Your tailgate has it all: the pre-game show on a big-screen TV, a stereo blasting hype tunes, and hot cheese dip bubbling in the slow cooker. But what’s powering all those appliances? Your car battery!
Sure, all those things make for an epic tailgate, but they also make for an overtaxed battery. Most large electronics demand more electricity than your battery is used to putting out at one time, meaning you could be stuck with a dead battery after the game.
Nothing kills that post-win high like a car that won’t start! Follow these tips to keep your car battery—and your tailgating game—strong this football season.
How to Keep My Car Battery from Dying: Game Day Edition
1. Clean your car battery ahead of time.
Did you know? You can help your car battery run longer and stronger with a super simple DIY. Clean and lubricate your battery terminals with a homemade solution the night before game day to ensure a secure connection. Keeping your battery terminals clear of corrosion and buildup can help maintain a steady current flowing to all your game day tech. Plus, clean terminals will reduce stress on your battery in the long term and can extend its lifespan.
2. Get a trickle charger for your car battery.
If your tailgating vehicle of choice has been sitting idle in the garage (or even if it hasn’t!), your battery could probably use a boost. Invest in a trickle charger to keep your car battery from dying on game day. Trickle chargers deliver a small flow of electricity to your battery (typically over a 24-hour or longer period) to keep its charge level high. You can find them online for as little as $16.
If you decide to use a trickle charger, choose a charger with a “float” monitor and automatic shutoff feature to keep your battery from overheating while it charges. Now, you’d better hope your team is just as amped up as your car battery!
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3. Use an alternative power source.
When it comes to how to keep your battery from dying at a tailgate, there’s one surefire way to go: don’t deplete the battery in the first place! Yes, it’s convenient to use a car power inverter to power up your tailgate party, but you may regret it when your battery is toast after the fourth quarter.
Instead, opt for a completely external power source, like a portable power pack or generator. These small-but-mighty machines put out enough electricity for your tailgating essentials. Plus, they’re handy on and off the tailgate lot since they can help you jumpstart a car — whether it’s yours or your less-savvy neighbor’s.
4. Maintain a strong battery.
Would you rather head to a victory celebration after the game, or sit in the parking lot with a car that won’t start? If you’re like most of us, you don’t think about your battery’s charge level—until it dies completely. Plan ahead and make sure your battery has enough power remaining to support your tailgate AND get you home afterward. If you’re not sure what your car battery health is like, head to Firestone Complete Auto Care for a free battery check.