No one ever wants to be stranded by the side of the road with a dead battery. It can be dangerous as well as inconvenient. But every year, millions of drivers wind up with dead batteries that leave them stuck – on the road or in the driveway – and reliant on external help. Liberty Auto Center has been providing fast, reliable, and affordable auto service for over 50 years, and offers these tips and advice on identifying issues and extending the life of your vehicle’s battery.
How Do I Know if the Battery is Dead?
An engine that struggles to turn over and dashboard lights that flicker or dim are dead giveaways for a dead battery. Today’s vehicles also include battery life indicators such as a check engine or battery warning light. If you suspect a problem with the battery, a visual inspection under the hood can help confirm whether the battery is the culprit. A swollen battery case or corrosion on the terminals can be signs that it’s time for battery replacement.
Why is the Battery Dead?
A common cause of battery failure is leaving the headlights on when the vehicle isn’t running. The interior lights, flashers, electronics chargers, and the radio will also drain down the battery’s charge, so keep these elements in mind when you reach your destination and turn off the vehicle. In addition, if you have a vehicle that hasn’t used for a long period of time, be sure to start it periodically. This is doubly important in the winter because your car battery produces less current when it gets cold and has to work harder to get the engine started, so keeping it fully charged is extra important in cold weather. Studies note that vehicle batteries lose 33 percent of their charge when the temperature dips below freezing, and more than 50 percent when the temperature falls below zero!
What is the Right Way to Jump Start a Battery?
Recharging a vehicle’s battery is commonly referred to as “jump starting.” Find another vehicle with a functioning battery.
- Park the two vehicles as close to each other as possible.
- Attach the red/positive cable to the positive battery terminal on the vehicle with the functioning battery; repeat on the dead battery car.
- Attach the black/negative cable to the negative battery terminal of the functioning battery; repeat on the dead battery.
- Start the engine of the functioning vehicle.
- After a few minutes, start the vehicle with the dead battery.
- Let both vehicles run for 3 to 5 minutes to ensure that the dead battery is properly charging.
- Once charged, remove the cables in the reverse order of how you attached them.
How Do I Properly Maintain a Battery?
Regular maintenance is the best way to extend battery life. Ask a trusted auto professional to conduct a battery safety inspection with every oil change. Battery inspections include checking for signs of corrosion on the battery terminals or cable ends or loose connections – these are sure signs that attention and cleaning is crucial. In addition, if your vehicle will not be used for an extended period of time it can be wise to invest in an external battery charger so that you’re prepared if and when you need a charge to get on the road.
How Can I Find a Trusted and Reliable Auto Center?
The best way to avoid a dead battery – or overall vehicle failure – is to have a trusted auto care professional routinely maintain your vehicle. You never know when a vehicle might break down, but you can help prevent serious repairs or costly damage by having an ASE trained technician at Liberty Auto Center examine any potential problems before the fact.The friendly expert technicians at Liberty Auto Center locations in Redland and Gaithersburg are always ready to help, giving you peace of mind that your vehicle is road safe and ready to go.Tags: