• Are your batteries good?

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    Recently, a friend asked me if a car battery that has lasted two and half years is worth it and still good enough. First, I asked him how long the warranty was on the battery. He answered, “about a year.” “That’s great!” was my reply, especially that it was used in a Nissan Terrano powered by a diesel engine. That was very, very good. Money well spent.

    The run-of-the-mill battery would normally last just a few months after the warranty has lapsed, whether it be the low-maintenance kind or the one that needs regular maintenance. But to have one in a diesel-powered vehicle that needs considerably more battery amperage to crank and start the engine, and last more than a year after its supposed lifetime is really great!

    Well, what did my friend do to make the battery of his vehicle last that long? For starters, he made sure that it was filled with battery fluid at the proper level all the time. He also made sure the battery terminals were always clean and tight. Every so often, he would drain the water from the battery and replenish it with a fresh batch—sometimes even using rain water. One thing that really helped is making sure that the battery lasts longer is to let the engine idle for a while before turning it off – with all the accessories turned off. This will allow the battery to charge properly while the engine cools down.

    For those who are wondering, why not get a maintenance-free battery instead? Well, it boils down to cost. The maintenance-free battery is almost twice the price of a regular battery. Those who go with the cheaper battery would have to take time to check under the hood every so often check on the battery. They don’t mind the extra work.

    Worn-out brake pads
    On a another note – if you hear a scraping sound coming from your wheel, better have it checked ASAP or as soon as possible. It could be your brake pads are already worn out.

    What’s the worst thing that could happen? The lining material may be worn out and the metal backing may be scraping the disc rotor. Or the disc pad can fall out of the caliper and the piston of the caliper can get in contact with disc rotor. Not good. Sad to say, if it does happen, and yes it has happened to me, it wasn’t a pretty sight when I took the brakes apart. Now why am I writing about this? Well, just last week, it happed to a friend of mine. Although they did notice the noise and were trying to make time to have it looked at, unfortunately the brake pad fell off. Good thing she noticed the scraping sound was getting louder and she was just about to leave the parking lot.

    She decided to leave the car in the parking lot and look for a mechanic. Eventually, the damage wasn’t that bad. A minor scratch on the disc rotor was found. All they did was install a new set of pads and everything was fine. She was lucky. To others, it happens when they were on the road and it was an expensive fix. To some unlucky drivers, this was the cause of accidents.

    Safety is not only about how you drive but also how safe your car is. You can always ague that its too costly or you couldn’t find the time to have check it out. But trying to explain to loved ones of a person who is in the hospital because of you would prove to be more difficult. Remember if you’re the one driving, it’s your responsibility.

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