Most quality car batteries are rated to last for around three to five years. However, you can further extend the life of a vehicle battery by taking a few extra precautions. Here are five things you should do.
1. Keep the Battery Clean
Over time, it’s not uncommon for corrosion to develop around the battery terminals and cables. Not only can this greenish substance cause a vehicle battery to work harder by increasing electrical resistance, but it may also prevent the car from starting.
Luckily, it’s not difficult to remove corrosion. Simply combine two tablespoons of baking soda with an equal amount of water. After the mixture forms a paste, you can use a wire brush to scrape away the flaky buildup. Applying battery terminal grease will help prevent future issues.
2. Make Sure Your Battery is Properly Fastened Down
As you drive over rough pavement and potholes, a battery’s connections can gradually loosen. If your vehicle battery isn’t properly secured to its mounting bracket or tray, this may lead to excessive vibration. Unfortunately, the constant shaking will ultimately shorten the battery’s life.
It’s a good idea to have a mechanic routinely inspect your battery’s connections. Simply tightening a few bolts can prevent trouble. You certainly don’t want the battery to suddenly tilt over while you’re on the road. This could short out the car’s electrical system and cause the engine to shut off.
3. Protect the Battery From Extreme Temperatures
Extreme temperatures can cause a vehicle battery to fail much sooner than expected. Make sure your battery has an insulation blanket around it. This feature will help shield the unit from radiant heat and frigid air. During the summer, try to find a shady parking spot whenever possible.
Like extremely hot weather, cold conditions can hurt a battery’s long-term durability. This is why you should spend the money on a top-quality battery that’s built to last. Cheap units can fail in as little as a year.
4. Turn Off Accessories
Many drivers have a bad habit of forgetting to turn off their car’s accessories. This includes phone chargers, heated seats, the climate control system, and the vehicle’s stereo. When attempting to start your car with these accessories on, this puts unnecessary stress on the vehicle battery.
Even when your automobile is parked, certain accessories can still draw power from the battery. This is especially true for interior lights, so be sure to turn them off. If your vehicle battery suddenly becomes weak after sitting overnight, you could be dealing with a bad electrical relay. The best approach is to have your car looked over by a professional.
5. Avoid Letting Your Vehicle Sit Too Long
Some people have rides they only drive on special occasions. When a car sits for long periods, this can take a toll on battery health. Frequent deep discharges will ultimately lead to a shorter life expectancy.
If you plan to keep a car in storage for longer than a couple of weeks, you may want to invest in a vehicle battery maintainer. This device will help the battery to sustain the recommended voltage without overcharging it.
Take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic like Creech Import Auto Repair in Raleigh at (919) 872-1999 and schedule an appointment. We provide the diagnostic service for you and advise you of the repairs or maintenance your vehicle needs. Call us today to schedule your regular maintenance, auto repair, oil change or check engine light service.