At some point, everyone has tried to drive somewhere important only to find their car battery is dead. Even worse, the Chevrolet R10 battery may not be out of charge — it could need replacing. There are easy ways to avoid this frustrating scenario. Here are five tips for getting the most out of your car battery.
Routinely Check Battery
Did you know that keeping your battery close to full charge is the best way to keep it functioning well over time? Check your 1991 Jeep Wrangler battery once a month to make sure you’re not damaging it by letting it run dry.
A charge of 12.6-12.7 volts means a full battery, while you’ll want to top off anything below 12.4 volts (half-full.) Acid can pool in the bottom of your battery if it’s at less than half, damaging the upper portion of the battery that needs this acid to function.
Here is how to check a car battery:
- Set the voltmeter on your multimeter to 20 volts.
- Locate your battery and connect the red terminal to red, black to black as if you were jumpstarting your car.
- Have someone flick the car’s headlights on to engage the battery.
- Read the voltage on your meter.
Clean and Dry Your Battery
While you’re checking your battery, it’s a great idea to make sure it’s clean, dry and connected completely and correctly to the terminal. Dirt along the top of your battery can hold a charge, and if the battery electrifies this dirt, it can short-circuit. For extra battery life, scrub out the terminals with a toothbrush and dry them thoroughly.
Avoid One-Minute Trips
Daily short trips put extra wear on your battery. Starting your engine requires a lot of charge, and if the battery can’t regain that charge over the course of the trip, you’ll wear it out quickly.
Consider walking or biking short distances, instead. You’ll save on gas as well as prolong your battery life.
Take Your Car Out of the Garage Every Month
On the other side of the coin, not driving a car for months on end can also degrade your car’s battery. This is because the battery loses about 1% of its charge each day sitting in a garage at room temperature. It loses less charge when it’s cold out, but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on these levels.
Remember that a car battery that’s only half full is prone to extra damage from low acid levels. If you plan on leaving your car in the garage, there are small chargers you can attach to your battery to protect it.
Park Out of Direct Sun
Extreme heat can damage your battery, as the liquid inside can evaporate at high enough temperatures. One reason many car batteries need replacing in winter is that they were damaged in the heat of summer. Park in the shade whenever possible and protect your 2007 Ford Freestar battery from direct sunlight.
A car battery failure is an easy repair, but it can still derail your day. Keep on top of your battery’s health to avoid frustration.
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