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How to maintain your car battery

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How to maintain your car battery


 We bust a few myths about how to maintain your car battery and tell you one of the key DIY fails when it comes to replacing your car battery.
We all know that car batteries don’t last forever.

No matter how well you maintain them, things like the weather and driving all place a strain on your car’s battery.

But, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your battery.

Most car batteries are maintenance-free units and this means there isn’t anything you can do to the battery itself, so move along.

Some batteries do allow for electrolytes to be topped up to keep the plates from drying out, etc, and if you’ve got this type of battery there’ll usually be a window on it so you can see the fluid inside it; you should routinely check the fluid levels on your battery.

Beyond fluids, everyone should look at the condition of the heat shield for their battery because overheating of your battery can lead to it bulging and failing prematurely.

While you’re at it, look at the battery and make sure it’s securely fastened in and that the leads are attached and looking healthy; you’re looking for corrosion (caused by current passing through two dissimilar metals) which can be cleaned off the battery posts and the clamps…but remember to fit a battery memory minder before removing the clamps.

When your battery drops below ‘functional’ you’ll see a battery indicator light on your dashboard. Most people, at this point, will assume the battery is dead.

A fully functional/charged battery should measure around 12.6 volts or more, and when the vehicle is running this should jump to more than 13.7 volts.

If the battery falls below 12.6 volts then it’s unlikely your vehicle’s engine won’t turn over.

You can test your battery’s output by using a multi-meter to test the voltage.

Conserving-your-car-battery

This issue can be corrected via the correct multi-stage battery charger; what this does is mix the electrolyte and battery acid, and restore the battery to good health – indeed you can recharge a battery from flat using a good battery charger.

Many think that by going for a drive or idling your car you can recharge your battery, you can’t.

What your alternator does is provide what’s called top-up charging only, but if the alternator isn’t functioning properly then this too can have an impact on your battery.

If the battery runs down too far, the alternator won’t be able to top it up and it’ll end up ‘surface charging’ the battery which will further damage the thing and lead to premature failure.

See, your battery is just there to start the car, once that’s been done, the alternator takes over (it’s a generator converting mechanical energy into electricity) and it runs your vehicles electrics and provides a top-up charge for the battery, but it can’t recharge the battery while you’re driving around.

Another killer of batteries is inactivity. Being parked up for a length of time can see the battery naturally discharge; there’s also a draw on the battery from key electrical systems in use even when the car is stationary.

One of the ways you can prevent your battery from discharging totally if you’re away from it for several weeks is to connect a battery charger; most battery chargers can work as a maintenance or trickle charger and keep the battery charged without causing damage to it.

It’s worth noting that, removing the battery from the vehicle won’t stop it from discharging but what it will do is likely cause damage to your vehicle.

Remember, there are sensitive electrical items in your vehicle that require constant feeding (electricity).

If you do remove the battery from your car, while replacing it, you’ll need to use a memory minder to ensure the electricals are kept fed until the new battery is installed.

Now, here’s the big DIY that I’ve never read in any online guide to battery maintenance but one which most good mechanics should know…A friend recently had their battery replaced by a Lube Mobile mechanic, and I don’t mind naming names in this instance. The guy swapped over the battery when a good charger would probably have fixed the issue.

Anyway, the battery was replaced, but the mobile mechanic advised that it was only a short-term fix and that the alternator was on the way out as it wasn’t ‘charging’ correctly.

The mechanic then quoted for a brand-new alternator.

At this stage, my friend called me and I said, pay for the battery and nothing else and, instead, told them to book an appointment with their regular mechanic.

This they did. There was nothing wrong with the alternator, rather the car’s on-board computer simply needed to be told a new battery had been installed.

Once this was done and everything checked, everything was working fine. And still is almost three months later.

So, while changing a car battery is a pretty simple thing, it does require some non-standard equipment.

If you think your battery is failing, then book your car in with your regular mechanic.


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General News

Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

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Alban Bagbin

Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) again for his due medical review.

In a letter to President Akufo-Addo, the Speaker explained that his trip for another medical review was due on January 7, 2022.

“I am writing to inform you of my absence from Ghana from Friday, 7 January 2022 till Sunday 23, 2022 in order to honour an appointment for a medical review in the United Arab Emirates.”

“It is also important to bring to your attention that the House will resume its sittings for the First Meeting of the Second Session of the 8th Parliament on Tuesday 25 January 2022,” the letter from the Speaker’s Office noted.

