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There are a lot of parts in a car that can be damaged or running low that won’t stop it completely. However, the battery is essential to even getting an engine started, and when its dead, the car is dead. According to just about any auto repair shop in the St. Paul, MN area, battery issues are one thing that customers can do a lot to prevent or fix on their own. When a battery seems to die for no reason, there can be a lot of speculation or curiosity as to what happened. In truth, what is killing the battery may be surprising for some car owners.

Despite what many may believe, Summer is harder on batteries than Winter.

Heat is more damaging to batteries than cold. A battery inside a vehicle that is exposed to constant heat, such as during a bad Summer heatwave, can begin to drain on its own. Keeping batteries cleaned of debris and gunk can help it stay a bit cooler. Storing cars in shade when possible can also help keep the battery from draining as badly in hot weather. If you are unsure how to clean off a battery that has become dirty, you can easily ask your auto repair shop in the St. Paul, MN are for help. Most technicians will gladly clear off and test batteries if you suspect it may be getting drained. They can also give you advise or tips on how to clean it at home, if you are comfortable doing so.

There is a grain of truth to the myth that phone chargers can drain a battery.

When the vehicle first starts up, it takes a bit of the battery’s charge to get things going. The alternator, if given enough time, can replace that charge as the vehicle runs. Taking trips that require a lot of stops and starts can leave a battery at less than full. Charging devices can add to the drain taken away from short trips. When possible, save using the charging ports for longer trips, where the energy used can be replaced. In some vehicles, there are a lot of electronic devices, such as built-in GPS and televisions that can add to the power costs. If you have to be parked for a while and still inside your vehicle, avoid using electronic devices that require charge from the car, unless you are able to keep the engine running. Though is should be kept in mind that most auto repair shops in the St. Paul, MN area do not recommend idling for long.

What else can you do to keep your battery alive longer?

Aside from keep an eye on the temperatures, cleanliness, and how much extra drain you put onto it, you can also take steps to keep it topped off. There are battery charging devices that can help you top off batteries that have not been able to recharge from the alternator. For people who have really short commutes or who often take the care just down the street, using a charging device once a month or so can extend the overall life of the battery. If you are not sure which brand to use, your friendly St. Paul, MN auto repair shop can recommend one for you.