These Are the Most Common Errors That Drain the Battery Before Its Time
One of the main breakdowns in the car during the winter is caused by the 12-volt battery . This is because low temperatures affect its performance with the addition of making it difficult for the motor to rotate, which increases the load and stress on it. But driver error can also destroy a perfectly good battery, whether it's in winter or more summer temperatures. That is why we want to comment on the most common mistakes that you should avoid in order to preserve the car battery more .
Cold weather is a problem not only for humans, but also for all those vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel . The oil in the engine and transmission gets thicker, making it harder for the engine to get off the ground . Unfortunately, it is also affected by the cold and its performance decreases, making it even more difficult to turn it. This combination often results in the engine not starting and the battery dying when you need it most. If you don't want surprises in the energy supply, pay attention.
Repeatedly driving short distances
Short trips , very repeatedly, damage the vehicle, but the battery is the most affected. After working hard to spin the propeller (again, especially in winter), it needs time to recharge, but many people only drive for a short time, not long enough to recharge it . In winter, the driver also turns on the heater and defroster, which makes the drainage even worse. No wonder that heavy, dark brick goes ballistic after receiving such uncaring treatment.
Forgetting to unplug everything that needs electricity
The most classic mistake is to leave the lights on overnight: you will surely come back the next morning to find that the car is completely dead. Most modern cars turn off their lights automatically, but most also keep the power supply in the 12-volt sockets, so "external consumers" can drain the battery. Pay attention to the multimedia equipment, the climate control system and the on-board lights, since if they have not been turned off correctly they can drain energy.
Not paying attention to the health of the terminals
Dirt allows leakage currents to flow between the positive and negative terminals, gradually discharging the battery, something that also includes corrosion . The connectors must always be kept clean. Otherwise, there is a risk of shock. Check the terminals regularly and clean them if necessary, as we have already been able to deal with in another dedicated article .
Not monitoring the battery when the car is parked for a long time
This store of electrical energy is discharged even when all electronic components are switched off. This is why you might want to employ a trickle charger when you intend to keep your car sitting idle for long periods of time. A battery that has lost its charge will be affected by sulfation, and this is usually irremediable.
Ignore early failure warnings
The battery does not die unexpectedly. Long before that, it will show early signs that should not be overlooked . A typical sign is flashing lights when you start the engine from cold. A weak battery will also make it difficult for the engine to start long before it gives up completely. You can check these details by turning on the headlights when the ignition is also on (first click of the key). If the lights tend to fade, it's a sure sign that your 12V supply needs to be charged or even replaced.
And how do I make sure my battery is always ready?
Buy a voltmeter and test the voltage. If it's below 12 volts, you should recharge as soon as possible, something you can do by driving the car for a long drive. On the other hand, when driving short distances in winter, keep the number of consumers to a minimum to protect the battery. That is, avoid, for example, turning on the heating and heated seats if you are only going to be in the car for five minutes. And if you don't move the car much, consider getting a special trickle charger that will also help with desulfation.