Maintaining Your Battery Health

Modern cars are relying more and more on their electronic systems and onboard computers. Maintaining your battery health is key to ensuring your vehicle is running properly and will start up when you need it. With people driving less, travelling shorter distances and fluctuating temperatures batteries are dying more than usual across Queensland these last few weeks. So what can you do to keep up your car battery health?

Winter Weather

It’s no secret that car batteries don’t enjoy the cold. Typical lead-acid batteries produce energy through electrochemical reactions. Heat speed up these reactions and the cold slows them down. A cold battery isn’t producing as much current which is why even a healthy battery can feel unresponsive or slow in winter. Your battery’s ability to provide enough power to the engine is lower in colder weather and its ability to resist low temperatures also reduces at low charge.

As we transition from winter to spring the fluctuating daily temperature and weather conditions are putting extra strain on your battery. Keeping your car in a garage will help reduce temperature changes and help maintain your battery. Even storing vehicles in a shed or under a carport will help compared with leaving them outside. Check your battery and pay attention to its performance. Ensure your battery terminals are clean, the connections are tight and the wires are undamaged. This will help make sure all the energy from your battery is making it to the engine. If your car continually feels sluggish or unresponsive it’s time for a professional battery health check before the battery dies completely.

Driving Less

Cars are meant to be driven and leaving them idle for long periods can cause all manner of problems when you next go to drive. Your car battery is no exception. Modern vehicles have a huge range of electronics on board and many of them never really turn off. Car alarms, immobilisers, dash cameras and parts of onboard computers are still running, drawing tiny amounts of power from your battery all the time. When you are regularly commuting to work, driving to the shops and other day-to-day activities your battery has time to recharge regularly, and you tend to notice small issues sooner.

You may have seen tips online suggesting that disconnecting the battery can increase its life if you’re not driving. While this may have been okay in older vehicles it is a very bad idea now. Because of the heavy reliance on electrical components and computer systems disconnecting the battery for a lengthy period of time can cause serious issues. Depending on the age of your battery, this can be avoided by making time to regularly drive your car, or by using a trickle charger.

If you have multiple cars in your household it is good to rotate between vehicles for each trip. This allows each car to recharge its battery. It also gives you the opportunity to notice and resolve small problems sooner, rather than only knowing something is wrong when your car fails to start.

Shorter Trips

Yet another thing that can impact your car battery health is shorter trips. Your battery uses a lot of energy in just a few seconds when you first startup and slowly recharges over time while the engine runs. If the engine isn’t running for long enough between each startup the battery might not be getting enough charge to replenish what it needs to start the engine.

This is why it is not recommended to run your car for a few minutes every day for battery health as it actually drains your battery faster. Generally driving for a minimum of 15 minutes is recommended to cover the energy used to start the engine and start charging the battery further. But the age of the battery and how quickly your engine charges will impact how long your engine needs to be running to increase the charge. Trickle charges can also be helpful to keep your battery topped up without needing to run the engine for long periods.

battery health
battery health

Get A Battery Health Check

It is never a bad time to get an Auto Electrical Health Check. Sudden changes in the amount you’re driving can put a strain on your battery and other systems. Even if your car is still starting, sluggish engine turnover, stalling, warning lights, anti-theft faults and settings and other memory losses from onboard computers can all point to battery problems.

So whether you have a fault or it’s just time for some maintenance Bashi’s Auto Electrics offer diagnostics and repairs, battery health checks and complete auto electrical health checks to keep your vehicles on the road. With a fleet of mobile service vehicles and our workshop, we are here to service customers across the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane North. Make a booking today online or over the phone.