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Don’t forget your car battery when preparing for vacation

May 23rd, 2014 by
Before you head out on that Memorial Day Road Trip, make sure your car's battery is up for the journey.

Before you head out on that Memorial Day Road Trip, make sure your car’s battery is up for the journey.

Memorial Day unofficially signals the beginning of the family vacation travel season. Now is a good time to remember to give your vehicle a little extra attention and ensure that it is equipped for that special family trip.

Routine maintenance is the key to a durable, safe and dependable vehicle – and it can also help save you from more costly repairs down the road.

Gale Kimbrough is Mr. Battery.

Gale Kimbrough is Mr. Battery.

When the time comes for family road trips, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is the hassle of getting stranded with a dead car battery. So to keep the family car operating at its finest, Interstate Batteries’ engineering services manager Gale Kimbrough, also known as “Mr. Battery”, advises car owners to follow his Top 10 Family Travel Battery Care Tips:

  1. Take a few minutes to read about your battery in your car’s manual and become familiar with what kind of battery it is, where it is, how to safely clean the battery and what the indicator lights inside your car might be trying to tell you.
  2. After a seasonal change, you should first check the battery to make sure it is still fully charged for the spring and summer excursions ahead.
  3. When working with your car battery, remember to always wear protective eyewear, remove all jewelry and wear long sleeves to protect your arms from battery acid discharge.
  4. Perform a visual inspection to see if the battery case is showing signs of extreme bulging, cracking or leaking. If any of these signs are present, it’s time to replace your case.
  5. If your battery has removable filler caps, open the caps and check the water level in each cell. If the level is low, add distilled water (not tap water) until the plates are covered, preferably one-half inch above the plates. This prevents sulfation.
  6. Avoid overfilling, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.
  7. Clean up the connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush. Make sure to brush the corrosion away from the body.
  8. To remove the battery cables first disconnect the negative cables and then the positive. To reinstall the cables, first connect the positive cables and then the negative.
  9. Be sure to check that the battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration.
  10. Have your battery and electrical system professionally tested every three to six months, and especially prior to heading out on a trip.
Good car battery maintenance means your vehicle will start as expected when you turn the key.

Good car battery maintenance means your vehicle will start as expected when you turn the key.

In just 30 seconds, Interstate All Battery Center locations can provide motorists with a free printout analysis of their vehicle battery condition. In addition to automobile batteries, Interstate All Battery Center offers an Outrageously Dependable line of thousands of different products.

 

Posted in Automotive, Maintenance, Tips
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25 comments
AddieRoss
AddieRoss

I made this mistake once, and it will never again. I couldn't agree with you more, when you said to check it out before traveling. My best friend and I went on a little road trip a few weeks ago, and we forgot about the battery. We checked the fluids and everything, but neglected the battery. Wouldn't you know it, we got there safely, but then the battery died. Thankfully, we were able to get help and get it repaired, and back on the road safely. If I would have read this earlier though, we would have known it was going to die. 


http://springfieldbattery.com/ 

JaxWillis23
JaxWillis23

Battery problems are so common it's kind of scary to think about. I know that I have dealt with them a lot with past cars. I couldn't imagine having this come up in the middle of nowhere during a vacation though. That would be difficult to figure out to say the least. I hope that people will be able to figure out new ways to make sure they don't have to worry about their battery as much.

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JamesSimon1
JamesSimon1

I haven't had the battery itself fail very often. However, I have had many car repair experiences where the battery failed as a result of some other system failing. Most recently, our alternator belt was bad and the battery would not charge as a result.

http://www.coveysauto.com/services/auto-repair/ 

quintrent13
quintrent13

It's not just your car battery that you need to check before you go on vacation. You want to make sure that everything is all checked up and in good shape for a long trip. That way you can get all the automotive repairs and services that you need before you leave.
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JordanJohnson2
JordanJohnson2

My father taught me to be sure that my liquids are all topped off before going on a long drive. He taught me this practically, and accidentally. We were going on a trip to Vegas (we live in Wyoming) and had car troubles about half way there in the middle of nowhere. The negative experience was so impaction that myself and all of my siblings always make sure that our cars are serviced properly before long trips.  http://www.mspcarservice.com

Gary Puntman
Gary Puntman

Thanks for this reminder! I'm going on several vacations with my family this summer and we will be driving.  I really don't want to experience a dying car battery while I'm traveling.  I think it would be a good idea to take my car in for maintenance while I'm at it. http://www.59autorepair.com 

MaryJanePrincton
MaryJanePrincton

It is a really good idea to check your care before a long road trip. You want to make sure that nothing goes wrong while you are on vacation. I think that it would be a really good idea to take your car in for a checkup. By doing this you can make sure that your car will last through your whole vacation.


