Many automobiles are tucked in garages or parked in driveways while people stay home and off the roads through the coronavirus pandemic. All the while, the batteries are working, allowing a complex set of electronics to operate.
“A modern car’s array of computer modules and electronic devices draw some amount of power continuously, even when the key is off. When a vehicle sits for more than a couple of weeks, its battery can lose a healthy state of charge,” said Craig Rigby, vice president for technology at Clarios.
Engineers at Clarios, the leading manufacturer of automotive batteries, are the experts in energy storage solutions. Clarios produces one in three of the world’s automotive batteries.
“Traditionally, batteries have had a simple job,” Rigby said. “Start the vehicle, support lights, ignition and a few other features. Now, they’re working harder, even when the car is turned off. Consumers risk being surprised by premature no-start battery failure, especially in this unprecedented period of cars sitting inactive. Fortunately, there are some simple actions car owners can take to avoid any disruptions.”
Clarios engineers recommend two ways to maintain a battery’s performance through an extended period of vehicle inactivity:
- If you go out for a once-a-week grocery shop, try and go for a drive of at least 20 to 30 minutes, preferably with some portion of highway or expressway driving, if possible. This gives your battery a chance to fully recharge. Idling your car in park for a few minutes isn’t enough.
- If you have a battery maintainer, also known as a battery tender, plug it in and connect it to your battery to provide a continuous, controlled trickle of electricity. The devices are set to not overcharge a battery and are the best way to manage the battery if periodic driving is not an option.
Auto owners can visit autobatteries.com and review the testing and maintenance tab for more information. The site includes information on charging, replacing and recycling batteries. The site also shows consumers how to purchase the type of battery that aligns with their vehicle’s needs, electrical loads and usage in case of battery failure.