“With the winter blahs almost gone and preparations are being made for the riding season, USRider has some tips regarding your battery,” says Bill Riss, General Manager of USRider, the national provider of roadside emergency assistance.
While USRider and other motor plans are available to assist motorists when their batteries fail, USRider provides some suggestions to avoid the inconvenience of a dead battery.
If your battery is more than five years old, you are living on borrowed time. While some batteries have a 96-month (or eight-year) warranty, most batteries are warranted for 36 or 60 months.
The first sign of a weak battery is the time to take action or you could find yourself stranded, or inconvenienced at best. If your battery is weak and is within its warranty period, return to the retailer you purchased the battery from, or a dealer, for possible replacement, or pro-rated reimbursement.
Additionally, it is important that your battery is properly installed and maintained to ensure top performance. Battery posts and cables should be clean and free of corrosion. When installing a new battery insist that the installer uses dielectric grease to ensure good continuity. Worn battery cables should be replaced, as they will prevent the battery from charging and discharging properly.
It is also important that you purchase a battery that is properly rated for your vehicle, and purchase a high-quality battery from a reputable manufacturer.
While many newer batteries are maintenance-free, or sealed, now would be a good time to check the electrolyte fluid levels on low-maintenance batteries that have removable vent caps. If your battery can be refilled, remove all of the six vent caps and check the electrolyte levels. You will see an indicator line on the side of the cells – be sure to check each one individually, and do not overfill. When filling, use distilled water and be sure to pour slowly, and use safety glasses. When finished wipe off the top of the battery and make sure the posts are clean and free of corrosion.
Maintenance-free batteries will usually have a built-in eye to check the charge status. If the eye is green, the battery is properly charged; if it is black, it is discharged.
If you are uncertain about any of these procedures, consult a trusted ASE-certified mechanic to perform a load test to check the condition of the battery.
USRider provides roadside assistance and towing services along with other travel-related benefits to its members through the Equestrian Motor Plan. It includes standard features such as flat-tire repair, battery assistance, lockout services, and towing, as well as roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, emergency stabling, veterinary referrals and more.