GPS Can Suck Power From Your Summer

Traveling has never been so easy and so much fun.  Thanks to new devices like iPods, DVD players and navigation systems, people are able to ditch the bulky maps and licenses plate spotting games and replace them with items that make them feel just at home. Parents can now have the kids entertained while an animated computer voice gives you step by step directions. “Bing! Take exit 223C in 1.4 miles,” says the GPS voice.

But could these new necessities be costing you a lot more than you realize? Perhaps the price of all these new technologies should include a new car battery too.


According to AAA, the sales of replacement batteries have grown 100 times, up from 4,000 a year to a soaring 400,000 last year.  This trend has been credited to the increase in the amount of power required by the average “modern” car and driver while on the road.


The car battery has not changed much since the 12-volt car battery became a world standard in the 1960’s.  Does it seem like your car battery is dying sooner than it used to? That’s probably because car batteries used to last three to five years now has a life span of barely two years because of the new gadgets we just can’t live without.


It’s not just what you have on in the car while you’re in it, its those items that stay on while your car is parked in the driveway that also draw from your battery’s life too.  Special options like security systems and engine management are items that decrease your battery.


Consumer Reports tells its top three for each of the battery groups.  For Group 65 they recommend the NAPA Performance Select 8465, AutoCrkft Titanium 65-2 and the Duralast 65-DL. For group 34/78 and 78, the winners are DieHard SUV, Truck and Van 39990 (South), NAPA Select 8434/78 and the AutoCraft Titanium 34/78-4.


Consumer Reports gives advice for those in the market for a new battery.  Make sure that you pick the newest battery on the shelf (nothing over six months). Also, know what kind of battery is best for your car. Know the size and where the connectors need to be. And don’t forget to keep your climate and driving in kind took, warmer climates tend to be very tough on batteries and some last better than others in that climate.  Lastly, dispose of your old batteries safely.


Battery Recycling Tips 




1. Wear protective gloves and glasses. Your battery contains sulfuric acid. Wash your hands with soap and warm water, even if you wore gloves to handle your battery.

2. Do not smoke near a battery or expose it to an open flame.

3. If you are transporting your old battery, place it in a plastic container or a sturdy box. Your local auto supply or building supply store is likely to stock the plastic box.

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