As the weeks pass during the pandemic, it became clear that in the automotive world there are certain trends that are forming. We are addressing the obstacles this month and hopefully can help you tackle them, or even avoid them happening. Here are tips to preserve the car engine during this tough time.
Dead batteries had become the most apparent issue. And if a vehicle is not running, the battery always has a slight drain. The drain or draw typically varies between 60 milliamps (.06 amps) and 50 milliamps (.05 amps) depending on the engine, but it may be even smaller than this.
The lower the load, the longer the battery restrains. If a battery is less than three years old and stable, it will hold up for a month-which ensures it will start the engine. Also if the car has an electrical part that is faulty, it will trigger a 1- to 2-amp pull capable of destroying the battery within days. If you accidentally remove the vehicle’s interior dome lights (a 3-amp draw) the next day the battery will be empty. Children are also the greatest culprits; three times last month, my four-year-old switched on the lights at our minivan.
The car engine
New vehicles have so many control modules that it can often take up to an hour before the battery hits its full charge – a cycle called “going to sleep.”
However, it is important that cars do go to sleep properly. If there is a flaw with a control module it will hold up the sleep cycle and drain the battery abnormally. If the battery is low, it will not have the strength to sleep or wake the engine. Although a mouse wakes up a machine, when unlocked, modern cars wake up.
After about a month in the shelter-in-place, with programming issues, cars began going into the market. We had two BMWs with batteries that were 6 years old or older. Then we had to add new batteries in both cases, and adjust the programming of the camshaft variable valve. We ‘re not sure what caused the abuse of the system. It may have been during the waking-up or going-to-sleep cycle-but the root cause was a low battery.