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rbenson1
rbenson1

Your tip to make sure your car battery is in good shape is really helpful.  I always thought that your car battery was maintenance free.  My sister is getting ready to go on a vacation and has been trying to get her car ready. It seems like it would be a good idea for her to make sure the battery is in good condition.  I would hate for her to have car problems if her battery isn't in good condition.  http://www.slipstreamautorepairboulder.com/Auto_Maintenance_Boulder_CO.html

SkyJensen
SkyJensen

Having your car battery die on you on a trip would be so bad. If you where in the middle of no where it would take a long time to get help too. It seems like it is super important to get your car checked before heading out on a road trip.  http://www.highwoodautobody.com

janefairfax18
janefairfax18

This is great advice. The car battery is something that can be easily overlooked, I know I have been guilty of doing so myself. But you do not want to get stranded in a new place without a working battery to keep you running. Before our next trip, my husband and I are for sure going to take the car to a repair shop and have the battery inspected, among other things.

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KentClark1
KentClark1

I really like that you took the time to talk about car battery care before vacations. Some people don't think that it is a big deal. However, avoiding the issue can lead to some serious issues with your vehicle. I try to make sure everything is in working order before any trip. It is better to be safe than sorry. http://autobodyomaha.com 

tedsmith575
tedsmith575

I agree that you should never forget about your car battery when you go on vacation. You never know when your battery could die. That is why it is wise to make sure your battery is working properly. You can take your car into any auto shop and they will be able to check for you.
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MarcusFillion
MarcusFillion

I'm always paranoid about my car breaking down when I go on vacation. It might be overkill, but I always take it in for a tune-up before I go. I would hate to end up stranded by a freeway because of a problem I could have avoided. http://www.prairietire.com

CaseyJones1
CaseyJones1

Thanks for the reminder to check the car battery.  I am planning a big road trip for spring break in a couple weeks.  We don't want any car trouble so I am going to take it into an auto repair shop to have it looked at before we leave.  I will make sure to get the battery checked as well.

http://www.oakhollowtire.com/generalautorepair.htm 

kelseyhiggins
kelseyhiggins

My husband is always so good at remembering to check out the car before we pack up and take off for vacation. However, I have never seen him check the car battery before. I'd imagine that is one of the most important things to check before leaving! Next time we're leaving on a road trip, I'll have to remind him to make sure our battery is up to par. http://www.sterlingserv.com 

Rose Nickelson
Rose Nickelson

Tip number 10 made me laugh. My family just recently went on a road trip and my husband didn't get our car battery checked before we left. Our battery ended up dieing half way through the trip. It seems like it would always be a good idea to get the electrical components of your car checked before a big trip.

http://www.autoco.com.au/auto-electrical.html

MarcusFillion
MarcusFillion

I'm always glad to see articles like this. It's smarter to get your car in shape before you set out on a journey, rather than trying to fix it after it breaks down. Problems are always easier to repair when you find them early. http://www.bonitapoint76.com

avalaurie86
avalaurie86

My car, especially have issues with the battery. I think it is the circuitry in my car that is causing the fails. That's for the article, it is helping me remember to get work done on my car. http://westgatetire.com/services

jwaynebest
jwaynebest

It's always recommended that before going on a driving trip, you take your car to the mechanic shop for a checkup. Last year, my family and I went to California to visit some friends. We thought we have done our homework, but forgot to take our car to the shop. The good thing is that we were able to stop by a shop on our way and got our car fully checked.

http://www.cityradiatorservice.ca/en/ 

KentClark1
KentClark1

I like that you mentioned removing batter cables. That is a step that, surprising, a lot of people forget about. My sister in law basically fried her battery once when changing her battery. Don't forget that tip! http://www.trustedimportslv.com/

AngelaKillpack
AngelaKillpack

I admit that sometimes I forget to have my car checked before going on a long trip. That is definitely not a mistake I want to make again, because it cost me the car. These are all great tips for making sure your car is ready to go when you want to go on vacation! It's not fun to have car trouble when you're on your way to relaxation and fun. http://springfieldbattery.com/ 

Ella Rich
Ella Rich

Wow......that nice share. Every person wants to have a pleasant and hassle free vacation. So this is the best information that you have shared. I think we should make a proper plan before planning a trip. In order to have a suitable working vehicle, car battery wants to be in good working order as well. Having fresh connections and a fully charged battery is a benefit for you as well as your vehicle.

Regards,

http://www.mybusinesscentral.com.au/ads/auto-batteries-springvale-adtec-auto-electrical/



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Interstate Batteries® sells more than 16,000 kinds of batteries—from AA alkalines and automotive batteries to critical power solutions, and everything in between. Combine professional battery services, recycling programs and the largest battery distribution network in North America, and you’ll find Interstate has EVERY BATTERY FOR EVERY NEED®. Learn more about Interstate Batteries or shop online!

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