Today’s cars utilize computer technology to run efficiently. However, without a well-maintained battery, all of that technology will be useless. A battery provides all the power a car needs to function properly. If you do not take the necessary steps to extend its life, your battery can die at the most inconvenient time.
Nothing lasts forever. Not even the most expensive battery. On average, a battery will last for 4 to 6 years. Proper maintenance will help extend its life to the maximum cycle. However, there are other factors that can affect the lifespan of your battery:
1. Temperature – Car batteries in warmer countries do not last as long as those in colder countries. Why? When a battery runs, it produces high heat temperatures under the hood. This level of temperature rises much higher in warmer countries, creates a greater demand for energy, and further drains its power.
2. Increased Dirt – Over time, your battery accumulates plenty of dirt. Unattended to, accumulated dirt leads to corrosion which makes your battery work harder than normal and thereby, drain it of more power. Too much dirt will give you a weak car battery.
3. Lack of Usage – When it comes to batteries, the saying, “If you don’t use it, you will lose it” applies. In Japan, batteries tend to have shorter lifespans because the Japanese rarely drive. Infrequent driving leads to a condition known as sulfurization whereby sulfur build-up causes contamination of the battery.
4. High-Battery Usage – If you like to plug in your MP3 player and charge your mobile phone to the battery while the car is running with the air-conditioner turned on and the wipers moving, you will drain it of power much sooner than you think. Other culprits to battery consumption include devices such as radar detectors, a GPS tracker, dash cam, and a DVD player.
In this article, we will show you how to make your battery last longer. We will do this in 2 stages. First, we will teach you how to improve car battery health through proper battery maintenance. Second, we will give you valuable tips on how to extend car battery life.
Buying your first car is one of life’s greatest achievements. It is definitely a milestone. You don’t have to ask permission from your dad to use his car. You can go wherever you want. However, unlike your first house, a car is a depreciating asset. It loses value over time. This is because it is subject to constant wear and tear.
The reality is, buying a car is one thing. Owning it is another. If you thought it was expensive to get it, ownership is a huge financial responsibility. You have to be ready to spend good money to make sure it runs well all the time and lasts longer.
In addition to its tires, air-conditioner, brakes, and engine, you also have to take the necessary steps for battery maintenance. Unlike your tires and fluid levels, you do not have to undertake these maintenance procedures on a daily basis.
1. Check the Water Level of Your Battery – Is your car battery an AGM or Absorbed Glass Matt battery or a wet-cell battery? Checking its water level will have a different approach depending on the type of battery you own.
If it’s an AGM car battery, ask an experienced car technician to do it for you. If it’s a wet-cell battery, check the water level every 3 months.
2. Clean the Battery Terminals – Corrosion is one of the worst enemies of your car battery. Every 6 to 8 months, get a wire brush and clean out the battery terminals. Here is a simple 3-step process you can use to brush out possible corrosion:
3. Grease Up Your Battery – Coat the battery with grease that is made especially for high temperatures. This will help prevent moisture build-up which can lead to rust and corrosion.
4. Check Your Battery’s Cell Voltage – If your car is scheduled for its usual maintenance procedure or tune- up, ask the technician to check the battery’s cell voltage. The technician can charge it for you if the cell voltage level is low.
If you live in a warmer climate, make sure your battery has proper insulation. Most cars have an insulator fitted with the battery. An insulator will protect the battery from very high temperatures which will severely drain its power.
The road to proper car maintenance starts with finding ways to extend car battery life. You might be surprised to learn that it is not difficult to maintain car battery health. For the most part, it comes down to smart planning and plain common sense.
1. Take Your Car Out for Extended Drives – Gasoline can be very expensive. We understand your concern that you don’t want to waste gas by taking long trips. However, as we pointed out earlier in this article, infrequent use can be as damaging.
If you are using your car for only short drives, you may save up on gas but you are inadvertently cutting short your battery’s lifespan. Short drives will not be enough to fully charge its batteries.
It will not hurt your wallet to take your car out for long, extended drives once a week or twice-a-month. As an added bonus, your family will thank you for it!
2. Make a Routine Check before You Leave the Premises – It has happened to all of us at least once in our lives. We wake up in the morning all freshened up and ready to go to work.
When we get to our car, we realize that we left the car lights open. Don’t be surprised if the car won’t start. Leaving the lights open can and will drain the battery. Make a conscious effort to run a routine check before you leave the vicinity of your car.
3. Don’t Abuse Your Car’s Features – No one likes waiting especially on a hot and humid day. If you are waiting inside your car, don’t open the air-conditioner when the engine is not running. The same goes for the radio. These features can make waiting more tolerable but they will drain your car battery’s power.
Instead, inform the person you are waiting on your whereabouts. Go to the mall, have a cup of coffee, or head off to the park to relax. Let your battery rest as well!
4. Disconnect Your Battery When Not In Use – Have you ever come home after a 3-week vacation and find out your car battery is dead? At best, you will have a weak car start. This is because even when it is not in use, your battery continues to discharge power. If you are planning to go on an extended holiday, disconnect your battery.
People buy cars for different reasons. It could be out of necessity especially if your state does not have efficient public transportation. Perhaps you just want greater independence and control over your travels and trips. Having your own car will certainly fit your needs. Of course, there are those who want to buy a car just for the idea of owning one.
Regardless of your reason for buying a car, you should take proper care of it because maintenance and repairs can be quite expensive. Even though it is a depreciating asset, you would want to maximise its value by making sure it will give you thousands of miles of driving pleasure.
Having your car fitted with the latest technology will not suffice if you have a weak car battery. Follow our simple battery maintenance procedures and tips on how to extend its life. The time you take to ensure your battery’s health will be time well spent.
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