This just happened to me and it’s going to happen to you too. You are going out to eat, and when you get in your car, it struggles just a bit to start; not much, but you decide to continue to your destination anyway. You park, lock the doors, go inside and have a great meal.
Well, unfortunately what you didn’t know was that the locking of our car doors was pretty much the end of the last bit of juice you had left in your old battery. (If this is a new battery, you may have an entirely different problem). You know you used up the last of the juice because now your car simply make a click, or a series of clicking sounds without ever turning over.
So what causes your aging battery to age even quicker?
- Avoid Short Trips- If you rarely drive more than 20 minutes at a stretch, you aren’t giving your alternator enough time to fully charge the battery. Drive a minimum of 30 min once a week to avoid chronic undercharging which causes a buildup of sulfate deposits on the internal plates. This will eventually impede the battery’s ability to hold a charge
- Unplug The Gadgets- Whether it’s a laptop a passenger is using, a DVD player in the back seat, or the simple charging of a phone. Actualy forgetting to unplug devices like these overnight without having the ignition engaged, might draw enough power to leave you with a dead battery in the morning.
- Watch For Warning Signs-An illuminated alternator or battery waring light is a good sign. If you have a volt meter it should read between 13.5 and 14.5 volts with the engine running and all accessories turned off. If you don’t have warning lights or a volt meter, you probably have an ammeter. In this case while driving, your indicator needle should return to the center of the gauge. If it stay high on the (+) side, that means you battery isn’t holding a charge. If it is on the (-) side, you are having an alternator issue most likely.
- Watch For Excessive Vibration-Vibration can literally shake your battery to death. The coatings on actually shake loose from the plates on the battery’s interior. This usually happens when the battery isn’t properly anchored.
- Over charging and Chronic Undercharging will also do a number on your battery. Over charging actually lessens the life of your battery. Undercharging often results in a battery that is unable to hold it’s charge.
If you think you need a battery change, checkup or charge. You know that Freeman Grapevine is always here to take care of any of your service needs.