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Recharge Your Battery for Summer

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(Photo: Woraphon Nusen / EyeEm / Getty Images)

A majority of the roadside assistance calls AAA Northeast receives are for battery and electrical issues. Yet many of these problems can be avoided with precautionary steps. Here are a few tips to keep your car battery in top shape.

Maintenance

You should drive your vehicle several times per week to maintain a full state of charge. These drives should be longer trips with steady cruise speeds.

“Short, local trips are not optimal for longest battery life and performance,” said Jason Carrara, manager of technical program training at AAA Northeast. “Very short trips don’t provide the necessary recharging a battery requires after starting the engine.”

Battery Terminals

When battery terminals are corroded, electricity can’t flow properly and your engine won’t start. Periodically disconnecting the car battery to clean its terminals with water and baking soda can help extend its life. This can also be performed by AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities or AAA Car Battery Service.

Testing Your Battery

Batteries become damaged in hot weather and stressed in cold weather. Damage that occurs during summer months may not reveal itself until the winter, when more power is needed to start the vehicle.

“If your car needed a jump in cold weather, you fixed the symptom, but not the underlying problem,” said AAA’s Car Doctor John Paul.

The average car battery life in the Northeast is between three to five years. As they age, batteries should be checked yearly.

Learn more about AAA battery services. AAA.com/Battery

Comments
  • Karen S.

    I just had to have a jump
    For my battery which is only 2and1/2 years old how long will my car run?? With. Charge and should I call the people I bought battery from

    • Andrew S.

      Hi Karen, here’s what our Car Doctor, John Paul, has to say:
      The charging system in a car is actually only designed to maintain the vehicle battery not completely recharge it. The best thing to do is to bring it to a repair facility and have it charged using a battery charger, after the battery and charging system has been checked. Driving the car for 30 minutes or so if the battery and charging system is okay should bring the battery up to about 70/80 percent or so.

      If you have any other questions, you can always contact John here: https://northeast.aaa.com/automotive/aaa-car-doctor/car-doctor-overview.html

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