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.
Most batteries require no maintenance, but some do need upkeep. So-called 'Low Maintenance' batteries, those with removable caps, should have the water levels visually inspected each month. Make sure the battery is filled with distilled water and mop up any spills immediately for optimum protection against corrosion.
A rapid clicking sound or conditions where the engine will not start are common signs of a weak or undercharged battery. If anything seems out of the ordinary, it is best to have the vehicle diagnosed by a trained specialist, a local mechanic or neighborhood service center like Pep Boys.
Depending on individual driving habits and type of use, batteries older than three years old should be inspected more often or even replaced as preventative maintenance. Throughout the year, Pep Boys offers free inspections and battery testing to determine if the battery is within spec.
In addition to free battery inspections and charge readings, Pep Boys also offers the following free services just in time for spring and summer:
For additional information on the free services Pep Boys offers, please call your local store or visit http://storelocator.pepboys.com/pepboys/ to find the nearest location.
For more information on Pep Boys and battery care, please visit: http://www.pepboys.com/parts/batteries/diy
About Pep Boys
Since 1921, Pep Boys has been the nation’s leading automotive aftermarket chain. With more than 7,000 service bays in more than 700 locations in 35 states and Puerto Rico, Pep Boys offers name-brand tires; automotive maintenance and repair; parts and expert advice for the Do-It-Yourselfer; commercial auto parts delivery; and fleet maintenance and repair. Customers can find the nearest location by calling 1-800-PEP-BOYS (1-800-737-2697) or by visiting http://www.pepboys.com.