Car batteries are among the essential components needed for a vehicle to work. However, they are prone to malfunction and failure when subjected to less-than-ideal operating environments such as stop-and-go traffic, common in everyday commutes under the new normal.
The battery is at the heart of your car's electrical system
Japanese battery manufacturer Furukawa has been in the industry long enough to understand what it takes to make batteries last, with over 70 years of experience to prove it. As consumers have to contend with rising prices of parts and components, the brand shares five simple tips for motorists to be more conscious about what the battery is subjected to under the hood, helping to stretch their budget a little further.
1. Avoid short drives
There might be instances where people are tempted to use their cars even if a particular errand calls for traveling less than a kilometer; after all, convenience is one of the reasons behind owning a car. But many motorists may not be aware that driving short distances does more harm than good.
The reason for this is that frequent starts and stops prevent the battery from being able to fully recharge between trips, eventually leading to shortened battery life. This is apart from the increased fuel consumption that results from short drives as the engine is unable to reach its optimal operating temperature.
Walking is a better alternative for quick trips to the nearest convenience store. If bringing the car is unavoidable, users might want to drive around for another five minutes after the errand is completed, just to maintain the health of the car’s battery.
2. Watch the gadgets you plug in
A busy lifestyle means taking advantage of every opportunity to accomplish tasks on the go. This includes the seemingly mundane task of plugging in one’s devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops into the car’s power outlet as a means of saving time.
Do not plug in your devices for extended periods
On top of powering these gadgets, the battery also has to carry the load of the car’s electrical system, from powering the air-conditioning to keeping the navigation system running so you don’t get lost. All these can eventually strain the battery. A better practice would be to charge personal devices on a wall outlet before setting out to drive.
3. Lay off the lights and radio when the engine is turned off
Many fuel-conscious users resort to turning off the ignition instead of idling the engine for extended periods. This is a sound habit to adopt. What’s not good, however, is operating the car’s various functions such as the lights and sound system even when the engine is off.
This is because the battery should ideally be recharged by the alternator, which draws power from a running engine. With the engine turned off, the battery just continues to discharge at an accelerated rate while attending to the car’s electrical functions.
Features such as the car's radio and air-conditioning must be turned off when the engine is not running
It would be a better idea to just open the windows and let the breeze into the cabin if the engine is turned off, as the aircon compressor will not work without the engine anyway. Using music streaming services on a smartphone is also a better alternative to leaving the car’s radio on, and make sure to check if all the lights are turned off prior to leaving the vehicle at the parking lot.
4. Disconnect the battery if the car will not be used for a while
There might be instances where the car will need to be left in the garage for some time, such as when taking a vacation overseas for a week or so. It’s a good idea to disconnect the battery from the car if that’s the case.
The reason behind this is that the battery continues to discharge at a slow rate even if the car is not being used. Disconnecting the battery’s negative terminal prevents it from losing its charge faster than it should. Another alternative would be to have a trusted person start the car’s ignition or drive it around for 20 minutes every few days until you get back. This practice helps maintain the battery’s health.
5. Pay attention to the warning sign on the dashboard
The car’s battery is a consumable item, and despite your best efforts, it will inevitably show signs that it’s approaching the end of its service life. Symptoms such as the engine taking longer to crank up and start, as well as the battery warning icon appearing on the instrument cluster are signs that the battery needs to be checked by a professional.
Never ignore this symbol when it appears on your instrument cluster
And if you’re in the market for long-lasting batteries, Furukawa offers a range of products for both automotive and industrial applications. The company uses Japanese battery technology with a manufacturing base in Thailand, delivering cost-efficient yet quality batteries for Filipino motorists.
Furukawa offers batteries for both automotive and industrial use
BSB Junrose serves as the brand’s official distributor in the Philippine market. “We are proud to bring Furukawa Battery to the most discerning vehicle owners in the country,” said BSB Junrose President Benjamin Bangayan. “Furukawa battery is designed to withstand the country’s road conditions, Filipinos’ driving habits, and other issues like fast discharging rates, shortages, and quick water loss.”
Furukawa batteries are available at BSB Junrose branches and dealers nationwide, which customers can find on its official Facebook page.
Find more helpful automotive advice at Philkotse.com.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo
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