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Preventing Your Car’s Battery from Running Down During Confinement

In collaboration with pilesbatteries.com

During these times when we have to stay at home as much as possible, we’re asked to restrict ourselves to using our vehicle only for essential travel, such as to get to the grocery store or pharmacy, or for a health emergency. Even then, the idea is to travel only to the nearest establishments, which means that often we don’t even use our vehicle. Vehicles that stay idle recharge their batteries less, which can lead to those units running down. This is also the case for electric vehicles, which have their own procedures that need following. For motorcycles, fortunately the requirements are less demanding. In the worst case, a battery can easily be replaced by consulting a motorcycle battery specialist.
 
Inactivity can have an impact on a key element such as the car battery. The age of the vehicle is an important factor to consider. With newer cars, there are so many electronics that even when stationary, the vehicle consumes a minimum amount of electricity to keep all the instruments alive.

One quick solution is to disconnect the cables while the vehicle is parked, especially if you know your vehicle will sit unused for a length of time. Beware, however, for in some modern vehicles this will cause the electronics to be de-configured. If you don't want to unplug everything, the logical solution is to drive for a minimum of 15 minutes once or twice a week. Ideally, you should drive on the highway with the engine running at around 2,000 rpm. This is the pace at which the engine most efficiently recharges the battery.

WHAT ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS

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In the case of an electric vehicle, it’s not necessary to keep it permanently connected or to have it at 100%, but the battery must remain above 10% to avoid any drainage problems. Otherwise, the best way is, again, to take the vehicle for a short ride at least once a month to make sure it’s still operational.
Tesla, on the other hand, maintains its own way of thinking on the question. The California-based manufacturer asks its customers to plug the vehicle in to avoid any loss of range. This will also keep the battery at an optimal temperature.

AND DON'T FORGET THE MOTORCYCLES!

With the more or less forced immobilization of vehicles and now with the return of good weather, your motorcycle that was waiting quietly in the garage will soon be out. However, you might have some surprises when it's time to restart it. After our long winter and our confined weeks, the batteries of these toys may well be down to near-zero. To avoid this, with the heat setting in, plan a few short trips of about 30 minutes to allow your bike's battery to recharge. If that’s not possible, dismantle your battery and use a smart motorcycle battery charger that will maintain an optimum charge level by preventing the battery from discharging or overcharging.

Enjoy your ride and stay safe.

Photo: Big Stock