Thursday, January 20, 2011

Car Battery S.O.S

Wouldn't life would be so much easier if we can predict the lifespan of our car's battery?
I am not too sure how is it with highly sophisticated car, they probably have a light indicator signalling when the battery should be changed.

But what about a normal entry level car? Fortunately, we have a solution and it is very easy as it doesn't require any extra gadget to be installed on the dashboard. I learnt this from experience, and this tried and tested has proven to be of a saviour tonight ( as the car died at the car park).

We can actually rely on the internal digital clock. Since the digital clock is very much dependent on the battery, thus, as the battery weakens, it will also affect the accuracy of the clock. So, let say, the clock is adjusted to be ten minutes early than the exact timing.
As the battery wears off, the clock will regressively be as the same timing as the wristwatch.
For example, in practice, I set my car's digital clock to be 10 minutes early than my wristwatch i.e. 10:10 am on the car's clock, it is 10:00 am on my wristwatch.

Five days back, I noticed that my car's clock is already showing 1 minute late than my wristwatch. Changing the battery earlier is a bit of wasting the resource as the battery is not fully used up, moreover, in this part of the globe, there is yet a structured battery disposal management properly in place. ( Unless there is a planned road trip, then it is wiser to replace the battery with a new set)

When this happens, it is a good thing to start preparing for the moment when the battery will eventually be flat:
1) Ensure there is a jumper in the boot. Make sure a pair of gloves is in there too :)
2) Carry the number of the towing service. For Proton owner, register for the EON members, call the 24/7 emergency number, then they will come to your stranded spot carrying along the replacement battery.
3) And better yet, keep a spare battery in the car boot. ( Make sure one is fully trained to replace this. I remember when my father taught me how to replace car battery, basic engine check, change flat tires before he actually let me drive a car)

It is also a good practice to drive only within the acceptable vicinity. Such as driving along the road that is heavily populated, so we can call for help in case of emergency.

Although the car battery has a lifetime of two years the minimum, we can try our best to prolong the lifespan by practising these simple steps:
1) Try to minimise switching on the radio without starting the engine first
2) Try to minimise using the power window button without starting the engine first
3) On weekends, if the car is in dormant mode, it is advisable to start up the engine and drive the car around the neighbourhood at a constant speed of 40mp/h. This will help the battery to charge up.
4) Clean any acid build up on the battery post using wire brush. ( My father call the brush 'berus sabut')

There must be other tell-tale tips for detecting the deterioration of a car battery but I hope this easy tips could be useful for other female drivers too. And most importantly, whenever on the road, always drive safely. Be defensive yet courteous at the same time. Safe trip each time!

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