We trust you are all safe and well and doing your best to stay occupied as we enter week 2 of New Zealand’s Covid-19 Level 4 stay at home period.
For those of you with vehicles that are not being driven at the moment we thought it might be a good idea to share some tips for looking after your car alarm and car battery over this time.
A car alarm requires power to operate so if your car battery goes flat the alarm is not going to work. However with most modern alarms if the car battery goes flat the immobiliser circuits will be active (even if the alarm wasn’t armed). This security feature means that when power is re-connected the system will still need to be disarmed before the car can be started. And if you left the alarm armed it will come back in that state.
The other thing that can happen if your car battery goes flat is the siren will suddenly start sounding. This happens because some with some alarm models the battery back-up siren sees the voltage drop below a certain point and will then think power has been suddenly cut to it.
Not sure if you have a flat car battery? Here are a couple of common indicators:
- The siren suddenly starts sounding and won’t respond to the remote but the indicators are NOT flashing
- The alarm disarms but the car won’t start and you hear a clicking noise or the siren sounds when you try to start the car
- You can’t disarm the alarm or start the car and if you try the headlights they are not strong and bright
If you end up with a flat car battery and have a battery back-up siren on your alarm you can turn off the siren with the siren key to stop the noise … but remember to turn it back on once power is reconnected to the car. A siren key is a small key that usually looks something like this:
Please do take extra precautions for safe storage of your car during this time, particularly if you are not able to keep the car battery in working order.
And finally here are some tips to for helping your battery last the distance so once the alert level is reduced you are able to get back in and start those engines!
- If you have a battery charger plug it in and cycle it on and off over the coming weeks. Or better, leave the car battery connected to a maintenance charger.
- Run your car in the driveway every 5-7 days for 20-30 minutes, this can help maintain a charge in the vehicle’s battery
- If necessary disconnect the vehicle battery (if your alarm has a battery back-up siren turn this off first)
- Where possible make sure the battery location is easily accessible in case you need to jump start your vehicle
- Make sure you know where your jumper leads are, or that you know someone that has some available once the COVID-19 Level 4 restrictions are lifted
Stay safe and look after those around you.