8 Ways to Increase Your Vehicle’s Battery Life

Typically, a car battery lasts between 2 and 5 years. The longevity largely depends on how you treat it and how much you drive. There are a number of ways you can cut down strain and stress on the battery, such as limiting interior light usage and not running the AC when in idle. Also, be aware that choosing comprehensive car insurance may cover your battery if it is stolen – plus any related repairs to your vehicle. Research car insurance quotes to find coverage you can afford.

  • Securely Fasten the Battery. Driving your car creates a lot of vibration, causing internal parts to become unseated and unhinged. The battery is no exception. Check periodically to make sure that the battery is properly held down with a manufacturer’s approved battery clamp. Vibrations damage internal components which can cause short circuits and shorten the battery’s life.
  • Avoid Short Trips. Every time you start your vehicle there is strain on the battery. However, the engine recharges the battery but only during longer trips. If you’re continually making short trips you’re not giving the engine enough time to recharge the battery which results in a steady battery voltage reduction. Ultimately, at some point, the battery won’t have enough charge to start the car. Maintain the battery properly by driving it for longer trips more frequently. If this isn’t possible, it’s wise to invest in a battery charger so you can maintain the appropriate voltage.
  • Minimize Heat Exposure. While you are more likely to think that car batteries die in the winter and that is true, it is largely due to the damage that is done during the hot summer months. Intense heat puts stress on the battery by increasing the amount of water evaporation from inside the cells. When the weather turns colder, this weakness is revealed and it becomes more difficult to start the engine. Things you can do in the blazing hot summer months include parking in the shade or garage or somehow insulating the battery from the extreme heat.
  • Don’t Leave the Battery Unused. All batteries lose charge over time. It’s simply the nature of batteries. During hot summer months (around 86 degrees F) a lead-acid battery will self-discharge at 1.5% a day. When it’s cooler (around 50 degrees F) it’s more like .25% daily. Either way, if you don’t plan to use your vehicle for a week or longer, connecting a trickle charger will help keep the battery in good operating condition.
  • Keep the Battery Clean. Dirt and grime can create a situation where a mild short circuit eventually deadens the battery. So, be sure to keep the top of the battery clean. The battery terminals have a tendency to corrode. Use an old toothbrush that has been dipped in a baking soda and water mixture to lightly scrub them. Using a spray bottle of cold water, rinse off the mixture and dry thoroughly.
  • Minimize Engine Usage. When you’re sitting idle it’s easy to find reasons to keep the air conditioner running and use the interior and even exterior lights. However, this habit is also a great way to deplete the battery. If you must do these things, don’t do them for very long and when you exit the car, make sure that you’ve turned all of the lights and other accessories off.
  • Check the Voltage Regularly. If left uncharged, a lead-acid battery’s life will shorten drastically when compared to being kept at full charge. Check the voltage once a month. A full charge will yield 12.7 volts or more. If the charge reads 12.5 consider a battery recharging. 12.4 is considered to be half charged and 12.0 is a completely dead battery. When you keep an eye on the voltage you’ll be better at anticipating what the battery needs.
  • Care for the Entire Car. When you make a habit out of caring for all of the car’s components, you maximize the potential of each one and allow them to run harmoniously with one another. Proper maintenance for the brakes, fluids, engine, belts, hoses, and electronics also means that you will be more properly attuned to the care and upkeep for the battery.

Car batteries are essential. Without them your vehicle won’t do its job and get you from point A to point B. A fully charged battery always works best (though you wouldn’t want to always have it on a charger). Taking longer trips frequently, testing the voltage and keeping the battery clean will help ensure you get the most out of your battery.

Written by Frederick Jace

A passionate Blogger and a Full time Tech writer. SEO and Content Writer Expert since 2015.

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