The car battery is a very important component for keeping the car and many of it’s functions running smoothly.
A weak or dying battery can be one of the most frustrating and embarrassing car problems. It can cause your car to break-down suddenly in traffic, or in the middle of nowhere in the dead of the night. A battery can fail to function for a number of reasons. Just a few specks of a white powdery residue on the battery terminals can prevent your car engine from starting.
Averagely, car batteries should last between 2 to 6 years, but just like with most car parts, that all depends on how you treat it. However, the best way to help prevent your battery from unexpectedly dying is to make sure it is always in good shape and to have periodic maintenance tips done on your vehicle.
Here are some tips on how to maintain your car battery and give them extended operational life.
How to Make Your Car Battery Last Longer
During Idle State, Don’t Use Your Car’s Electronics
Using your car’s electronic features such as radio or air-conditioners when your car engine is not running can weaken your car battery power. Frequently turning on the car’s electronics when the car is idle can damage the battery. Using electronics in the car while the engine is not on is the quickest route to a dead battery. Of course, a battery can maintain a charge while the engine is on, but once it is off, electronics draw energy directly from the battery.
Turn Off All the Lights When You Exit the Car
Forgetting to turn off your car headlights or any other light in your car can have an adverse effect on your car battery. Leaving the headlights on when the car engine is not running will drain a significant amount of the battery’s charge. Depending on how long the headlights stay on, you might return to a vehicle with a battery that is too weak to power up the engine. When this happens frequently, permanent damage to the battery can occur.
Ensure To Go On Long Rides
Using your car only for short-distance trips can prevent your car battery from fully charging. Frequently driving long distances keeps your battery fully charged and healthy.
In case you do not use your car often, it is advised that you buy a portable car battery charger. This is necessary in case your battery runs down from staying idle for long. With a portable car battery charger, you can jump-start your battery without another vehicle’s battery.
Check for Electrical Leaks
If you notice that your car is hard to start one morning, and you are sure that you did not leave the headlights, any other light or electronics on, there may be a drain somewhere in the system. Find and fix the source of the drain. Doing this on time will ensure that your battery does not drain repeatedly, which can lead to permanent damage to the battery.
Minimize And Control Dirt and Corrosion
Over time, your car battery heads and terminals will corrode. To ensure extended battery life, always keep the terminals clean. Clean your battery by removing the clamps and wipe away the grease, dirt, and oxidation. A good way to keep them clean is to scrub them with a toothbrush dipped in a baking soda and water mixture. Then, using a spray bottle with cold water, rinse the mixture off and follow up with a thorough drying with a clean cloth. A dirty battery connection will weaken the charge. Clean the battery terminals at least every 4 to 6 months.
Keep Your Battery Tightly Fastened
A car battery can be damaged if the battery connection is loose or not tight. A battery that is not well fastened could vibrate, potentially resulting in internal damage and short circuits.
Make sure you check your battery regularly and ensure the connection is tight and the battery properly positioned in the mounting bracket. This is necessary especially if you frequently drive on bumpy roads or roads with many potholes.
Avoid Situations Where your Battery Drains Completely
Constant complete draining of the battery can lead to permanent damage. To avoid draining your battery to the point of damaging it is to perform regular care and maintenance. Multiple discharge/recharge cycles shorten any battery’s life.
Avoid Situations Where Your Battery Water Level Goes Low
In wet-cell batteries, when the water level in a battery is low it is because water has been lost from the electrolyte and it becomes more concentrated. When this state is sustained for long, it can make it lose strength and ultimately can damage the battery. Simply adding distilled water will bring it to the proper volume and strength. Check the battery’s water level every 2 to 3 months.
Extremely hot weather can cause fluid in car batteries to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery. That is why average battery life is shorter in warmer climates. However, extremely cold weather can also damage a car’s battery. For cold weather care care tips click here.
Regardless of the temperature you drive in, properly taking care of your car battery can help keep it running.
Maintain Your battery Regularly
The best way care for your battery is to perform regular care and maintenance on it. This will often allow you to catch problems before they have a chance to snowball. Inspect and test your battery cell voltage every 3,000 miles (4,800 km) or 3 months, whichever comes sooner, or every time you get an oil change or have your car in for maintenance
These tips on How to Make Your Car Battery Last Longer can ensure your battery’s lifespan is extended.
However, if you suffer too frequently from car battery problems, we strongly advice you to get a good quality battery from a genuine battery sales outlet.
Some of this content was originally published here.