Vehicles Drain Batteries while Sitting Idly on Driveways
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Protect your car battery before you jet off on vacation unless you want to return to a vehicle that won't start, is the warning being issued by an automotive expert who specialises in replacing batteries at the roadside.
Tahir Ali, Operations Manager for Dial-A-Battery, a 24 hour emergency car battery replacement service, is speaking out ahead of the summer vacation season in a bid to save motorists headache and frustration on their return.
“Everyone deserves a good holiday at this time of year and the last thing a person wants when arriving back is a flat battery to ruin their post-vacation good mood,” said Ali. “It can be a bit of a shock to motorists when their ignition won't turn over, as they mostly assume that their car will start just fine when they jump into the driver's seat for the first time,” he added.
As Ali explained, vehicle starting problems can arise as cars drain power from their batteries even when they are sat idly on driveways and seemingly dormant.
“Many people don't realise that there are electrical items in their car, such as its internal clock and computer, that continue to pull power from the battery even when the ignition is switched off,” said Ali. “Over time, these will drain the charge, with problems especially likely to occur if owners take extended vacations,” he added.
To minimise the loss of charge in your car battery whilst you are on vacation, Ali has a simply tip – remove the terminal leads from the battery terminals, starting with the negative lead first.
“With a spanner or wrench, loosen the nut on the negative terminal lead - sometimes they twist easily just using your hand. Remove the connector and place it away from the rest of the battery and from metal items, such as the hood, so to avoid the possibility of a short circuit. Then, repeat the process with your wrench on the positive terminal. Simply loosen and move away the lead,” said Ali.
“Once you have done this, apply petroleum jelly or grease to the heads of the terminal leads and wrap each one in an old piece of cloth, such as a duster, tying them off with an elastic band. Rub more petroleum jelly around the battery terminals and cover with loose piece of cloth. The jelly on the terminals and terminal connectors prevents corrosion and the cloth prevents the connectors and terminals coming into contact with metal. If you like keeping it simple, some electrical tape and a few dust caps can also do the job.” he added.
“On return from your vacation, wipe off the petroleum jelly from the terminals and connectors and reattach the leads, starting with the positive first. Batteries are heavy and contain toxic, corrosive liquid, so please take extra precaution for your safety and the safety of your car. With these simple measures you can avoid the hassle and inconvenience of a service centre call out when you would much rather be familiarising yourself with the normal routine,” he continued.
Dial-A-Battery was launched in Dubai in November 2011 for drivers requiring emergency car battery replacement, whether at home or by the roadside. The service has since expanded into Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Motorists requiring assistance call a free helpline number and have their location confirmed by a text message, with the Dial-A-Battery operator then sending the request to their mobile dispatch team.
Dial-A-Battery is a subsidiary of A-MAP, a leading UAE-based distributor of automotive spare parts and accessories.