During COVID-19 times, when many of us were forced into quarantine, and our towns and cities were in lock-down, our vehicles were not always top of our minds. And so as we move out of lock-down and start using our cars on a regular basis, it’s important to know what has been happening to your car battery whilst it has been standing still, and what you need to do to protect against battery failure when you do start driving it again.
Did you know that:
- A CTEK study has identified that as many as 51% of vehicles on the road today has a battery that requires attention – by that we mean it needs charging or replacing
- Modern vehicles have lots of on-board computers and security systems such as alarms, immobilisers and trackers which means the battery can quickly become flat – by simply sitting on a shelf, a standard 12 V lead-acid battery will be unable to start a battery after just 6 months, so imagine how much more quickly this will happen with all of those additional vehicle electronics!
- If a battery drops below 12.4V, sulphation occurs. This happens when the battery is left undercharged. The electrolyte solution begins to break down, converting into lead sulphate crystals that coat the battery plates, reducing the batteries ability to accept and hold a charge.
- Reports from airport carparks indicate that the number of people returning to their vehicle after a one or two week vacation, to find a flat battery has increased. This situation will have gotten significantly worse with vehicles that have been left for months rather than weeks
- Proactive battery care is needed, so that when you want to use your vehicle, the battery is charged and ready to go – and you won’t need to risk jump-starting the vehicle, something that can damage sensitive vehicle electronics.
It’s important to look after your battery:
- If you can, before taking your vehicle out for the first time, hook it up to a smart battery charger, such as the CTEK MXS 5.0 for the day or overnight to bring it up to 100% state of charge.
- Choosing a charger with a dedicated desulphation mode will help remove harmful sulphation. This desulphation stage shakes the plates to remove the crystals that have built up on the plates, to ensure the maximum capacity of the battery is available to accept the charge
- Don’t forget to regularly charge your vehicle battery. Our studies show that charging the vehicle battery with a CTEK charger around once a month can extend battery life by up to 3 times.
So when returning back to the ‘new normal’ don’t forget your vehicle battery!