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Is Your Car Battery Healthy When Not in Use?

Vehicle Maintenance -

Is Your Car Battery Healthy When Not in Use?

Has your car been sitting idle in the garage or in the parking lot?

With many Canadians driving fewer kilometers these days, instances of dead batteries are on the rise.

Whether your vehicle is fuel-powered, hybrid, or electric, the battery is the beating heart of your car. Additionally, today's vehicles are electronically sophisticated. Everything from door locks to adjustable seats depends upon electronics, putting increased demand on batteries. Even when sitting idle, electronics in your vehicle are constantly drawing power from the battery, and short trips don't give your car enough time to fully recharge its battery. Add long periods of vehicle inactivity to the mix, and sulfation occurs, leading to a dead battery.

While less driving and more in-house activities may be our new normal, dead car batteries don't have to be. Car batteries, much like cell phone batteries, are rechargeable.

Here are a few steps that can help ensure your car’s battery will remain healthy and dependable when you need it the most:

1. Drive Periodically

Cars already have a mechanism in place to keep the battery fully charged. That’s the job of the alternator, which generates electric power when the engine is running. This supplies the electrical power used by the vehicle’s electronic systems and charges the battery. In a well-functioning vehicle, the alternator does a great job of keeping the battery charged when the car is running. Driving your vehicle at city and highway speeds at least once a week can help charge the battery.

2. Use a Battery Charger and Maintainer

Even better, the simplest and best way to ensure that your car battery remains healthy throughout periods of inactivity is by connecting it to a battery charger and maintainer. A battery charger and maintainer can help prolong the life of your battery, so you save time and avoid the costs of having to repair or replace your battery.

The MotoMaster Simple Series Battery Chargers and Maintainers are fully automatic, simple-to-use chargers that will keep your battery in top shape. The microprocessor-controlled 6 step charging process ensures a safe, fast, and thorough battery charge. It will guarantee your battery is full before you use it to start the car, preventing the deep discharges that can kill your battery before its time.

Booster Cable: Booster Cables | Canadian Tire

The size of the battery charger you need will depend on the size of your car’s battery. Bigger batteries will benefit from higher amperage chargers to provide a faster charge. Make sure that your battery terminals are clean and free of any debris to ensure a good connection to the charger’s clamps. It is recommended that batteries are charged at least once a week when left idle. Please read and follow manufacturer instructions for charging your specific vehicle battery.

3. Have a Jump Starter Handy

Given the long periods of inactivity, combined with the age and health your battery may be in, you may still find yourself with a dead battery. For such emergency situations, a jump starter will come in handy. The Lithium-Ion Booster Packs will provide you with the burst of power your battery will need to start.

Like battery chargers, the size of the booster pack you need depends on the size of your car’s battery, but also on other factors such as its state of discharge and weather conditions.

4. Get Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance

If you attempt to jumpstart your vehicle and it’s still not working, don’t panic. Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance is there during essential travel too. Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance is committed to providing 24/7 support across Canada. Whenever you are facing any battery-related issues, call Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance and we’ll be there to provide you with a battery boost* to get your car back on the road.

* Terms and conditions apply. Subject to the restrictions and limitations of the plan selected. For complete membership features, plan details and terms and conditions visit

5. Visit Canadian Tire Automotive Service Centres

Along with Roadside Assistance, Canadian Tire Automotive Service Centres are open to help with any vehicle-related needs. For any battery-related issues or if you need to get your vehicle serviced, visit your nearest Canadian Tire Automotive Service Centre. You can find your nearest Automotive Service Centre here: