Monthly Archives: April 2020

How To Keep Your Car Battery Healthy

Looking after your car battery by taking some simple steps will not only extend your cars battery life, but also delay the inevitable flat battery. Car chargers, portable DVD players, frequent short trips or long periods of non-use are just a few of the ways that can affect your car battery and its health.

The weather can also affect your car battery. Some studies suggest that car batteries are even more likely to fail in the heat of the summer than they are in winter. Why is this? Extreme summer heat, or electric components putting a constant drain on the battery, can increase the amount of sulfates. Heat can accelerate chemical activity, which is why the ideal operating temperature for a car battery is 26.6 degrees. The warmth in the surrounding air can help the battery function well.

Have you had your battery tested recently?

What is the condition of your battery?

It definitely isn’t the end of the world for you, especially if you have Roadside Assistance. However, to keep you on the road and your car batteries healthy here are a couple of tips that we hope will help you.

Drive Your Car

It’s super simple. Cars are supposed be driven and it helps your battery stay healthy and live for longer. You may not know it, but your car uses the battery to help the ignition process.

As you start driving the car battery is then recharged by the engine. Some drivers though might not drive quite far enough to recharge what it took the battery to start the car. This is then amplified if you drive only a short distance to get to work everyday.

Eventually the battery goes flat because of not being able to charge. Whilst it isn’t a specific measure, 10-15mins of driving is sufficient for recharging the battery, but the longer the drive the better!

Keep It Running

Cars are made to be driven, leave them sitting for too long isn’t recommended or encouraged. Batteries, specifically, need to be used or else they’ll just go flat.

So if your leaving your car for more than a week, and especially if you’re leaving it stored for longer – maybe you’re moving for work or off on a big holiday – think about taking the battery out of your car and charging it fully before you put it back in when you’re ready to get back on the road.

If you’re constantly running a lot of electrical accessories out of your car, investing in a battery charger will be a lot more economical than having to buy a new battery every eighteen months.

Turn Off and Disconnect Electronics

Car chargers and power adapters are great, not only can they charge your mobile phone or power a GPS unit, they can also be used to run portable DVD players. When your car is running with the engine on, this isn’t a problem at all, but be careful when you turn your car off or leave it on auxiliary power.

When you turn your car off or leave it on auxiliary power, the electronics that are powered through your car can still have power being used from the battery. It might be unintentional to leave these items plugged in, but they can have a similar effect to leaving your headlights on!

What To Do About An Overheated Engine

Summer time. The time for hitting the road and heading to the beach with friends and family. Also the time for many people when their car’s temperature gauge rises well above the normal and steam pours out of the bonnet, aka their car’s engine has overheated.
Why is this? How can you prevent it? Let’s find out.

Why Does an Engine Overheat?

Car engines can overheat for various reasons but typically it is a result of a fault in the engine and that it might have been left without a proper service for too long. Most commonly an engine will overheat due to when your car is low or out of coolant. Coolant is the fluid that goes in the radiator to help transfer heat away from the engine itself. If you notice this on a rare occasion you needn’t be too worried, however, if this occurs regularly then this may be a sign that you have a leak or cracked radiator which allows the coolant to escape. 

Keep in mind that coolant fluctuates from the cooling system to the reservoir depending on the engine’s temperature. So if you’re unsure of whether you are ‘actually’ low on coolant or not, have a trained mechanic take a look at it. 

If your engine is overheating but the coolant isn’t low or empty, this could mean there’s a problem with your thermostat. Other reasons your engine is overheating could be related to issues with the radiator such as clogs or damaged caps. If you are certain of what the cause is, it’s best to have a qualified mechanic take a look at it to diagnose the problem. 

How to Prevent Your Engine From Overheating

To best prevent an overheated engine from spoiling your day, make sure your car is getting serviced regularly by a trained mechanic. This means you can find and address the little problems before they become much more significant later down the track. Remember, it’s better to prevent a problem before it even happens.

Another measure of prevention, and a great habit to get yourself into, is to regularly check and ensure your engine has enough coolant. This is especially important when taking long trips. If you are unsure of where the coolant level should be, you can check the by referring to the coolant reservoir.
If you’re out of coolant, you can pick up a new bottle at any auto good auto store. Just remember to buy coolant that is the same colour as what’s currently in your engine – typically it will be either red or green. NEVER mix green and red coolant fluid together. If you need to top up the coolant and are unable to access the right colour coolant, you can use water. If the coolant in your engine is looking faded or rusty, this is a sign that you need a full coolant flush. This process should be completed by a qualified mechanic to ensure you don’t end up with air bubbles in your coolant which will result in the air becoming trapped in the coolant system restricting the coolant from cooling down the engine.