Five ways to avoid having a flat car battery in lockdown

18 April 2020

It's been 23 days since New Zealand went into Lockdown. During this time, for most of us, non-essential workers, car trips will mainly be reserved for outings to the supermarket. This means that our cars will be sitting idle in our garages and carports most of the week.

Newshub reports that AA has seen a spike in callouts related to flat batteries. An almost 50% increase.

As New Zealand prepares to come out of Level 4 Lockdown and move into Level 3, it seems likely that for many of us, travel will still be mostly restricted. This means that our cars will still be getting very little run time. It is therefore important to protect the car's battery.

Five things you can do to protect your car's battery:

  • Check your lights are off. We all know what happens when we forget to turn off the car lights after parking it. The car fails to start the next day. Don't let that be you.

  • Driving your car at least once a week. This will keep your battery charged and running. For those with multiple cars, be sure to rotate driving them so the cars are at least run once a week.

  • Disconnect your car's battery. Consider this option if you have multiple cars and know that it is unlikely that you will be driving them all. Best way to approach this is to read up online how to do it for your specific car. There are plenty of websites and videos that will demonstrate how this can be done. Once this is done, a fully charged battery should be able to hold its charge for 6-12 months. Remember to follow safety instructions.

  • Use a battery charger. Another way to keep your battery charged is to get a battery charger. This can be ordered online, but at the time of this writing, it is sold out at The Warehouse. Check back in as they may restock this. A battery charger will help you keep your battery fully charged. Beware of over charging as it could end up damaging your battery.

  • Park your car in the garage. Colder weathers are known to cause more strain on your battery when starting it. As the weather gets colder, it may pay to keep it in your garage if you can help it.

Well done for looking after your car! Why not take a minute to check that your car's insurance is all up-to-date? You may find that some quick maintenance is needed there.

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