battery Centre.
A few basic checks on our car can prevent us from living out our roadside nightmares.
Engine oil tends to thicken and flow slower in winter. Enhance the overall working condition of your car with an oil change. Check your battery twice a year. Check your tyre conditions (tread) and pressure on a regular basis. Always keep a set of jumper cables close by and get your battery checked regularly. With a little bit of attention, your battery and car will go the extra mile and get you where you need to go.
Here’s the good news to warm up your bones, Together with Battery Centre, I’ll be giving away a brand new Raylite car battery, which will be provided and fitted at Battery Centre. If you aren’t in need of a battery fear not, the voucher will be valid for 12 months! The winner will receive a complimentary Raylite Battery replaced and fitted to the value of R2500.00.
- Be a subscriber to my blog.
- In the comment section, tell me what the slogan of Battery Centre is.
- Share this blog post and tell me across what platform you have shared it.
- Giveaway ends on 26 July at Midnight.