Torque Tips | Low or dying battery and what to do

Low or dying battery and what to do

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-In the heart of your vehicle-

Driving just as you usually would when you stop for five minutes to run into the supermarket to buy yourself a much-needed snack, the moment you climb back into your vehicle it doesn’t want to start, like at all. If only you could have prevented yourself from being in this inconvenient situation. We from Women-Torque understand that life gets busy and we sometimes forget about the things we are so used to functioning until it does not, because just like most things in life it has an expiration date. The battery is a critical part and the heart of your vehicle, if it is faulty and does not work your vehicle is pretty much a large chunk of immobile metal. It is necessary for you to know more about this vital instrument in your vehicle and we are here today to inform and give you some in dept information about your battery.

Signs that your battery is running low and about to die:

·         No interior lights are displayed on your cluster when you turn your key in the ignition.

·         You must turn your keys over multiple times before the engine finally starts to run.

·         The lights in your display dim of flicker when you step on your accelerator or turn the keys of your ignition.

The warning signs and what to do:

·         Your engine cranks but it just does not want to start:

Five present of the time it is your starter giving problems. The other ninety-five percent of the time it is due to a flat battery that are just a few volts shy of enough battery life to start your engine up.

·         What you will need to do:

Use a jumper-starter pack or jumper cables to connect it to the battery to give it those extra volts it needs. Critical to make sure the correct coupling of the jumper cables is adhered to. If not, you can blow control boxes to the value of tens of thousands of Rands.

 Once it is on the go allow your engine to run for a few minutes usually a good 10-20 minutes is more than sufficient. This will give your alternator enough time to charge your battery. This is however not a permanent solution, have your vehicles battery tested and replaced if needed.

·         Turning of your key but absolutely no response at all:

As you are sitting there irritable with all the turning of your key in the ignition but to no avail does your engine respond. In this scenario check if the battery clamps on the battery is not loose. This small maintenance item is a must as it has cost a lot of people a lot of time and money. If there is still no reaction, the battery is most definitely not in a peak performance state. Various reasons for this can be a dead cell in the battery, battery water levels to low or alternator not charging.

·         What you will need to do:

Consult a specialized batter outlet center to have a look at your vehicles battery before you just buy a new battery.

·         Some days it will and some days it will not start:

This means that your engine starts somedays and then do not the next and this is a frequent pattern. In this case the problem may be the actual connection to the battery that is faulty. Your terminals may be loose or damaged or the condition of the wiring.

·         What you will need to do:

Inspect your battery cables first and usually the main reason in this situation is usually the cables or wiring and is very easy to check yourself -the cables have to be fitted firmly onto the battery posts, they should not be able to wiggle at all.

·         Jumping it from time to time:

If it is compulsory for you to jump it more than two to three times a week, you may be faced with a problem and you will need to replace your battery. The reasoning for this is because the battery might be old or drained.

How long does a battery last usually?

This will help to prevent you from ending up in these situations so be sure to always monitor your battery and replacing it when it is due to do so. A battery has an estimated lifespan of two to three years. It is not only age that deteriorates the lifespan of the battery but it is the main reason, the other reason is that the battery relies on other instruments like the alternator, starter, solenoid, battery terminals and battery cables that cause problems. Cold weather also has a huge influence on battery life. Driving short distances with switching on and off do not allow the alternator to replenish the power drained by starting. Make sure you drive at least one long distance trip per week to avoid shortening the lifespan of your vehicle’s battery.   

Written by: Ashley Roos