With the winter weather blowing in around the country, it comes time for every auto owner to make sure that their vehicle is equipped to get them through the snow, ice and other wintertime elements that leave so many driver stranded on the side of the road during terrible conditions. One such component of your vehicle to pay special attention to is your battery.
While your battery might take a backseat to other aspects of your vehicle that you deem more concerning—such as new tires, spark plugs, windshield wipers, etc.—just because you don’t regularly see your battery doesn’t mean that you’re not relying on it each and every time you start up your vehicle. In fact, failing to pay attention to your battery and its condition could be the most costly thing you do this winter.
Battery care and maintenance
The first and best thing you can and should do when it comes to your battery is to make sure that it’s tested by a professional mechanic. This can be done while you’re in for other auto repair in Norwalk, OH or as a standalone procedure, but either way, it needs to be taken care of before those sub-zero days set in.
The reason for a battery test is simple: you need to know if your battery still has the capacity to function properly and carry you through the winter months. If it turns out that your battery is putting out less power than it should or that your contacts are corroded, leaving you with variable power, there’s a better than likely chance that at some point this winter, your vehicle isn’t going to start when you turn the key.
After having your battery tested and inspected by a pro, you might be wise to inquire about getting a new battery or what can be done to preserve your existing unit. Some auto body shops will be able to provide you with battery caps, which protect contacts and other visible components of the battery from the snow and ice that winter brings with it, while other times, you might be better off having a new battery put in place to get you through this winter and the next couple.
Preserving your battery
The same tips for preserving your battery that apply throughout the year also apply during winter, so here’s a refresher course in what not to do when it comes to your vehicle’s power source:
- Don’t leave interior lights on for prolonged periods of time and be sure that when you leave your vehicle, the interior lights turn off.
- Don’t leave headlights on when parked for extended periods of time. This is often the biggest cause for a dead battery and can easily be avoided.
- Don’t rely on your battery if it’s more than four years old. Batteries can last quite a long time if you’re lucky, but when it comes to Ohio winter weather, it’s best not to put your chips in with a battery that’s getting on in years.
Following these tips, along with being proactive in your battery maintenance, will keep you safe and sound when it comes to your vehicle’s electrical functions this winter. The last thing you want is to get in your car on a blustery winter day, turn the key and not have it start—a problem that can be avoided with the right foresight about your battery. Don’t forget about this often overlooked aspect of auto repair in Norwalk, OH!