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Jul 16, 2015

5 Tips To Extend Your Car’s Battery Life

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It is estimated that only 30 percent of car batteries provide service for 48 months. This has little to do with the brand, and a lot to do with where you live. Apparently, batteries in extremely cold areas last an average of 51 months, while those in extremely hot climates only last for 30 months. The difference is attributed to the many electronic accessories found in modern cars.

Car's Battery Life Tips

Things like DVD players, GPS devices, on-board computers, and mobile phone chargers keep car batteries from maintaining full charge, and the longer it goes with low charge, the shorter its life span. So, the first tip to extend your car battery is to recharge it frequently. Charging is done by the alternator, but it may not be as effective when driving for short trips while the demand for electricity remains high. The alternator won’t be able to keep up.

How to Prolong the Life of Your Battery

  • Keep it charged – limit short trips
  • Letting your car sit without starting in hot weather will drain the battery in only 24 hours, while it will take several days in cold weather. However, letting it completely discharge so you can recharge it will drastically affect its life, since you can only do that about 10 times before it dies. So, consider occasional highway driving to replenish your battery and keep it fully charged, or invest in a battery charger if you only take short trips.

  • Don’t use electronics when idle
  • Avoid using headlights, the radio, and other power accessories while the engine is not running. Also, don’t forget to leave the headlights on when you exit. This can severely deplete your battery.

  • Inspect and Clean
  • It is important to periodically inspect your battery to check for corrosion around the terminals. These deposits form over time, and can pose problems when cranking your car. Clean any corrosion with a stiff brush dipped in baking soda/water solution, rinse the mixture, dry with a clean cloth, and then apply dielectric grease around the terminals to help prevent oxidation.

  • Keep the battery securely fastened
  • Always place felt washers underneath the terminals when fastening. A loose battery can bump against other engine components causing short circuits, so consider using a bracket to avoid such contact. If you drive frequently on bumpy roads, check the terminals regularly to ensure that they are properly positioned and tightened in the mounting bracket.

  • Test the battery often
  • Use a car battery tester to check the output voltage level. This will help you keep track of how well your maintenance practices are working, as well as how soon you may need to replace it.

    If you don’t plan on driving for a few weeks, disconnect the terminals and follow instructions in your owner’s manual for battery storage.


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