Your car's battery is inseparable from your vehicle. It powers the car upon ignition and it also powers other vital electronic services such as air conditioning, lighting, music, GPS gadgets, and other services. Battery problems are common among drivers, often causing car stalling by the road side. However, you can easily avoid such problems by steering clear of the following battery mistakes listed below.
Not checking your battery's expiry date
Many drivers forget to keep tabs on their car batteries age, even though the battery is crucial for basic vehicle operation. The most important factor you should note about your car battery is the expiry period. This is the period by which you should get a battery replacement. Keeping tabs on this date will ensure you do not get caught unawares by a failing battery. If you are caught unawares, your car may fail to start or start to lose vital functions like wipers, lights and air conditioning.
Assuming battery has to last until expiry period
Every car battery has a stipulated life period; this period may be 2 years, 3 years or more. However, like any other electric battery, the lifespan of your car battery is not cast in stone. It depends on how the battery is used and how well it's maintained. The more a battery is used, or the worse it's maintained, the faster it will wear and consequently start storing less charge. The stipulated period on your battery casing should therefore be taken as a standard guide only. The surest way to tell if you have a healthy battery is to seek a voltage check carried out at an auto center.
Assuming that a car in storage hast to retain charge
Another mistake not to make is to assume that a stored car will still retain its original charge over time. This is not true; your car battery, even when dormant, will still lose some charge. This means that if your car hasn't been used for long, the battery may need to be charged afresh, tested for viability or replaced. Note that even where the battery has not been used much over a very long time, it will still need to be replaced before the expiry date, if not sooner.
Not factoring in your car's needs when choosing a battery
Last and most importantly, do not forget to factor in your car's needs when choosing a battery. The more electronic needs your car has, the more battery power you'll need. Also, the bigger your vehicle is, the larger your battery should be. Refer to the required CCA (cold cranking amps) in your car manual to ensure your battery can power your car to start. Also, if you plan on not driving your car often or if you only plan on making short trips; get a battery with a high RC (reserve capacity) to avoid battery drainage.
Get your car battery checked regularly to avoid any of the above mentioned problems, especially when you notice any electrical or start-up problems. For more information, contact local auto services.
I've been running an auto service shop for the past 30 years. The trends in cars have changed a lot over that time, and cars are becoming a lot more complicated and automated. People can't fix many items on their own cars any more as you need a computer to diagnose most issues. People use their cars a lot more these days as we live further away from workplaces and schools so it's important for me to be able to get cars back quickly. I have had to keep learning about how the new cars run and I keep a lot of hints on this site so you can all learn the things you can do to make your cars run better.