Thousands of people get a motor insurance quote each and every week of the year, often with breakdown recovery cover as an integral part of the policy, and although the knowledge of having cover is comforting, the average motorist will still keep an eye on the state of his tyres, his windscreen and perhaps the oil and water levels in his vehicle. Very few pay little attention to the car battery.
Every day of the year, breakdown services will attend hundreds of breakdowns that are battery related. There are a number of reasons that can lead to a battery’s death. Some reasons are out of our control, while others can be reduced by keeping an eye on how the vehicle is used and maintained. For instance the type of driving you do will impact the life of your vehicle battery. If you only ever drive on short trips without taking the vehicle for an extended run on the motorway, the battery will never fully charge and eventually the will die. If a lot of electronic accessories in vehicle are used this will place a lot of extra strain on the battery and hence will drains its power and contribute to the failure. A battery in a vehicle that has not been started or driven for a long period of time may die as well, due to not being charged.
Every Battery needs some routine maintenance for it to function correctly. You can clean your battery by mixing some baking soda with water. Check the tightness of the battery cable connections. Extreme cold weather is another reason for a car not starting due to a dead battery but unless you have a garage not much can be done about this apart from charging the battery in your home overnight.
Whenever the vehicle’s lights, air conditioning or radio are left on when the car is not actually running will cause the power from the battery to drain quickly. This happens because the vehicle is not moving and so the battery is not able to recharge. A battery, like everything else, will not live forever; only about a third of vehicle batteries will make it to age four before going to join all the others in battery heaven. It will be your driving and maintenance skills that will have the best impact on how long a battery will live.
At some point you may need to get someone to give you a jump start because the battery is dead. A “jump start” is the process of using an electrical signal from one battery to start another one which is dead. Using jump-leads, you can transfer high-voltage energy from one battery to another, and this process can temporarily revive the dead battery so that the vehicle will at least start.