Car battery: 5 mistakes that kill the battery

The car battery is often responsible for the fact that many cars no longer start, especially in winter. Because in the cold season it is exposed to particularly high levels of stress: The cold reduces performance, while consumers such as seat heating and the like are used more. So it can happen that the juice runs out. However, many motorists do not worry about this, they also make mistakes that accelerate impending battery death:

1. Short haul, short haul, short haul

Many people can probably no longer hear how harmful constant short journeys are to the car. But they are an enormous burden, especially for the car battery. Because the battery has to use a lot of force to start the engine. Over a short distance, there is only little time to recharge the car battery. Then there will be other consumers like that Car radio or if the seat heating is used, additional juice is withdrawn from the battery. At some point the battery goes on strike. To remedy this, the battery should be recharged regularly with a charger.

2. Forgot to switch off consumers

Forget the light overnight and the next morning the battery is dead – the classic. It’s good that modern cars switch off the lights automatically. Nevertheless, external consumers of the car battery in particular can be dangerous. For example, there are 12-volt plugs that maintain the power supply even when the engine is switched off. Accessories such as a heated seat cover or a Dashcam connected, is also switched off engine continued electricity tapped. This also applies to accessories that are connected directly to the battery, such as marten deterrents. Even if only small amounts of electricity flow, the battery can end up being empty if the car is not moved for a long time. Therefore, always remember to disconnect the accessories from the power supply when parking.

3. Do not clean dirty battery

If the car battery is not cared for, there is a risk that sooner or later it will stop working. If it is dirty, leakage currents can flow through the damp dirt, which gradually discharge the battery. Contacts and connections in particular should always be kept clean, otherwise the battery can discharge. Therefore check the car battery regularly and clean it if necessary. More about battery care in winter.
Charger CTEK MXS 5.0

Maintenance with a charger is essential for a long battery life.

4. No preparation for long periods of time

If the car is not started for several weeks, this also damages the car battery. Because even if all consumers are switched off, it loses voltage over time – it discharges. At the end of the standing time, this can lead to a rude awakening. It is therefore advisable to connect the battery to a car battery charger with a maintenance function if the battery is to be used for a longer period of time.
Battery care - nicely charged

The condition of the battery can be checked with a voltmeter.

5. Ignore the first warning signs

The fact that the battery is giving up is often evident long before a total failure. Typical signs are flickering Headlights when starting. Even when starting the engine, you will notice a weak battery, if the engine only wants to start with difficulty. You can also easily check whether the battery has been damaged by switching on the dipped headlights when the ignition is activated. If the light intensity decreases somewhat over time, the car battery is in poor condition. It is therefore important to connect the battery to a charger as soon as possible if you notice these signs.

Video: Service battery

AUTO BILD advisor

Tips on handling the car battery

Check voltage: The residual voltage can easily be measured with a battery tester. If it is below 12.6 volts, it should be recharged as soon as possible.
Reduce consumers: Especially when driving short distances in winter, you should switch on as few consumers as necessary in order to save the battery.
Reload regularly: If you want to save your battery, especially in winter, you should regularly check the voltage and recharge it if necessary.
Warm the battery: For the winter there are special thermal covers that protect the car battery from the cold. Important: pull it off again in spring!
Desulfation: If the car battery is deeply discharged or if the voltage is permanently too low, so-called sulfation begins. This reduces the performance of the battery. You can counter this with a battery gun or special chargers (more on the battery gun).

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