The 21 days lockdown across India, which was supposed to end on 15th April 2020, has been extended till 3rd May 2020. It means another 19 days of lockdown, making it a total of 40 days! While we have already discussed and suggested that you follow this lockdown very seriously, else your car or bike can be impounded by the police. In case you are missing the drive behind the wheels of the car too much, here is some partial relief by Audi, who is giving you a free 4-hour virtual drive across scenic roads. Well, coming back to a severe and probably expensive problem we are discussing today is your car or bike battery becoming dead because of deep discharging. In this article, we explain why this happens, and what can you do to avoid this?
Older the battery, more serious the problem
If your car or bike battery is more than 2 to 3 years old, it is almost certain that the battery would be deeply discharged and will not work after 40 days of lockdown when it has not been in use. The reason I say older batteries have more problems is that these batteries start to lose their charge holding capacity gradually with time and most car or scooter batteries have a life or 2.5 to 3.5 years if maintained properly. They need constant re-charging from time to time, which happens when you drive your car/ bike. There is a component called the alternator, which is run using the engine and re-charges the car/ bike battery when the engine is running. When you don’t start the engine for a long time, like in lockdown, the battery does not get charged and keeps leaking charge gradually and ultimately discharging deeply, which means when you will start your car/ bike after 40 days, it will most likely not start. Newer batteries, around 1 year or less in age, have better chances of survival as new batteries have a higher charge holding capacity compared to old ones. Don’t worry, we will tell you a way to avoid a dead battery, read the next section.
How To Prevent A Dead Car/ Bike Battery During Lockdown?
The best way to avoid a discharged battery is to charge it at least twice a week, especially for older batteries. If you start your car engine for 5 to 10 minutes in a week and let it idle in the parking (make sure there is ventilation, not advisable for locked indoor garages without ventilation), it will re-charge the battery partially and a 10-minute idle charge per week should be good enough. This can be done for both cars and bikes. For cars, it is also advisable to roll down all windows and turn on the AC for 5 minutes to that the air-conditioning vents keep the circulation going and any order, etc. does not develop in the AC vents. If you live somewhere where you are allowed to drive for essential commodities or work, you should try and take the car/ bike out for a short drive/ ride every once in a while (only if legally allowed).
Here are some additional tips to keep your car/ bike in good condition in lockdown-
- Keep the fuel levels quarter-tank or higher as lower fuel may affect fuel pump and engine health
- Move the car within the parking space a little if possible to prevent car tyres from developing shape fatigue, more important if tyre pressure is low
- Do not keep any food items in the car, it attracts rodents and insects which can spoil the interiors and make the car stink
- Try to park in the shade if possible or put a body cover on
- Clean the exteriors once or twice a week to protect the paint quality of the car
- If you have parked on a mild sloping surface, put the car in gear and disengage the parking brake (applicable for MT cars only)
We hope your car/ bike battery will survive this lockdown using these tips. Please share this article with your friends and family so that they can also save their car batteries from dying during the lockdown.