Nothing puts a damper on your day, like going to start your car, only to find that you have a dead battery. It usually happens without warning and always throws a real wrench in your plans. Luckily, BCAA is here to save the day, whether it’s to provide a quick boost or even deliver you a brand-new battery. Yep, that’s BCAA’s Battery Service Program hard at work!
When it comes to keeping unpleasant surprises as bay, proper maintenance is always the best approach. Learn about what could be affecting your vehicle’s battery health and the steps you can take to keep it in good shape.
Factors that affect your vehicle’s battery health
- Driving habits. Without regular driving, vehicle batteries can deteriorate over time. This is especially true for older batteries or feature-packed newer vehicles, and problems can start after just a few weeks of sitting parked.
- Power-hungry gadgets. Even when a car is turned off, things like the clock, radio, and onboard computers continue to draw power from the battery. Over time, these drains will deplete the battery’s ability to start your car.
- Extreme temperatures. BCAA sees a spike in roadside assistance calls related to battery issues during really cold and really hot months.
Tips to protect your battery
It’s road trip season, and the difference between a great versus not so great getaway can boil down to your car battery. High temperatures and driving habits both impact your battery performance. So, after a year of driving less and with hot summer days upon us, it’s important to check on your car battery before you hit the road:
- Inspect the battery case, brackets, and tray for corrosion and remove these deposits, which interfere with the flow of electric current.
- Inspect brackets to make sure they secure the battery adequately. Loose brackets will allow the battery to vibrate, shortening its life and possibly damaging other components.
- Tighten loose battery cables.
- Check the tension and condition of the fan belt. A loose fan belt can diminish the battery’s ability to charge. If a fan belt is frayed or cracked, have it replaced.
- Schedule a regular battery inspection and cleaning by a trained battery representative. One good way to incorporate battery care into your maintenance routine is to put a battery check on your calendar every time you schedule an oil change.
- Keep your vehicle as cool as possible by parking in a covered garage, or shaded area.
Helpful tip: Always park your vehicle so that the battery is accessible in case you do need a boost.
Signs it might be time to replace your battery
When it comes to proper maintenance, the vehicle, the battery's health, and environmental conditions all play a role. On average, a battery will last 3 to 5 years, but driving habits and exposure to extreme elements can shorten its life. If your vehicle won’t start and you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time to replace your battery:
- Lights look different. If your headlights are dim and appear yellow instead of white, your battery’s power may be declining. You might also notice that interior dome lights appear dim or flicker, and warning lights may display on the dashboard.
- The car horn sounds strange. When your car horn sounds less emphatic than usual, your car battery could be on the fritz.
- Electronic accessories fail. Signs your car battery is failing include your radio, heated seats, or cell phone charger not working as usual.
- It doesn’t look or smell right. Sometimes, a simple visual inspection or smell test is all it takes to know your battery is in trouble. If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg smell, or your battery is swollen, cracked, or corroded, it may be time for a replacement.
BCAA is here to help
At home or on the road, we can get you moving. Here’s how:
- If your battery needs a boost or replacement, BCAA Auto Service offers Members contact-free Battery Service wherever your vehicle is parked*.
- Rest assured, knowing you’re covered. If you need a replacement, your new battery comes standard with a 6-year warranty. You’ll get a free replacement if it fails in the first 3 years and a discounted rate in the final 3 years. Plus, we will safely dispose of your old battery in an eco-friendly manner.
- Our BCAA Battery Service Program is easy on the wallet. The service provided by our expert technicians is included in the cost of your new battery, plus Members save $78!
- Concerned about the current health of your car battery? Visit your local BCAA Auto Service Centre for a check. As a special perk, BCAA Members get a free battery health check!
Pro Tip: The BCAA Mobile app makes it easy for Members to request BCAA Roadside Assistance from their smartphone. Download the app to get faster service by passing the calling queue and getting to our dispatch team directly. Plus, you can use the BCAA Service Tracker to see the driver’s location and estimated arrival in real-time where available as well!
Not a BCAA Member yet? Join today for less than $7 per month for all your battery needs and more. At home or on the road, we’re only a click or call away to help keep you moving!
*BCAA Battery Service availability varies depending on vehicle make and model, and is limited to service areas as outlined at bcaa.com/batteryservice.