January 9, 2017

Batteries and spark plugs

January is here!

In the last 30 years I can count on January to surface two items that need replacing but were put off.

Batteries and spark plugs.

The cold weather will put an end to a worn battery.  One day in the cold dark of winter, you will run out to your vehicle and.....nothing.  The battery was just too old.

Before you call for a jump start, tap on the battery cable connections and try to start it again.  It just might start if the connections needed tightening.  Of course if you have a wrench, and the clamps were loose, tighten them and try starting it.

Spark plugs.  It used to be that you could tell when your spark plugs were getting worn because the engine would not run well.  Now, the computer can compensate for worn plugs and then one very cold snap the computer just cannot make up for it anymore and you will crank until the battery runs down but the engine will not fire.  Worn out plugs.  Should have changed them when the maintenance schedule told you to.

My remedy for these two problems is this:

#1 I stick to my maintenance schedule and do what it says when it says no matter the cost.  Saves a lot of grief trying to start a vehicle in the dead of winter with worn out plugs.

#2 I change the battery every 4-1/2 years.  Even if the battery is working fine I still change it.

Sometimes my wife wonders why I fix the car when it is not broken.  "Because, my Dear, you don't like to be stranded."

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