It is common knowledge that the battery is one of the most important parts of a car. Not only does it provide power to start the engine, but it also helps run many of the electronic components in modern vehicles. Given how essential a battery is to a car, it is no surprise that most people want to know how they can extend its life. While there are many different battery types on the market, there are some simple ways that all drivers can help extend the life of their car battery.
In Australia, summer temperatures can often exceed 40 degrees Celsius, and this extreme heat can take its toll on a car’s battery. Here are some simple tips to help extend the life of your car battery and keep it running smoothly all year round.
Charge it properly
One of the easiest ways to help prolong the life of a car battery is to make sure it is always properly charged. A battery will continually discharge itself, even when a car is turned off and not in use. When this happens, the battery’s ability to hold a charge decreases over time. To combat this, it is important to regularly top off the battery’s charge. This can be done by simply starting the car and letting it run for a few minutes every few days.
If a battery is allowed to discharge too much, it will eventually become “sulfated.” This means that the lead plates inside the battery are coated with a layer of lead sulphate crystals. Once this happens, it is very difficult to recharge the battery and it will need to be replaced.
Keep it clean
Another way to help extend the life of a car battery is to keep it clean. Over time, dirt and grime can build up on the battery terminals. This build-up can prevent the flow of electricity and cause the battery to discharge faster.
To clean the terminals, simply disconnect the negative terminal first (to avoid sparks) and then use a wire brush or cloth to remove any build-up.
Be careful with accessories
While many of the electronic accessories in modern cars are convenient, they can also put a strain on the battery. Things like heated seats, infotainment systems, and even headlights can draw power from the battery when they are turned on. To help reduce the strain on the battery, it is best to only use these accessories when the car is running.
In cold weather, it is also important to be mindful of how often the heater is used. Running the heater for long periods of time can put a strain on the battery and cause it to lose power more quickly.
Store your car properly
When a car is going to be stored for an extended period of time, it is important to take some steps to protect the battery. One of the best things to do is to disconnect the negative terminal. This will prevent the battery from being drained by any parasitic draw.
It is also a good idea to remove the battery from the car and store it in a cool, dry place. If the battery is stored in a humid environment, it can cause the battery to corrode and shorten its lifespan.
Visit mechanics regularly
Most people only think to take their car to a mechanic when something is wrong. However, regularly scheduled maintenance appointments can help extend the life of the car battery (and the rest of the car).
During these appointments, mechanics will often clean the battery terminals and test the battery to make sure it is holding a charge. An expert mechanic in Nerang can also identify any potential problems with the battery before they cause serious damage.
Avoid short trips
One of the worst things for a car battery is to constantly be discharged and recharged. This can happen when a driver takes short trips that do not allow the battery to fully recharge. Over time, this constant cycling can shorten the life of the battery.
To help avoid this, it is best to take longer trips that allow the battery to fully recharge. If this is not possible, it is a good idea to invest in a battery charger and hook up the battery to it when the car is not in use.
Minimise power drain
There are a number of ways to minimise power drain from a car battery. One of the easiest things to do is to turn off all electronics when the car is not in use. This includes things like the radio, lights, and even the GPS system.
Another way to reduce power drain is to keep the car’s windows up. This will help to reduce the amount of work the car’s alternator has to do to keep the battery charged.
Keeping a car battery properly charged and maintained is essential to prolonging its life. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your battery will provide years of trouble-free service.
Read more: 8 Reasons to Ship Your Car When Moving to Another State