- George Poland
- Driving Tips
How to keep your battery and minibus in good health
With coronavirus and the ensuing lockdowns, your minibuses and their batteries might get neglected. So, how can you stop your battery from going flat?
Over the past year figures have shown that battery related breakdowns are on the up, and with only essential trips being ruled by the government, it can be assumed that the non-usage of our vehicles is one of the main causes.
Current colder winter conditions also puts our batteries at risk and compounds the effects of non-usage. It’s important to note too, that battery failure due to driver neglect often isn’t covered by maintenance packages and so by carrying out the following tips you can help keep your minibus in working order and avoid unnecessary repairs and inconvenience.
- Keep your engine ticking over
Using your minibus for essential trips during lockdown is one easy way to keep your battery in healthy condition. Even if its just a quick trip to the shops or around the block until your vehicle is warmed up, making sure that your vehicle is driven fairly frequently will help to greatly reduce the risk of battery failure.
Even just moving your minibus backwards and forwards can go a long way in maintaining the air-con, brakes and tyres but longer trips are more ideal for keeping the battery recharged.
- Charge your battery
Charging your battery is much more direct route in keeping it from going flat – just make sure that you carry out the correct procedure and do this safely.
Before charging your battery you’ll want to ensure that you have a compatible charger and that the lead terminals and clamps aren’t corroded.
It’s always safest to disconnect your battery before charging. Make sure to disconnect the negative lead first, which is usually black, and reconnect it last to avoid any shocks.
Connect the clamps to the battery terminals and keep the charger away from the battery during the charging process. Once the charge is completed, unclip and reconnect the battery again. You should be all good to drive away!
- Depress the clutch
When starting the engine, it can be helpful to put your foot on the clutch. This is because it reduces the effort needed to start and removes strain from the battery
- Have spare jump leads
In the emergency that your battery does fail, jump leads can be a lifesaver and used to kickstart your car back into action.
Driving for the first time in a while?
If you are about to drive your minibus, having not driven it for a while, then there a few things you should check to make sure that you’ll be driving safely and legally.
Driving off gently once you first start up can help to ease a stiff handbrake. Applying the brakes before you get onto any roads will help you get a feel for how they are working and should help to clear up any rustiness.
All fluid levels should be checked before the engine is started. This includes brake fluid, coolant, engine-oil, screen wash and power-steering fluid.
Tyre pressure may have deflated overtime so its important that these are checked and inflated accordingly.
- Check under the bonnet
Though it might sound odd, the AA does recommend that you check under your bonnet if you’ve not set off for a while to make sure no animals have made a home next to your engine!