SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Even though drivers are staying at home more and driving less, you shouldn't neglect your car. Some drivers are getting behind the wheel and discovering they have a dead battery.
"I do think a car should be driven at least once a week," said Ray Frey, the owner of Ray Frey Auto Center in Kearny Mesa. "Usually between 10 and 20 minutes will recharge the battery, providing the alternator is working correctly."
AAA Southern California said calls for battery replacements and jump-starts are 14% higher this month compared to this same time last year. The organization suspects it's due to people driving less because of the stay-at-home orders.
Frey said batteries typically last between three to five years.
He said when it comes to older cars, owners may need to drive them a little longer to keep them fully charged.
"What will happen on a newer car if you let your battery go down so much, it will have a low-voltage code," he said."The computers just don't communicate with each other properly until they're all reset, and sometimes reprogrammed."
He said besides your battery, drivers should be checking their tires.
"If you're letting your car sit, what happens is the tires could leak some air while they're sitting, so it's good to check the tire pressure," he said. "Right under the door jam is a tire factory tire pressure recommendation which you want to go by."
He also recommends keeping tabs on oil, fluids, and the alternator.