Monday, January 20, 2014

Batteries Are Tougher to Forecast Than the Weather

Batteries can be deceiving. Short of having them professionally evaluated, there are very few ways to tell if a battery is on the verge of failure. Here are some tips to stay on top of the condition of your battery and avoid roadside assistance.

Know your battery- It is important to record when your battery was replaced. Since all batteries are rated by their projected life expectancy and their warranty is tied to that projection, it makes sense to know how old your battery is and what kind of guarantee you have.

Keep it corrosion free - The accumulation of corrosion on a battery terminal can cause a failure to start that might be misdiagnosed as a battery problem. Have the battery checked for corrosion each time you get an oil change and keep the battery clean.

Take the load off - It is a good idea to turn off your car's accessories prior to shutting the car's motor off. This would include the wipers, radio, air conditioning and of course the lights. This way the battery's power can be applied solely to starting the vehicle on your next trip. Also, make sure that your cell phone is not charging while the engine is off.

Replacement should be OEM quality-  When replacing your battery confirm that the replacement is the equal of the original battery in terms of cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The Original Equipment Manufacturer's recommendation reflects the electrical demand needed to operate the vehicle optimally and should be followed when replacing the battery.


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