Extend the life of your Car Battery
A car battery has a life of around 1 to 3 years. However, it is advisable that customers replace the battery much sooner than that. Certain owners use the car for long distance journeys more than others, while some car owners are fond of racing. Depending on how you use your car, it will start to depreciate after three years of use.
Interestingly, mechanics claim that car batteries of cars that are used to travel on many small distance tend to deteriorate faster than the ones that travel for longer distances. Such batteries will have to be replaced sooner. There are other features as well that impact battery life. It also depends on how well the battery has been maintained by its owner. Let’s look at some instructions which can help in extending the life expectancy of your car battery.
Do Not Drive Too Many Short Trips
Car batteries take a rest while the car is turned off, but are then recharged when by the engine in between the journey. Hence, if you are driving short distances a lot, it is difficult for the battery to recharge the power lost earlier. If this process of going on multiple short distances is repeated daily than your car will very soon not be able to start. In order to extend a battery’s life, you need to drive for longer periods on frequent trips, otherwise you will have to be a regular customer for car battery replacement services.
Keep the Battery Fastened
It is said that vibration can also reduce a car battery’s life. Hence, you must always use a battery clamp which keeps the battery fastened at all times. Batteries that are not securely fastened cause excessive vibration, which can harm its internal components and cause a short circuit. Though, over-tightening a battery clamp can also harm it, because it may damage the battery.
Limit the Use of Power When the Engine is Off
Keeping the headlights on while the engine is off, or keeping any other electronic device running even after you have a shut down the car is a bad idea. Before you lock your car, make sure that electronic accessories are off; including the lights, unless you plan to change your car battery frequently.
Remember to Keep the Battery Clean
Make sure that the top cover of the battery is clean and dry. A dirt battery tends to discharge across the grime on the casing. This creates small short circuits which weakens the battery, corroding the battery terminal over time. Scrubbing the terminals with old toothbrush and a soda water mixture will help keep the battery running for a long time. This can be a good way for car battery recovery.
Minimise Heat Exposure
Most people think that cold weather harms car batteries, which is actually a myth. Yes, it is often difficult for a car battery to start the engine in winter season. The reason they sometimes don’t start easily in winter is that they suffered damages during the summers. Heat causes the water in the battery cell to evaporate, even in sealed batteries. Once that is done, the cold weather causes the remaining damage to the battery when it tries to start cold engines with thick oil. Hence, the best way to protect your car battery from heat exposure is to park under shade, or insulate the battery from the heat.
Check the Batter Voltage Once a Month
Lead acid tends to shorten a battery’s life it is left discharged; either partially or fully. So a good measure is to check the voltage; using a voltmeter, once a month. It is always a good option to keep an eye out for the car battery’s health. A healthy battery is one with a voltage of 12.7 volts or above. If the voltage begins to slide below 12.5 volts, you can take your car battery replacement service to recharge it; if possible, or replace it if no other option is left.
Do Not Leave the Car Unused for Long
It is considered a good move to keep the car battery fully charged throughout. However, the battery has the natural ability to lose its charge; also called “Self Discharge.” To prevent this, it is advised that you connect a trickle charger with the battery, which will keep it healthy.
Life expectancy of a car battery, just like that of any other part, cannot be exceeded. However, by using careful measures a car battery can survive longer. Most car batteries’ life ends before time because the owner is careless. They forget to turn off the electronic devices or uses the car frequently for short trips, etc. So be careful with your car battery. Remember the things discussed here and you can maximize the battery’s life.