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Stay Charged! Tips for Getting the Most From Your Vehicle's Battery

You never want to be stuck by the side of the road with a dead vehicle. But every year, dead batteries leave millions stuck in their driveway or on the roads. Here are a few tips and advice on identifying issues and extending the life of your car battery.

1) Diagnose the Problem

Signs of a dead battery are an engine that is slow to turnover and dimming lights in your dashboard. Newer vehicles may also provide an indicator light as a warning on the dashboard. If a problem is suspected with the battery, you can perform a visual check under the hood. Look for signs including a swollen battery case or corrosion on the terminals. Both could be signs of a needed replacement.

2) Determine the Cause of the Failure Before Replacing

Common cause of battery failure including leaving the headlights, interior lights, flashers, electronic charges, and radio on while the vehicle isn't running. Not starting a car for a long time, particularly in cold weather, is another common issue. Vehicle batteries can lose up to 33% of their charge when temperatures drop to below freezing and more than 50% of the charge when temperatures fall below zero. Poor battery maintenance and battery age can also reduce charging ability.

3) Charge Vehicle Batteries Correctly

When "jump starting", you will need another vehicle with a functioning battery.

1) Park both vehicles next to each other

2) Attache the red/positve cable to the positive terminal on the vehicle with the functioning battery; reapeat on the dead battery car.

3) Attach the black/negative cable to the negative battery terminal of the functioning battery; repeat the process on the dead battery.

4) Start the engine of the functioning vehicle

5) After a few minutes, start the vehicle with the dead battery.

6) Let both vehicles run for several minutes to ensure the dead battery is charged.

7) Once charged, remove the cables in reverse order of how you attached them.

4) Routinely Maintenance Your Battery

Regular maintenance helps extend battery life. Make sure to check for battery corrosion and clean if needed. If your battery is going to be parked for an extended time, remove the battery or invest in a battery charger.

5) Find a Trusted Car Care Partner

The best way to avoid vehicle failures is to have a professional car care partner to maintain your vehicle. A trusted partner will diagnose and treat a variety of vehicle problems ranging from batter failure to more complex issues. Pro Am Collision and Mechanical has been in business for over 31 years and are here to help with your car repair in Grand Rapids, MI. Visit to schedule your appointment today.

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