Nothing is worse than being stranded with a flat battery when it comes to cars, that’s why it’s important to know how to extend car battery life. Car batteries are a crucial component of a vehicle. Batteries provide your automobile the zap it needs to keep going, from starting it to charging your phone while you’re out and about. Because of this, it’s crucial to understand when to start thinking about replacing your car batteries and what you can do to increase their lifespan.
There are many elements that might shorten the battery life in your automobile, including extreme weather conditions, parasitic drains, driving patterns, and more. While a battery may normally be relied upon for three to five years, lead-acid power sources can eventually fail due to aging. Thus, in this article, we’ll be discussing the following;
- How to extend car battery life.
- What are the reasons why a car battery dies?
So, let’s dive in!
How to extend car battery life
- Don’t keep your car idle for long.
- Always keep your battery tightly fastened.
- Avoid short trips.
- Always keep your battery terminal clean.
- Turn off accessories.
- Less exposure to heat.
- Regularly test your battery voltage.
Don’t keep your car idle for long
Lead-acid automobile batteries must always be kept completely charged to avoid harm, as you may have noted in some of the comments made above. ‘Self-discharge’ is the term for the natural loss of charge that all lead-acid batteries experience over time, regardless of brand.
At room temperature, a flooded lead-acid battery will self-discharge at a rate of about 1% per day; at 10°C (50°F), 0.25% per day; and at 30°C (86°F), 1.5% per day. It is crucial to keep in mind that parasitic loads from the vehicle can increase the rate of discharge, so it is advised to connect a trickle charger if your vehicle is idle for more than a week to keep the battery in excellent shape.
Always keep your battery tightly fastened
Make sure your battery is always securely fastened by performing routine inspections. A battery’s lifespan may be shortened if it is not securely secured. A loose connection at the battery terminals could be brought on by a battery that isn’t securely fastened to its mounting bracket.
When you’re driving, a battery that isn’t firmly fastened to its mounting bracket or battery tray may experience extreme vibrations. Heavy vibration can cause internal damage, which is a silent battery killer.
Conversely, loose wires significantly impede the movement of electricity between the battery terminals. This causes the battery to work harder than necessary to operate normally and may cause certain electrical problems, similar to corrosive buildup.
Avoid short trips
Your battery may not have enough time to fully recharge on short excursions. Frequent short drives may result in the battery being discharged without any opportunity for recharge because starting your automobile uses so much energy from the battery. You risk running out of battery power if you take too many quick trips; this is especially true in the cold when batteries are already more susceptible to failure.
Drive further to give your alternator time to fully recharge your battery. Longer highway travels are frequently a guaranteed method to recharge your battery. Even though this advice isn’t quite “free,” adding a few pennies to your gas bill is still significantly less expensive than buying a new battery!
Always keep your battery terminal clean
Make sure your battery’s top is spotless, dry, and free of debris. A filthy battery may discharge dirt on the top of the shell, resulting in a slight short circuit that will eventually flatten the battery.
The battery terminals will also corrode with time, so it’s important to keep them free of accumulation. This will help your automobile battery last longer. Use an old toothbrush soaked in a solution of baking soda and water to clean the terminals. Next, thoroughly dry the mixture with a clean cloth after rinsing it off with a spray bottle filled with cold water.
Turn off accessories
When you turn on the ignition, a battery does more than just start your automobile; it also supplies electricity to a number of accessories. When starting the car, leave various devices like seat warmers, phone chargers, and air conditioning off to help the battery last longer.
By eliminating parasitic drain, you can also give your battery a rest. while a vehicle’s electronic components continue to take power from the battery even while the engine is off, this is known as a parasitic drain. Something as evident as an interior light left on or something much more difficult to spot, like a stuck relay, could be the cause of this.
Before leaving your car, make sure all accessories are turned off and unplugged to prevent battery discharge overnight and to use less energy when starting the engine the next morning.
Less exposure to heat
Contrary to popular belief, automobile batteries do not actually perish in cold temperatures. While car batteries do have to work harder to start your engine in the winter, the majority of car battery failures in the winter are caused by damage the batteries received in the summer’s sweltering heat.
Even with sealed top batteries, intense heat damages batteries because it speeds up the rate at which water evaporates from the cells. The weaker battery’s flaws are then exposed to the cold when lower temperatures deplete its residual cranking power when it tries to start cold engines with thick oil.
What can you then do? practically everything you can think of to lower the temperature the battery is exposed to. while feasible, park your car in the shade and keep it in the garage while not in use. You can also look into measures to protect the battery from heat produced in the engine compartment.
Regularly test your battery voltage
The best method to maximize the life of your battery is to routinely check on it. You can determine how much voltage your battery is producing and how healthy it is by doing a quick battery test. You’ll be able to determine if you run the risk of being stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery this way. Regular battery testing will also enable you to determine when to completely replace your battery.
