Your car battery should endure for at least a few years. However, you could be unwittingly reducing its lifespan by engaging in habits that may drain its energy. In order to preserve your car battery for as long as possible, you might want to explore a few tips and tricks that can help you get the most from this crucial component of your vehicle.
Some of these things you’ll be able to do yourself, and others may be the most effective when implemented by a certified auto service technician.
Keep It Clean
One of the best vehicle maintenance tasks you can perform on the battery is to keep its terminals clean. According to Discovery News contributor Alexander Davies, “The terminals are a common spot for corrosion buildup.” Too much corrosion can inhibit the current from getting to the cables, which interferes with the ignition process and may prevent your car from starting. The terminal posts need to be cleaned regularly to ensure that the battery remains in top working condition. You can clean these with a screwdriver or wire brush, or you can take your vehicle to a repair shop and have a professional do the job.
Turn Off the Lights and Music Before You Turn Off the Engine
Keeping the lights and music off when the engine is off may seem like an obvious thing to do, but people often forget to do it anyway. When you’ve had a hectic day, you may inadvertently leave the radio going, or you could forget to turn off your headlights or interior lights. If you make a habit of checking these things every time you turn off the engine, you could spare yourself from the confusion and dismay of realizing that a simple mistake totally drained your car battery.
Use the Heating and Cooling Features in Moderation
Your heating and cooling features could have an effect on your battery, especially if you rely on them excessively. You might appreciate the heated seats in your new car, but using them in moderation could extend the life of the battery. You may need the air conditioning during the hottest months of summer, but consistently using a low setting might enable you to get a few more months out of your battery.
Keep the Battery Properly Insulated
As Mike Allen of Popular Mechanics points out, “New engine compartments are pretty crowded.” If you install a battery that is too large, you might have no room available for insulation. An insulating blanket will help to keep the battery temperature regulated when the temperature outside is extreme. Therefore, you’ll need to be certain that the battery is not so large that it leaves no space for proper insulation.
Disconnect as Needed
When you need to store your car, you might consider disconnecting the battery. Ideally, you will be able to drive the car at least once or twice per week, even if only for a mile or two. Since this may not always be possible, disconnecting the battery when it is not being used could help to keep it from losing its charge.
Another option is to attach a device that can help extend the battery life. One such device is called a trickle charger, which can aid in keeping a battery charged without overcharging it. Another useful item is an automatic disconnect switch. This type of battery protector monitors the battery and terminates the connection when it senses the voltage is getting low.
You can do a wide range of things to extend the life of your car battery. If you want to explore this issue further, you might consult the car mechanic at your local repair shop. Some simple vehicle maintenance is vital to your car; proper battery maintenance will help to increase the longevity of your car battery.