Worried about your car battery going flat during MCO? Here's how to prevent it
Arif · May 11, 2021 03:45 PM
Another round of MCO means we’re not fully free to drive our cars around without having to explain ourselves to police officers. With our cars parked at home most of the time, we can risk draining/depleting the car’s battery without knowing.
The next time you want to drive to the store, your car may not be able to start at all.
So, how do you avoid such an unfortunate situation during this MCO?
Here are some reminders to make sure your car battery stays in good in good condition even when parked for extended periods of time.
The age-old mistake we’ve all heard off/seen is forgetting to turn off the car’s lights.
Some cars come with warning sounds in case you forget, but there still is a chance of this happening.
Make sure to switch off everything including the lights, radio, and air-conditioning.
Also remember to lock your car since some cars keep the infotainment unit turned on until you press the lock button on the key fob.
2. Make sure there is no corrosion on the battery terminals
You may have sometimes noticed some bluish/greenish corrosion on your car’s battery terminals. These deposit overtime due to reaction of hydrogen gas released from the battery with the connectors and the atmosphere.
A battery with come corrosion on the terminals is not flat. It's just that gunk on the battery terminal is a poor conductor, which can make it hard for your car to start.
And just for your information, corrosion on the negative terminal signifies undercharging while corrosion on the positive terminal signifies overcharging of the battery.
The easiest way to avoid corrosion on the battery terminals is to apply battery terminal protectors. Usually a petroleum jelly type material, battery terminal protectors area cheap investment for your peace of mind.
3. Drive your car for about 30 minutes at times
Yes, we’re under MCO, but you can still drive around in the nearby area to keep your car’s battery in good working condition. Drive around for about 30 minutes occasionally to charge your battery through the alternator.
Car batteries are unable to hold their charge indefinitely. The charge in your car’s battery will reduce overtime, but occasional “long” drives will be able to restore some of that charge.
Besides charging the car's battery, "long" drives can also recharge yourself.
4. Unplug unnecessary accessories
With your car parked most of the time, you won’t really be needing the dashcam or GPS device (if you still use it). Unplug all unnecessary electronic accessories in your car to avoid unnecessarily draining your car’s battery.
5. If you can, disconnect the battery terminals
Having a secure personal parking spot is luxury most of us do not enjoy. However, if you do have the convenience of a secure garage, you can take things a step further by disconnecting your car’s battery.
Since the battery is not in use anyway, you might as well hold in as much charge as you can by disconnecting it entirely.
A secure garage is important as disconnecting the battery also disables the car’s alarm system. If you don’t have the luxury, just do tips 1 to 4 that we have listed earlier.
Avoiding your car’s battery from going flat is easy. It’s just that sometimes we can make forgetful mistakes.
Remember to check the condition of your car’s battery so that you always have a working vehicle at your disposal in case of emergencies. A flat COVID-19 curve is good but a flat car battery is not. Stay safe and take care of your car too.
Previously an engineer in an automotive manufacturing company and a highway concessionaire. A part-time research student on biofuels and diesel engines. Obsessed with vehicle electrification and the future of transportation.