To maintain the health of your battery, you could always buy a battery tester or charger for yourself, or you could just make an appointment for a free courtesy check at your neighborhood Firestone repair shop.
How to check using a voltmeter
Using a voltmeter to check the voltage of your battery is the simplest method. The simplest voltmeters to use are digital ones. Complete the voltage test at least twelve hours after turning off the ignition of your car for the most accurate reading.
Begin by attaching the positive voltmeter lead to the battery’s positive terminal, then do the same with the negative lead. The voltage reading will then be given to you. Normally, a completely charged battery will read between 12.4 and 12.8 volts. If your voltage reading deviates from these ranges, a mechanic will probably need to give your battery a professional examination.
It is advisable to have your car battery professionally examined to reduce the possibility of an unplanned breakdown. Ask the mechanic to ensure that your battery is functioning properly and in good condition when you take your car in for a service.
What are the reasons why a car battery dies?
- Idle for too long.
- Light is always left on.
- Hidden power drain.
- Corrosion or loose connection.
Idle for too long
When you travel to Florida in the winter, do you leave your automobile parked? When you get back, the battery might be dead. The keyless entry or anti-theft systems draw a modest but consistent stream of power. Without a chance for recharging, the battery can just run out of power.
Light is always left on
The most typical cause of a dead battery is this. If kept on for a long enough period of time, even a tiny light like a glove box or rear reading light will completely deplete your battery. Fortunately, interior lighting in most contemporary vehicles is set to dim when the engine is off after a predetermined period of time.
Hidden power drain
For items like anti-theft systems and remote keyless entry systems, most batteries are made to tolerate a steady power consumption. A badly placed aftermarket audio is one example of a device that can be siphoning power from somewhere deep in your car’s electrical system.
Corrosion or loose connection
Your battery could not be getting a full recharge while you’re driving because of something. Verify that the battery’s positive and negative terminals are clear of debris and in good condition. They won’t be able to carry power from the battery to your car’s electrical system if they are covered in corrosion (which might appear as blue-green fuzz) or blocked with debris. Problems can also arise from sloppy connections.
- How Long Does a Car Battery Last?
- How to maintain a car battery
- Car battery corrosion: causes, problems, how to clean and prevent
- Most common and possible reasons why your car battery won’t hold a charge
- Understanding car battery
- How to tell positive and negative on a car battery
- Dead car battery: causes, signs and how to charge or fix it
Watch the video below to learn more
How do I keep my car battery from dying when not in use?
- Use a battery conditioner or trickle charger.
- Avoid starting and stopping your car repeatedly.
- Avoid quick trips.
- 15-20 minutes at a time, drive your car.
- If your home has more than one vehicle, alternate your excursions.
How can I strengthen my weak car battery?
In order to give the engine a few more rotations, adding distilled water might assist in immersing the plates and promote a greater reaction. If the issue is brought on by low electrolyte levels, this will assist. If you don’t have aspirin or Epsom salt on hand, an alternative is to use distilled water only as an electrolyte booster.
What kills the battery in a car?
Extreme weather, electrical equipment left on, a broken charging system or alternator, and other causes are frequent ones, but sometimes a new battery is all that’s needed.
Will charging a car battery extend its life?
But did you know that routinely charging your car’s battery can increase its lifespan by two to three times? This will save you money because you won’t need to replace the battery as frequently. To maintain a car battery in good condition, use a charger once a month, such as the CTEK MXS 5.0.
Do car batteries charge while idling?
Yes, your car’s battery will begin to charge as long as the engine is running, to answer your question simply. It is potentially possible to fully charge your battery using this method, provided that the electrical systems aren’t removing more energy from the battery than the alternator is providing.
How long should I run my car to charge the battery?
It is advised to let your car run for at least 30 minutes after you’ve jump-started it because a dead battery normally needs at least that long to be fully or at least sufficiently charged.
What can drain a car battery overnight?
If kept on all night, even vanity mirror lights can deplete a battery. sketch parasitic. Subwoofers, phone chargers, and other items you leave plugged into your car’s outlets and which continue to draw power from the battery even while the engine is off can cause your battery to deplete over time.
Does driving charge your battery?
Yes, driving may be used to recharge a car battery. if you’re traveling at highway speeds, the alternator does really charge the battery. The alternator is otherwise active. The alternator powers every piece of onboard equipment, including your air conditioner and the tiny lights on your roll-up windows.
Why does my car battery keep going flat?
Batteries degrade internally from day one and are filled with acid. The lifespan is shortened by heat, cold, vibration, and electrical loads, among other factors. We’ve all done it: left the lights on. Your battery may quickly become discharged if you forget to turn off your headlights or interior lights.
That’s all for this article where we discussed the following;
- How to extend car battery life.
- What are the reasons why a car battery dies?
Hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.