The chill associated with the winter months in most parts of South Africa can take a toll on the working parts of your motor vehicle, including its battery. From your daily commute to your favourite motorised weekend wheels or craft, habitually preparing your vehicle’s battery for winter can play a significant role in its performance, going forward.
Just as we as South African’s make ready our homes and livelihoods for the onset of the cooler temperatures associated with our winter months, it’s worth considering how well your vehicle’s battery is prepared for this period.
While we generally take care in how well we stow our recreational vehicles over this time, it’s important to pay special attention to the battery. Stored in a dry and relatively warm space, try to source a trickle charger or battery maintainer system in order to keep steady charge flowing into the battery’s cells. Set a reminder to check on the battery’s general condition at least once per month.
Whether stored or simply not being used as frequently as prior to the Covid-19-associated stay-at-homes, it’s important to make allowances for a timely full battery recharge. Just like the engine it’s mated with this allows all working parts to reach optimal operating temperatures for prime efficiency. Plus, it’s good for the soul to hit the open road from time-to-time…
It’s advisable at the onset of winter to have the operating condition of your car’s battery inspected by an accredited retailer. While performed at any time of the year this adds peace-of-mind to your driving experience, a drop in ambient temperature could well exacerbate any potential flaws or, indeed, the need to replace the battery before it potentially lets you down.
If you can’t park your vehicle in a garage or carport overnight, why not consider a car cover? This not only takes the bite out of the air but also prevents falling leaves or grime from entering the engine bay and potentially compromising any working parts. On this note, it’s good practice to regularly inspect the surface area of your car’s battery to ensure it’s free of unwelcome clutter or debris. It’s also important that the terminals remain clean and securely fastened with no sign of any white, crystal-like substance.
It demands more energy from your battery to operate a cold engine. That said, while it’s tempting to call upon modern conveniences like seat warmers, climate control, audio systems and window demisters, consider allowing the engine to warm appropriately before using energy elsewhere in the vehicle’s system.
As the sun begins to shine a little longer each day think about not only giving your vehicle’s exterior a welcome clean, but also having all serviceable fluids and filters in the engine bay refreshed. While a polished car cuts a more efficient path through the air, an optimally functioning combustion engine places less strain on all other components, including the battery.
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