Car battery maintenance advice
BPZ understands that these are challenging times for all of us with the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the world. It is highly recommended to stay home and practice social distancing to control the spread.
Given the circumstances, it is highly possible that we may not use our cars for a long duration. In such a scenario, BPZ would like to offer some valuable advice that will help to keep your car battery in good condition.
Let's take a look at what you can do at home to keep your battery alive.
The modern car is filled with electrical components such as alarms, trackers, SATNAV etc. This means that the battery can drain completely after a short period of inactivity. In the past, the problem of lead batteries surfaced after a month's inactivity. In newer cars with complex electronic systems, this time has reduced to a couple of weeks. Negligence of the battery during times of inactivity leads to the need to *jumpstart the car. This can be risky as jumpstarting may damage some of the more sensitive electronic components. To avoid this scenario, BPZ suggests that you play a proactive role when it comes to battery care. It is advisable that the vehicles battery be charged every two weeks utilizing an “intelligent” charger such as CTEK. CTEK battery chargers offer a RECOND mode for wet acid batteries which can restore a battery to a healthy condition. CTEK has the advantage that they may be left connected to the battery permanently. The battery does not need to be removed or disconnected from the vehicle. If one is going to leave a battery charger permanently connected to the battery, ensure that the charger has a “float” mode and does not exceed 13.6 – 13.8 Volts once the charge cycle is complete.
*Jumpstarting – ensure that the cables are connected firmly and safely.
A – Connect the positive (Red) clamp of the jump starter Cable to the Positive terminal of the FLAT battery and the opposite end to the positive of the CHARGED battery.
B – Negative (Black) clamp of the jump starter cable preferably to the “ground stud or terminal” found on the body of the engine compartment. If a ground stud or terminal cannot be found then attach the negative cable to the negative pole of the CHARGED battery. Then attach the opposite end of the black cable clamp to the FLAT battery.
If the vehicle will not start, leave the cables connected for a few minutes then try again.
Once the vehicle has started disconnect the cables in the “reverse” to the above.
- Negative cable off the flat battery
- Disconnect the opposite end of the negative cable from the “earth stud” or charged battery
- Disconnect the red cable from the Charged battery
- Disconnect the opposite end of the red cable from the flat battery
What should you do if your car is just standing?
If your intention is to not use the car altogether for an extended period, then disconnecting the battery from the car can be a good option (if there is no need to maintain the memory on your electronic components or the vehicles ECU (Electronic Control Unit). Most important ensure that the battery is fully charged before disconnecting.
What should you do if you are only using your car once every two weeks?
Option 1 – Connect an intelligent battery charger with a “float mode” – 13.6 – 13.8 Volts.
Option 2 – If an Intelligent battery charger is not an option, use a normal charger overnight and then disconnect the battery charger. To maintain a healthy battery and an acceptable state of charge, this should be done at least every 2 to 3 weeks.
If you have any battery concerns please note that we have a team on call and are an official essential service during the lockdown period.