How Social Distancing May Drain Your Car Battery

As the world adjusts to self-quarantining and social distancing to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, an unforeseen consequence may occur. With schools closed, office staff working from home, and people staying in, cars are sitting unused in garages and driveways across the country.

A vehicle battery, if left too long without being started, will slowly drain until it’s completely out of power. Even when a car is turned off, power-hungry gadgets, like the clock, radio, and on onboard computers continue to draw power from the battery. Over time, these constant drains will deplete the battery’s ability to start your car.

You might be tempted to start the car and let it idle in an effort to re-charge the battery. While this may work with older vehicles, modern charging systems only keep the battery topped off enough to sufficiently run all the accessories on the vehicle. For this reason, starting and idling your engine will probably not bring your battery up to its fully charged state.

Battery Trickle Chargers Can Help

One option for keeping your battery charged when your car is not being used for an extended period is to purchase a trickle charger. This device attaches to the battery with clamps like jumper cables, then plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet to deliver enough electricity to keep the battery charged during long periods of inactivity. In the Columbus area, you can call one of the nine AAA Car Care Plus locations to purchase a trickle charger over the phone. After purchase, drive to the location, and an associate will deliver your order curbside. You could also check with your local NAPA store, which is also offering curbside pickup after ordering online and AAA members save 10%.

Battery Testing from the Comfort of Your Home

It’s always a good idea to be proactive to ensure your car is in good working condition when you need it. A mobile battery technician from AAA can come to your driveway and perform a free battery inspection. If you should you need a new battery, they can install one on the spot, while you avoid having to leave the safety of your home. Call AAA Ohio Auto Club to schedule a battery test at 1 (800) AAA-HELP.

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