In our last article, we told you about the Best driving practices to improve your car battery life. Today, we will list out some of the common practices that help extend a battery’s life even when the car is parked.
STALC (Switch off, Turn off, Alight, Lock, Check): One of the most common reasons for car battery getting discharged unexpectedly is that car’s lights were left turned on by mistake while getting off in a rush. We know – you might be really tired after a hard day’s work, or in a rush to catch a movie, or engrossed in chatting with your buddy when you are alighting from your car. But while doing so, if you leave your car lights switched on by mistake, your car battery could drain out completely while you are away. You should follow the following steps in order to maximize your car’s battery life while alighting from your car:
Switch off all electrical accessories, including headlights
Turn off the engine
Alight from the car
Lock your car
Check and ensure that there aren’t any lights that are still on
Here are a few ideas for habits that you could form so you always check if the lights are on while alighting:
Stick a post it note on your dash board reminding you to switch off your lights
Alternatively, you could stick the note on your car’s key.
(Instead of written note, you could draw out a little light bulb and strike it out)
Park in a manner so that you have to walk past the front of the car after alighting.
Check if you have locked your car by trying the car handle. While doing so, peer in. (this also helps you check if you’ve left something important in the car)
You love your car, don’t you? When leaving her behind in the parking lot, turn around and sneak a lover’s peek at her before you head off.
Sleep Mode: If you do not plan to use your car for long intervals of time – say a month or more – it would be a good idea to disconnect the battery terminals. This is because even when the engine is turned off, modern cars continue to use a battery’s power to keep on-board computing systems, radios, car alarms, clocks etc. in a state of activity. Disconnecting the battery cuts off the power supply, and prevents the battery from draining out from this residual usage. Beware – every time you disconnect the battery, you would end up having to reconfigure certain features like the radio’s tuning, or the on-board clock; or find that the trip odometer has been reset depending on which car you have. Also, in case you park in an area where car thefts or break-ins are a possibility, switching off the car’s alarms is not recommended unless you have other security measures in place.
Be Parsimonious: You may have a great AC and an even better music system installed in your dream car. But that is no excuse to have them running when your car is parked, or when the engine is turned off for some reason. A car battery gets charged when the car engine is running, and having electrical accessories run when a car is parked with the engine turned off is a huge drain on the battery, and would not only lead to the battery draining out in the short run, but also damage the battery in the long run. If you’re planning an out-door party, or a romantic night out under the stars, then you need to think of alternatives to using the electrical accessories of your car. After all, you would not want to be left without a ride at the end of a wonderful evening because your car battery is dead as a result of your using it to power the music or AC all the while!
Keep it warm: Your car battery will discharge faster when parked in a colder environment as compared to a slightly warmer environment. If you have the choice, park your car in a closed or covered garage, rather than in the open. If you must park in the open, cover your car, especially at night.