One in three households in India owns a two wheeler — whether a scooter, motorcycle, moped or scooty. However, a large percentage of owners also neglect one of the most important parts of the bike — the battery. So, if you have made the decision to invest in your bike and protect it and yourself with bike insurance, it follows that you would want to get the most out of your new two-wheeler. Therefore, it becomes important to extend the life of the battery of your two-wheeler. Some of us are lucky to not have to deal with battery issues till well into the bike’s second or third year. However, did you know that if you are careful, you can extend the life of your battery to 5-6 years? First, let us take a look at what our battery actually does for our beloved bike.
The Job of the Battery
The primary source of electrical energy in our vehicles is the battery. It powers these major systems of the bike:
- When the engine is off: The electricity from the battery powers the lights such as turn indicators, tail lamps, headlamps, the horn and other components.
- To start the engine: The battery is used to start the motor in self-start machines and to provide enough current for the ignition system.
- When the engine is running: Sometimes, the electricity from the battery is needed to supplement the charging system.
Looking after the battery may seem like a mechanic’s job. However, you can rest assured that there are some basic measures you yourself can take regularly to check your battery. These actions can go a long way in improving the battery life.
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Visual Check of the Battery
A thorough visual inspection is an easy but essential step in maintaining the life of the battery. Check for cracks in the battery case and if there are broken or loose terminals. There should be no loose connection between the terminals, since this can lead to sparking, which reduces the life of your battery. So, it’s best to avoid it by tightening the terminals. Additionally, keep an eye on the wiring and make sure all wires are intact. Most bike-related fires occur due to broken or disconnected wires.
Maintain the Electrolyte Level
As and when the battery is charged and discharged, the electrolyte in it gets used up. It is important to maintain the electrolyte at its optimum level. Ensure that you top up the electrolyte regularly and keep an eye on its level.
The Terminals Should Always be Clean
You may already know that all batteries have two terminals — positive and negative. These terminals can gather dust over time, and a leakage of electrolyte can cause rusting and corrosion. Therefore, every few days, you must clean the terminals of your bike with a clean cloth.
Give Your Battery Some Rest
There may be phases when you don’t use your bike for considerable amounts of time. You may have found yourself in a situation where you’ve tried to start your two wheeler after months of not using it, and it doesn’t start. This occurs because the battery has completely drained out by still being connected to the bike’s circuit. This is precisely why you should give your battery a break by disconnecting it entirely from the bike and keeping it stored in a cool and dry place.
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Avoid Overusing or Overloading the Battery
Forgetting to switch off the headlamps of the bike and keeping it on the entire night is one of the most common ways of reducing battery life. It is important to avoid such mistakes, as it is an overuse of the battery. Moreover, using accessories which need a lot of power such as loud horns and fancy LED lights also overload the battery. Your insurance policy will not cover these accessories.
Remember that the battery is an important aspect of your bike. It is good practice to regularly keep an eye on its wiring, terminals, and electrolyte level. Disconnect your battery when it’s not going to be in use for a longer period of time, and make sure to not overuse or overload the battery. Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid keeping the bike under extreme temperature conditions, because extreme heat and cold are huge stressors for the battery. Keep it in a clean, sheltered place away from natural phenomena such as rain, snow and strong wind. Once you get into the habit of checking on the battery regularly, you will be sure to own a bike with a long life!
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