Late spring and early summer are great times to inspect the cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and RVs that sat stationary for extended periods of time for signs of wear and needed maintenance. Winter weather can be especially tough on electrical systems between seasonal cold starts and long-term winter storage zapping much needed battery power.
The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY) remind motorists to take precautions with a step-by-step battery inspection and maintenance guide.
Check Your Electrical Connections
At the beginning of the summer driving season and at each service interval, make sure to inspect and clean the terminals of the battery and any other related electrical connections. Beyond the battery, inspect harness connectors to make sure they are tight, clean and free of moisture, or have this professionally done by a local repair facility.Keep Your Batteries Clean and Secure Ensure the battery in your vehicle is properly secured, free of corrosion, spilled oil, excess road grime and other build up. Each of these items -- under worst case scenarios -- can result in unreliable starting and poor electrical system operation. Loose batteries can short circuit, likely damaging the electrical system, endangering the vehicle’s computers, and placing the vehicle in jeopardy of dangerous inoperability or even fire. Loose batteries can suffer increased vibration, which may cause damage to the internal structure, also resulting in a shortened battery life and possibly an inoperable or unreliable vehicle. Keep Your Battery Charged Vehicles stored for long periods of time, without being started, may have undercharged or even fully discharged batteries. Personal watercraft, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and lawn and garden equipment typically haven’t been started over the winter months, and are the most common types of vehicles experiencing dead batteries. If your vehicle is going to be stored for long periods of time, consider connecting it to a battery charger/maintainer or simply disconnecting the battery altogether to avoid loss of charge from electrical loads that may draw constantly. Smaller non-automotive batteries like those in vehicles that have been stored over the winter typically have a shorter life, but battery life can be extended by removing and storing batteries inside during the cold season.
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