From “change your oil every 3,000 miles” to “rotate your tires regularly,” you’ve likely heard a lot of sound advice regarding how to maximize your vehicle’s performance over the years. However, despite everyone’s best intentions, one piece of advice that often goes unspoken is “start your car regularly.”
Letting your vehicle sit for too long without taking it for a drive or, at the very least, starting it, can result in several issues. One of the components that is most susceptible to inactivity-inducted problems is the car battery. Today’s high-tech vehicles contain multiple computers that constantly monitor a car’s various systems. These computers are always on and, therefore, continually pulling energy from the car’s battery. When in use, the alternator charges the battery. However, if a car sits for too long, the battery never gets an opportunity to recharge and, after just a couple of weeks, it can die.
How To Maintain Car Batteries
The good news is that maintaining a vehicle battery doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part. Below are a few tips to keep your battery in good working condition, despite how often you drive your car:
- Minimize heat exposure, as heat damages car batteries
- Keep your battery clean of dirt and grime
- Make sure your battery is securely fastened
- Remember to turn off the lights after you shut off your engine
In addition to doing the above, make sure to keep your car battery fully charged at all times. There are a few ways you can do this.
Tips To Save Your Car Battery When It’s Not In Use
Whether because of weather, life circumstances or a mixture of both, you may go weeks or months without needing to drive anywhere. During these periods, there are a few things you can do to keep your vehicle battery alive until it’s time to hit the road.
Start Your Car Weekly
The easiest way to keep your car battery from dying is to start your vehicle at least once a week. Let it run for five to 10 minutes at a time to allow it to sufficiently charge. Just be careful if your car is parked in a garage. If this is the case, open the garage doors before starting your vehicle to ensure the proper ventilation of exhaust fumes.
Take Your Vehicle For A Drive
Starting your car weekly is the easiest way to keep your battery from dying, but the best way to achieve the same goal is to take your car for short drives. Driving your vehicle around the block a few times each week can give your battery the boost it needs to stay alive and functioning until you really need your vehicle.
Use A Battery Tender
If you don’t use your car regularly, and if, for whatever reason, you cannot start it regularly and take it for regular drives, consider investing in a car battery charger. A battery charger can help your battery maintain the proper voltage even when it’s not in use.
If you’re reading this advice too late, you may find yourself in need of a new vehicle battery. If that’s the case, use the VIN number search feature to find the right battery for your vehicle’s particular make and model.