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Monday, September 25, 2023

On the Road Again: Avoiding Battery Blunders


I once heard someone say, ‘The best memories are made on the road.’ As you cruise down the highway, the hum of your car beneath you and the vast horizon ahead, it’s all about the journey, not the destination. Yet, as crucial as our tires or our treasured playlists are, it’s our car battery that truly keeps the journey alive.

But imagine if, out of the blue, your trusty car battery chooses to bow out in the middle of a desolate stretch. Those memories swiftly shift from ‘picture-perfect sunsets’ to ‘waiting an eternity for a tow truck’. Not exactly the Instagram-worthy adventure you had planned, right?

That One Time in Nowhere-Ville

I remember driving through the scenic routes of Nowhere-Ville (not its real name, but might as well have been). The sun was setting, casting a rosy hue on everything, and I was lost in the beauty of it all. That is until my car decided it was the perfect moment to take a nap. And by nap, I mean my battery just gave out. No warning, no sputtering – just complete radio silence.

I ended up being that person – you know, the one trying to flag down other cars with a makeshift SOS sign made out of an old pizza box from the backseat. But enough about my misadventures. Let’s ensure you never become a roadside-stranded member of the “Battery Blunder Club”.

Know Thy Battery

A great philosopher once said, “Know thyself.” But for the purposes of our journey, I propose a slight modification: “Know thy battery.” Familiarize yourself with your car battery’s age and usual lifespan. Most batteries have a happy life of about 3-5 years. If yours is approaching the “golden years”, it might be time for a health check.

Quick Tip

Mark the date of purchase on the battery with a permanent marker. It’s like remembering a friend’s birthday, but this friend can leave you stranded if you forget about them.

Maintenance is Key

Just like you go to the doctor for check-ups, your battery craves a bit of TLC too. Regularly clean off any corrosion (that weird white powdery stuff) from the terminals. It’s like exfoliating for your battery. Who knew car batteries had a skincare routine?

Embrace the Technology

We live in a world where our fridges can send us text messages. (Mine usually says, “You’re out of milk, and those leftovers are older than your last relationship.”) So, why not get a gadget that can alert you if your battery is feeling a bit under the weather? Battery testers and monitoring apps can be your best buddies on long drives.

Winter is Coming – and So are Battery Woes

Did you know cold weather is like kryptonite to car batteries? I found out the hard way during a particularly chilly winter escapade. I woke up, ready to hit the slopes, only to discover my car wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about the day’s plans. Apparently, batteries lose strength in cold weather. Who knew?

Pro Tip

If you live in a chilly area or plan to visit one, consider investing in a battery warmer or simply park your car in a garage. It’s like a cozy blanket but for your battery.

Avoiding the Phantom Drain

This isn’t the latest superhero movie, but it’s just as exciting. Okay, maybe not. A phantom drain happens when accessories or internal functions continue to use battery power even when the car is off.

Ensure you’re not leaving any lights on or accessories plugged in. That one night I accidentally left my interior light on. Yup, you guessed it – more roadside shenanigans the next morning.


Batteries might not be the most glamorous part of our car – that title goes to the cup holders, obviously. But, they sure are essential. Treat them right, and you’ll have countless more adventures “On the road again” without any unscheduled pit stops.

Remember, every time you turn the ignition and your car purrs to life, take a moment to send a little “Thank you” to that unsung hero under the hood. Safe travels and may your battery always be in the pink of health!

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