In our previous post, we spoke about four major reasons behind why your car battery drains. In this post, we are going to cover six ways to extend and preserve the lifecycle of your car battery.
The ignition system is responsible for starting the car engine. However, it is the car battery that is responsible for generating an electrical charge. In turn, this charge helps to power up the ignition of your car.
Therefore, it is so important to not only maintain but to also ensure that your car has a functioning and charged up battery.
6 Ways to Keep Your Car Battery Running Long
Most car batteries come with a shelf life of 2-5 years. However, several factors can influence the lifecycle of your car battery.
These include the climate, how often you service your car, how often you test your battery and usage of other electronics while the car is idling, or even extended periods of idling. If the lights of your car are left on overnight, it could completely drain your car battery. A faulty alternator or electrical fault could also lead to your car battery draining.
To get the best mileage out of your car battery, consider the following.
1. Allow the Battery to Charge Completely
One of the most effective ways of ensuring your car battery is completely charged is by running your car for long periods.
- Driving short distances limits the charging process of the battery.
- The frequency also matters, so make sure you drive your car regularly.
- If left idle for long periods of time, the car battery will drain.
- If you are unable to drive around for long periods or long distances, invest in a portable battery which can help you jump start your car anytime the car battery dies.
2. Ensure the Battery is Fastened and Secure
If your car battery is not tightly secured in place, it will end up vibrating which could lead to short circuits or internal damage. If you drive frequently on uneven roads, be sure to check your battery terminals to ensure it is sitting securely in the mounting rack.
- If you are not sure how to do this or are not confident about checking this, consult with a professional mechanic.
- Regular servicing is the best way to make sure all the components and parts are in place and secure.
3. Never Forget to Turn Off the Lights
As mentioned above, if you leave the car lights on overnight, you will wake up to a dead battery!
Here are few things you can do to avoid this:
- Make it a habit to check your car lights before exiting your vehicle.
- Make sure the doors and the trunk are closed firmly.
- If you are forgetful, consider placing stickers or post-it’s on your car remote or dashboard reminding yourself to check the lights. (Though, most new cars will not allow the lights to remain on for this very reason.)
- Park your car in relative darkness, so you can see if the lights are still on inside the car or park it in a direction where you are required to walk past the front of your car while going inside your house.
4. Limit Corrosion
Cleaning the battery terminals is crucial if you want to avoid corrosion. You can follow these DIY tips to clean the battery terminals.
- Make a mix of water and baking soda, dip a tooth brush in the mix and scrub the terminals.
- Spray clean the mix with clean cold water.
- Wipe and dry the terminals with a clean cloth.
If, however, you are not comfortable doing this yourself, a mechanic can always help you out.
5. Test your Car Battery on a Routine Basis
Unless you know the condition of your battery, it will be difficult to maximize its life cycle.
- You can use a car battery tester to check the output voltage level of your car battery.
- This way you will know if the condition of your battery is still good, or if it is time to replace the battery.
6. Reduce or Limit use of Electrical Accessories
The air conditioners, radio, phone charge, CD players, and USB ports are all battery drainers.
- Only use essential electrical accessories such as the car air conditioner.
- Try not to overburden the battery by using too many electrical components at one time.
- Turn off any of these components (like the air conditioners or radio) when the engine is not running.
Proper Maintenance is Key
Battery care and maintenance is a crucial aspect of taking care of your car. Although the battery is a vital component of the car, if there are issues with other components such as the electrical systems, it will eventually impact the performance of your car.
While keeping your car battery charged, it is important that you carry out routine servicing for your entire car. This is one of the best ways of extending the lifecycle of your car battery.
Professional Auto Care that you can Trust!
Is your car battery draining too quickly? Wondering if it is time to replace your car battery? We can help you. Call Virginia Auto Service today at 602-266-0200 or schedule a visit with us online at your convenience.