A Glimmer Of Freedom
29 April 2020
Is that light we see at the end of the tunnel? News that some states are easing their Covid-19 restriction is being met with mixed feelings. While some are concerned that it’s too early and second stage of infections might eventuate, others are just excited at being able to venture further afield than their driveway.
After more than a month of tight restrictions, being able to go out again might be a short-lived idea. Going for a drive and a family picnic, as long as it’s no more than 50km from home, would be great if the car battery can still crank enough to start the car. Going fishing sounds like a fabulous way to spend the day, as long as you don’t have to row all the way out to – or worse, all the way back in again from – your favourite spot.
A month of not being used can cause problems. A battery is a bit like a muscle: use it or lose it. While using the battery causes power to be lost, the alternator recharges an automotive battery and a charger takes care of the deep cycle battery. If you don’t take care of it when it’s not in use, damage occurs within the battery.
Sulphation and acid stratification are two common problems for batteries that are not used regularly. The large power demands of auxiliary functions can result in stratification when the car is just sitting in the garage. Cars that are only driven short distances, such as to and from the supermarket, don’t get enough of a recharge and so sulphation of the battery plates can occur. These problems affect the performance of the battery, making it go flat, shortening its life, or making it time to buy a new one.
Marine batteries need to be stored fully charged, so if you got caught out at the start of restrictions and forgot to charge the battery, you’ll need to get onto it ASAP even if you don’t plan on heading out. The option might be death of the battery over winter and you’ll need a replacement as the weather warms up again.
Before you get too far into your weekend planning, check your batteries. If they haven’t been used in a while there’s a chance that they might be flat. If you don’t have a tester, you’ve got a few choices:
- Purchase a tester from Battery World
- Take your battery to Battery World and we’ll test it for you
- Cross your fingers and hope for the best
If you choose option 1 or 2, you’ll know the state of charge of your battery and whether it has survived the isolation. If it didn’t fare well, you’ll know whether it needs to be recharged or even replaced.
Whatever your feelings about the easing of restrictions and your first taste of freedom, it’s worth checking your batteries and making sure they’re ready as soon as you are.