by Miranda Milillo - Posted 1 month ago
As fall breezes roll in and the mercury in the thermometer drops, nothing is more irritating than abandoning the comfort of your warm bed, only to get to your car and discover your engine doesn't feel like starting. This issue is commonly due to a depleted battery, which becomes increasingly susceptible to power deficiencies as the weather cools, potentially leaving you stuck in the cold.
To tackle this predicament, here are five easy and cost-effective methods to maintain your battery's optimal health until the welcome warmth of spring returns:
Contrary to what you might instinctually believe, frequent short-term usage of your car battery can hasten its depletion, more than it would if used for longer drives. When only used in short periods, your battery doesn't give itself enough time to recharge itself properly. The process of starting your engine places a significant burden on your battery, and if your car is turned back off after a drive of just a few short minutes, the battery doesn't receive sufficient time to recuperate, leading to a rapid discharge.
Therefore, whenever possible, aim to combine your errands into longer trips. These extended driving periods provide your battery with a greater chance to recharge itself. Even if this means going a few extra miles to the second-closest grocery store, the minor increase in fuel costs is nothing compared to the expense of a new battery.
Despite the many conveniences and cutting-edge technologies of modern vehicles, they come with a host of electronic features that could inadvertently drain your battery. Even when your car is stationary, functions like alarm systems and keyless entry continue to consume a small but steady amount of power, a phenomenon referred to as parasitic drain.
If you plan on leaving your vehicle unused for a long stretch, such as when leaving it at an airport or bus station during a holiday trip, attempt to reduce parasitic drain by disabling as many features as possible. Even if you find yourself inside the comfort of your own home for more than a few days, consider making the trek to your vehicle each day and letting the engine run for roughly 20 minutes. This way, your battery can maintain its regular charging cycle.