How do we keep our car battery from mati during lockdown? Especially if we have more than one car.
When we enter the month of August in just a few days, it'll be our second month in lockdown (movement control order). Apart from having our freedom restricted, this lockdown has also immobilised our vehicles in the last sixty days, which has caused their batteries to be drained.
This is especially true for those who could not find the opportunity to run their vehicles once in a while, because a car's battery only gets recharged when the alternator is working.
The alternator is a belt-driven generator that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. When the engine is on and moving, the battery gets its power and recharges from it, but since this has not happened much in the last couple of months, the battery has lost most of its voltage, which is essential for the operation of the starter motor and the reason why your car will not start.
While you can go to the trouble of jump-starting your car and driving it around for a couple of hours to recharge its battery, there's a more effortless and better way to keep it powered up.
It requires a bit of investment, but it guarantees to charge your battery fully, unlike the jump-starting and driving around method.
The easiest way to charge your vehicle's battery under the current lockdown situation is through a battery charger. It's relatively cheap and a worthwhile accessory to have given the situation we are in.
A trickle charger is a type of car battery charger designed to be left on a car for an extended period of time to recharge its battery slowly and safely. It adds charge to the battery at a snail's pace (overnight) to preserve the battery's life.
It takes electricity from your home's electrical mains and transfers it to the vehicle's battery through positive and negative leads that clip onto the battery or battery posts. By doing this, it keeps the battery from being depleted from disuse.
Yes, you could have many trickle chargers for every car at home to keep their batteries charged constantly, but one should be enough if you keep rotating them around.
Many battery chargers are available on e-commerce stores such as Shopee and Lazada, but if you want assurance that they have been designed and tested under the most rigorous tests and engineering, choose a battery charger made by a reputable company like Bosch.
Bosch offers many types of battery chargers to suit one's budgets and needs, and the cheapest out of them all is the Bosch C3 battery charger, coming in around the RM200 price point if you shop around.
The C3 is an intelligent four-stage automatic battery charger with pulse charging and trickle charging capabilities. Its trickle charging mode enables the charger to monitor and keep the battery at a high level of charge which helps to reduce self-discharge.
The C3 is ideal for charging and maintaining lead-acid wet, gel, AGM, and VRLA/ SLA batteries up to 120Ah (12V) / 14Ah (6V). It is also IP65 rated so is dust and splash-proof. It comes with a built-in fuse to prevent damage to the charger in case of any power surge or short circuit.
The operation of the C3 is as simple as plugging it into an electrical main and then hooking the clamps up to the car's battery or satelite battery terminal points in your car.
The C3 will then automatically recognise the type of battery the vehicle is equipped with and start charging them. Since it is a trickle charger, it does charge the battery slowly and, in most cases, will take overnight to fully charge them.
For cars that have near to empty batteries, it will take longer than that. It can also be used to charge motorcycle batteries that use 6V systems. Since it is a smart charger, it will auto-detect and calibrate the amount of energy needed itself.
The only negative of the C3 charger is that it will not charge the battery if the battery is completely flat. You'd have to get the mid-tier C7 version which has a battery recuperation mode.
However, we did find a way around it, where we jump-started the car first and drove it around for a while and gave the battery a bit of life. Since it has a bit more juice, you can then attach the C3 to the car to recharge the battery.
The battery charger is a good way to maintain a healthy battery because even a relatively new battery can go flat if it is not given a chance to recharge itself.
While the charger might set you back around RM200, it will however save you from forking out around RM500-RM1000 for a new battery, so it can be considered a good investment. This way you can ensure your car is well looked after while you sleep.
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