Recharge your car battery knowledge
How well do you understand the powerhouse under your hood? Modern car batteries may be maintenance-free, but there are still important need-to-know facts and checks that can prevent battery damage and keep it running at its best. Experts from Battery Centre have answered the most commonly-asked battery questions to make sure you’re in the know:
Q: How long will my battery last?
A: The average car battery lasts between five and seven years. If the car is parked unused for extended periods of time, the battery will need to be replaced sooner. To ensure you don’t have to replace it often, choose a high-quality battery, such as a Raylite.
Q: How often should I refill the water in my battery?
A: If your car is fitted with a reliable, maintenance-free battery, never. Maintenance-free means you don’t have the hassle of refilling them, under normal operating conditions. Raylite batteries, for instance, are designed specifically for minimal water loss – and have a longer life because of this.
Q: How will I know when to replace my battery?
A: Before you rush to replace your battery, have it properly tested. Irregularities in your car or warning signs could be caused by something other than your battery. However, some warning signs to look out for include:
- The engine doesn’t start at all
- Starting the motor is difficult or sounds sluggish
- The battery light on your dashboard is on
- Your battery seems to lose power during cold or extended starts (in this case, the engine will start, then stop)
- Your headlights dim when the car is idle.
Q: How can I extend my battery life?
A: Check your battery regularly to ensure the terminals are clean, tightly secured and free of corrosion. Corrosion and leaks can interfere with the battery’s performance. Also get your battery tested regularly to make sure it’s charging correctly. Ensure the hold-down bar which secures the battery in place is fitted correctly. This minimises damage-causing vibration.
Q: What should I do when my battery goes flat?
A: If your battery’s flat, you can recharge it using a portable battery charger. Jump starting is only a quick fix – best practice is to charge the battery properly to keep it in good condition. For complete peace of mind, visit your nearest Battery Centre to make sure your battery is in peak condition.
For more answers to battery-related questions or to find a Battery Centre near you to get your battery checked for free, visit www.batterycentre.co.za.
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