You never want to be stuck by the side of the road with a stranded vehicle. But every year, dead vehicle batteries leave millions of Americans doing just that, stuck in their driveways or looking for help from passing motorists. In honor of National Battery Day on February 18, the total car care experts at Meineke – who change more than 40,000 batteries annually – share tips and advice on identifying issues and extending the life of your vehicle’s battery.
Take a look at this infographic from the car care experts for more car battery advice and tips. Use this information to keep your battery charged and vehicle operating smoothly.
Telltale signs of a dead battery are an engine that is slow to turnover and dimming lights on the dashboard. Vehicles today provide indicators that the battery might be failing with a check engine or battery warning light on the dashboard. If a problem is suspected with the battery, a visual inspection under the hood can help confirm whether the battery is the issue. Look for signs like a swollen battery case or corrosion on the terminals. Both could be a sign that it is time for a battery replacement.
Common causes of battery failure include leaving headlights, interior lights, flashers, electronic chargers and the radio on while the vehicle isn’t running. Not starting a car for a long period of time, particularly in cold weather, is another common issue. Experts say vehicle batteries lose 33 percent of their charge when the temperature dips below freezing and more than 50 percent of the charge when the temperature falls below zero. Poor battery maintenance and the battery age can also reduce battery charging ability.
Recharging vehicle batteries is commonly referred to as “jump starting.” First, you’ll need another vehicle with a functioning battery.
1. Park both vehicles next to each other so they’re as close as possible
2. Attach the red/positive cable to the positive battery terminal on the vehicle with the dead battery; repeat on the functioning battery car
3. Attach the black/negative cable to the negative battery terminal of the functioning battery; attach the clamp on the other side of the cable to an unpainted, metal part of the car
4. Start the engine of the functioning vehicle
5. After a few minutes, start the vehicle with the dead battery
6. Let both vehicles run for a 3 – 5 minutes to ensure the dead battery is properly charged
7. Once charged, remove the cables in the reverse order of how you attached them
Regular maintenance helps extend battery life. Ask a trusted car care partner to conduct a safety check with every oil change. Battery safety inspections include checking terminals for corrosion and cleaning them if needed. If your vehicle will not be used for an extended period of time, it’s wise to invest in a battery charger so you’re prepared if and when you need a charge.
The best way to avoid overall vehicle failure is to have a professional car care partner you trust to maintain your vehicle. A trusted partner will diagnose and treat a variety of vehicle problems ranging from battery failure to more complex issues. The certified technicians at Meineke’s more than 900 total car care centers are always ready to help. Visit www.meineke.com to schedule your appointment today.
Every year, millions of American motorists are left stranded due to dead car battery. In honor of National Battery Day on February 18th Meineke shares tips and advice to help you get the most from your car’s battery. If your car has ever failed to start, you know first-hand how frustrating it can be.
But there’s good news: While dead batteries happen, and are not totally preventable, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure that your battery remains fully charged, providing power to your vehicle for as long as possible. We’ll start with five pointers: