Car batteries, like many other vehicle components require a certain amount of care and attention. If you aren’t using your car on a regular basis, which may be particularly relevant at the moment, it can be easy to forget about it and it becomes a case of out of sight out of mind.

Over the last couple of years, battery failures have become the most common reason for breakdowns and the reason why a vehicle won’t start. You may be surprised to hear that batteries are four times more likely to be the reason for a breakdown compared to in the 1990s. This is often due to poor battery care or failure to replace a bad battery in time. This can all be prevented by looking after your car battery properly and if you follow our five top tips for battery care you will ensure the longevity of yours.

Change The Battery Every Four Years

It's recommended that all car batteries are replaced every four years and it's vital you don't neglect to do so in order for your vehicle to run properly. There's nothing worse than a mid-journey power failure and so it’s important that you don't attempt to stretch your battery life any longer than is necessary.

Don’t Leave Your Vehicle Undriven For Too Long

It is recommended that you drive your car at least every three days to ensure the battery stays charged. Leaving it for longer will result in the battery becoming drained and flat. If your car is left parked for a long period of time, a suitable battery charger can prevent a drop in voltage and a potentially harmful deep discharge. Take a look at some of our recommended products below. If you anticipate irregular use of your car, then using a battery charger every couple of months will help to maintain the performance of your battery and extend it’s life.

Check The Battery Charging Level

Many of us may only drive short distances to work or to the supermarket. These short journeys can put a lot of strain on the battery, especially during the colder winter months. In cold temperatures, all batteries have restricted performance levels due to chemical reasons and the generator only provides a small and insufficient charge during short journeys. It is worth considering getting the battery charging levels checked regularly by a mechanic to ensure that it can charge properly.

Keep The Battery Clean

It is important to keep the battery location and terminals clean because dirt, debris and moisture could get into the cells and this could lead to self discharge, leakage currents and corrosion of nearby metal. Cleaning the terminals and connectors avoids corroded contacts, minimises contact resistance and increases the charging potential and starting in cold weather. It’s simple to clean the battery using a combination of baking soda and water. Apply it to a small damp brush to lift any corrosion. Be sure to remove any residue with a dry cloth, as this could make the problem worse.

Don’t Overcharge Your Car Battery

Charging your car battery manually is usually simple and effective. However, it can be easy to overcharge which would be detrimental to the battery, cause damage and can even kill it. An overcharged battery could cause excessive gassing and cause the sulfuric acid and distilled water to boil and mix. The casing could then become hot to touch, start to melt, expand and eventually the battery could explode. It is best to check on the battery and the charge level every half an hour during charging to prevent this from happening.

Here at SJ Tools we have a wide selection of Battery Maintenance products for both home and professional use, to suit a wide range of budgets. We have everything from regular battery chargers, analysers and jump starter kits to more advanced, powerful smart chargers and solar charging panels.

Here are just some of our recommendations:

Draper 12V Jump Starter - a portable and versatile jump starter that is fitted with LED battery charge indicators, a 12V output socket and a USB output socket.

Draper Battery and Alternator Analyser for 12V DC Systems - a simple to use battery and alternator analyser that can check the status of both the battery and alternator and is compatible with all 12V DC systems.

Sealey E/START800 - ElectroStart Batteryless Power Start 800A 12V - an innovative design that has no internal battery meaning no charging before use. It draws energy from a flat battery to energise itself, in order jump start a vehicle.

Draper Lithium Jump Starter/Charger (400A) - an expert quality, compact yet powerful jump-starter/charger that delivers a potent charge for emergency jump-starting of vehicles.

Sealey SPP03 Solar Power Panel 12V/4.8W - Amorphous solar panels that can convert sunlight directly into 12V electricity. This panel is suitable for maintaining charge in a wide range of batteries and power packs.

Sealey SUPERSTART400 Starter/Charger 400Amp 12/24V - a heavy duty starter charger suitable for use in medium and large garages, workshops and bodyshops that can be used with cars and larger, passenger carrying and commercial vehicles.

We hope you have found this information useful. It is important to understand that a little care goes a long way and with regular checks the life and performance of your battery can be efficiently extended. Please feel free to browse our extensive range of Battery Maintenance products available at SJ Tools and if there's something you can't find, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Post By Kelly Trethewey