Even with proper maintenance, a dead car battery can happen at an inconvenient time. Follow these simple tips to avoid a dead car battery:
- Keep it cool. Contrary to popular belief, hot weather is more detrimental to your car than cold weather. Since heat drains a car’s battery, always park in a cool or shaded spot to avoid excessive temperatures.
- Unplug devices not in use. Electricity-dependent devices like navigation systems, DVD players, smartphones, and onboard computers can put excessive strain on a car battery. Take inventory of what’s in use and unplug any unused devices.
- Go for a long drive. Driving short distances is a quick way to kill the battery because the alternator needs time to recharge the battery after it’s been started. Short trips with lots of starts and stops don’t allow time for your battery to fully recharge, so you may want to take the long way home occasionally.
- Wipe it down. Dirt and grease serve as insulators that can trap heat around the battery. Wiping it down with a paper towel or rag on a regular basis will help keep the grime from accumulating.