Most car owners are not hitting the road as often as they used to prior to the ongoing pandemic. As more of us still drive less because of the work-from-home arrangements and in compliance to the government’s constant call to stay at home as much as possible, our vehicles are left sitting idle at the garage.
“Cars that are parked for longer period risks incurring a host of pricey problems.”
Aside from the tires developing flat spots and critters settling at the engine compartment, the battery stands to lose charge.”
To take proper care of your car especially its battery component, here are practical and effective tips that can logically spare you and your vehicle from potential problems.
1. Ensure that all doors are completely closed including the trunk when you park your car. When a door is left open, the dome or inside light of the car is on. This can discharge the battery if left for a long period. Some cars have a glove compartment light that turns on when opened. Ensure that this is also properly closed.
2. Leaving your headlights on and other electrical devices after shutting off the engine will discharge your battery. Do not leave your headlights, park lights, and hazard warning lights on. Check these before you turn off the engine to leave the car. Remember that these lights will remain turned on, even when you turn off the engine.
3. Dash cams with parking mode and parking surveillance options will continue to operate even if the car is not being used. Dash cam at park mode are directly powered by the car battery and will drain the battery power overtime if the car will not be used for a long period of time. If you will not be driving or using your car for a few days, you could unplug your dash cams to prevent battery discharge.
Disclaimer: This is really an option of the car owner because some will argue that unplugging the dash cam while on park mode will disable the surveillance function. One thing is sure though, dash cams will discharge the car battery overtime when the car is left unused for a long period.
4. Some say you can prevent the battery from discharging when not in use when you disconnect the battery negative cable or terminal. While this would truly help, remember that when you disconnect the negative or positive cable, the computer box will lose power and will reset. Most cars nowadays are equipped with an on-board computer box.
5. Clean your battery terminals and check if the battery clamp is loose or improperly seated. Corroded battery terminals and loose clamps will prevent fully charging of the battery by the alternator. You may already have a partially discharged battery in the first place when you park your car, so discharge will be faster when left unused.
6. On cleaning the battery terminals to get rid of corrosion, prepare a mixture of 8-oz warm water and a table spoon of baking soda in a small container. Using a soft brush, clean the battery cable and terminals.
7. When the car is not going to be used for a few days or for a long period, start the engine at least every 2 weeks. Drive it for about 5 to 10 kilometers to fully charge the battery. If this is not possible, start the engine while parked. Do not turn on any loads (lights, car stereo, or A/C ) for faster recharging. Once the engine has started, press the gas pedal up to 2000 RPM. Alternators will start charging the battery at 2000 RPM. Keeping the engine just on idle (800 to 1000 RPM) will not fully charge the battery. Maintain 2000 RPM for 5 minutes and leave the engine idle for another 10 minutes. Do this every 2 weeks.
8. Lastly, the rate of discharge of car battery due to parasitic loads (alarms, on board computer box, radio/ stereo memories) depends on the age of the battery. Normal parasitic load can discharge an old battery faster than a new one. If you think your battery is already old, maybe it’s time to replace.
Very important: If motorists have a battery problem, it is best for them to use the Motolite Res-Q App so their dead batteries, or even just discharged batteries, can be attended to for free (exclusive to Motolite users).
Warranty claims for Motolite batteries can also be responded to by Motolite.
The Res-Q app can even be used for assistance in cases of flat tires, overheating, and emergency gasoline replenishment.