Speaker Bagbin also informed the President that “prior to the resumption of the House, Parliament intends to undertake a Covid-19 (booster) vaccination exercise for Members of Parliament and Officers of the Parliamentary Service.”

Copy of the Speaker’s letter to Prez. Akufo-Addo;

alban bagbin's letter to Akufo-addo

Alban Bagbin was in UAE in November 2021, for similar medical check-ups.

Meanwhile, Parliament will be resuming the controversial debate on the 1.75% Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) which has divided the House and caused massive uproar amongst Ghanaians.

The E-Levy approval is expected to rake in a little above ¢6 billion in tax revenue for the country.

This month [January 2022] we will go back to the floor of Parliament with the E-Levy and ensure that it gets passed by the end of the month,” Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu-Boahen said during the investiture of the newly elected president of the Association of Ghana Industries, Humphrey Anim-Dake.

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Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

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Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

Photos of letters signed by the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA) in response to the National Communications Authority (NCA) regarding the commencement of the SIM Card re-registration reveal NIA’s initial rejection of the move since September 2021.

The Executive Secretary of NIA, Prof. Kenneth Attafuah has described the so-called biometric data being collected by the various telecommunication companies in the ongoing SIM card re-registration as useless.

In the letter, Professor Kenneth Attafuah, and his outfit cannot confirm that the data being collected by the telcos “will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database.”

The letter was in response to a request for information to ascertain the synergy between the NIA data collection and the exercise being conducted by the telcos as being championed by the Communications Ministry through NCA.

“NIA is unable to confirm that the biometric data to be collected by the NCA for the purpose described above will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database,” portion of the letter stated.

“The use of an App that is not developed or certified by NIA to rend the Ghana Card using a two-step data collection and verification process is outside NIA’s control. NIA is, therefore, unable to guarantee the results of such a process.”

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Scanned copies of the letters dated September 2021 were first shared by one Selorm Branttie, Vice President at Imani Center for Policy & Education who doubles as Global Strategy Director at mPedigree Network, on his Facebook timeline.

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Nigeria commits to pay off US$28.7 million capital arrears in Shelter Afrique

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Nigeria Finance Minister Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and Shelter Afrique MD Andrew Chimphondah

Abuja – January 11, 2022: The Federal Republic of Nigeria has pledged to pay the full capital arrear of US$28.7m in Shelter Afrique, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed disclosed at a meeting with Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Mr. Andrew Chimphondah in Abuja.

The Minister further disclosed that the payment will be made in four installments starting January 2022.

In September 2020, the pan African housing development financier received US$$9.4 million from Nigeria. The contribution moved Nigeria to become the second-largest shareholding in the organization with 13.27% of the shareholding, behind Kenya with 17.78%, and ahead of the AfDB at 12.83%.

Lauding the government of Nigeria for its show of confidence in the institution and a stamp of approval for the organisation’s financial turnaround, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah said, “This is a major milestone which is set to propel Nigeria to become the largest shareholder in Shelter-Afrique when the country meets its capital commitment. This is a strong testament of the strong shareholder commitment and support of the Shelter Afrique Board and Management.”

Housing Bond

Shelter Afrique is planning to raise 250 Billion Naira Bond (US$500million) in 2022 to support its affordable housing projects in Nigeria. The Company is set to commence the road shows with prospective investors in January 2022 and is expected to conclude fundraising by end of February.

Shelter Afrique has embarked on a defined strategy of developing and deepening local capital markets so that access to local currency which is competitively priced can be made available to Nigerian Developers from the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Large Developers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Banks and Primary Mortgage Lenders. The significance of this is that Shelter-Afrique will have been successful in dealing with the foreign exchange exposure risks that have crippled many African countries caused by the weakening of local African currencies against hard currencies such as the United States Dollar and the British Pound Sterling,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

Thanking the Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed for supporting the Bond Issue by the approvals received on critical waivers from the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Chimphondah noted that Nigeria was a critical and strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the fund realized from the bond issue will go a long way in address the affordable housing shortage in the country, now estimated at 17 Million Units against the continent’s 56 million units.

“As a response to addressing this housing shortage, Shelter Afrique will implement a transformative strategy that will crowd in additional capital funding into the low cost large scale affordable housing market in a commercially viable manner,” Mr. Chimphondah concluded.

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