Almost all car drivers would concur that an unexpectedly dead battery while driving can be a huge hassle. Your car battery is the only source available in the car for powering all the electrical components including the AC, headlights, horns, fuel injectors, etc. And there is a 90% possibility that your car will not even be able to start if the battery is not in good condition.
The average car battery lasts for three to five years, but several affecting factors might shorten that time. Although, there are some techniques available to save car batteries from wearing out early before their fixed time.
How To Extend Your Car Battery Life?
It just takes a little extra care to keep your car battery running for the longest time. Let’s understand how:
- Avoid short rides: To regain the power used by the battery for starting a car, it typically takes 20 minutes of driving. For that reason, making numerous short excursions will prevent your car from getting a full charge. Instead, prefer long rides to help the battery in recharging itself.
Moreover, consider selecting an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery, which is more suited to tolerate parasitic loads, if you are aware that your car will be inactive for prolonged periods or you have to use your car more often for short trips.
- Avoid using electronics in an idle state: Running the electronic components of the car like AC, radio, lights etc. in the idle state puts extra wear and tear on the battery power. Always turn off all the car accessories before getting out of the car, and make sure the lights are off before you leave.
- Secure the battery in its location: If your car battery is not firmly placed in its position, severe vibration can occur which might cause short circuits and shorten the life of your battery by harming its internal components. Check your battery terminal regularly to make sure it is properly fixed in the mounting bracket, especially when you have to drive frequently on rough roads.
- While starting the car engine, keep all the accessories off: Make sure all the car accessories are turned off before starting the engine, especially in cold weather. You should only operate the car accessories like the navigation system, lights, audio system, heated steering wheels etc. only after starting the car as they can drain your car battery.
- Clean your battery terminals: Your car battery needs regular upkeep like most auto equipment if you want it to last longer. Check the batteries and connections on a regular basis to ensure that they are tight and clear of debris that might cause corrosion. It is necessary to remove dirt or build-up to preserve your battery’s longevity and effectiveness since corrosion on terminals and lead clamps can obstruct the passage of energy through the battery.
If necessary, request that your mechanic clean the battery terminals when servicing your car. For DIY cleaning, use an old toothbrush soaked in a solution of baking soda and water to clean the terminals. Next, thoroughly dry the mixture with a clean cloth after rinsing it off with a spray bottle filled with cold water.
- Disconnect the battery terminals if the car is not in use for a long time: The battery is always steadily discharging itself even when your car is off since its terminals are linked and the circuit route is complete. It is advisable not to leave your car unused for a longer period as the car battery cannot recharge itself in an idle condition.
Moreover, it is highly recommended to disconnect the battery connections if you plan to leave town and leave your car parked for an extended time. It will also spare you the hassle of having to manually start your car when you get back.
- Get your car serviced regularly: The battery is just one part of a well-functioning car, so be sure to properly maintain all the other parts of your vehicle as all the components are interconnected. Avoiding more heat exposure and regular servicing of the car at a professional car repair workshop ensures maximized lifespan of your car battery. Ask the mechanic to ensure that your battery is functioning properly and in excellent condition when you take your car in for a service.
Batteries provide your car with the power it needs to keep moving, from starting the engine to charging your phone while you are out and about. The key to extending the life of your car battery is only its good maintenance and all that is necessary to avoid a premature breakdown is a routine check-up, maintenance and servicing of your car.
You should visit a car battery specialist to get your battery examined if you have any doubts about its working or if it is older than three years.