Car Maintenance For Girls (and boys too!) #3.1 - Battery
By rosequalify, Dec 10 2013 04:43PM
In the midst of winter, with longer hours of darkness and likely adverse weather, we should be thinking about some safety/maintenance checks on our car that maybe we’ve been putting off.
We started with lights in the last entry, other electrical areas we should consider is our car battery.
Generally speaking our battery is 12 volts. Most batteries are now sealed for life units and require little maintenance. However, they do still age and need replaced at the end of their working life.
So, how would you know you have a problem?
Your instrument lights may be duller than usual, or not on. Your lights may fade as you are driving if your car battery is not charging properly. The warning light on the dash may stay on after you start the engine. Your car might not start at all!
So, what to do if your battery is flat?
First, identify the cause. Has the car been unused for a while? Maybe you’ve been away for six weeks in the sun (!) without the car? Did you leave your lights on by mistake? If so, maybe the battery just needs a good charge. The best way to do this is get the car running. If it won’t start, find yourself a glamorous assistant with a car that is running and persuade them to give you a jump start.
If that’s not possible, you may need to use a charger to charge the battery.
If you do need to disconnect the battery, make sure you have the security codes for any blue tooth and media equipment beforehand.
After a good run or charge with the charger, all should be well. So long as you don’t mistakenly leave your lights on again!
If the lights on your dash stay on you may have a car problem other than the battery. Sorry, you need a trusty mechanic to check that out for you.
If the battery won’t charge or hold a charge, you have a persistent problem and probably need a new battery. Again, speak to the person who services your car for you, your local garage, Halfords, etc. for appropriate type and fitting.
If you do need to replace your battery, make sure you dispose of the old one correctly. Never break or burn a car battery. Take it to your local waste management plant, Council tip or garage; they have the facilities to dispose of batteries safely/legally.
Your battery is your car’s pulse. Don’t wait until you’re stranded on a cold dark night. Check its condition regularly, and deal with any problems as soon as they occur!