Understanding and Extending Your Car Battery’s Life
A majority of problems car owners face relates to their car batteries. Despite the importance of the battery, most car owners don’t give it the due attention. You need to keep your battery in top shape, with regular maintenance and top-ups. In fact, you have to be more careful than ever because car batteries today bear a greater load than ever before. The modern infotainment systems and other components mean that your car battery is under great strain, which can affect its useful life. However, most people are not aware of the average life expectancy of car batteries.
What’s the Life Expectancy of a Car Battery?
As a rule of thumb, the useful life for a battery is five years. That said, there are several reasons why you might have to replace your battery within a couple of years. Your driving habits play a significant role, as well as the wear and tear your car faces. Therefore, your battery might age prematurely. You won’t be able to get the best bang for your buck, as your battery doesn’t function properly after three or four years.
Needless to say, you cannot start your car’s engine if your battery isn’t functioning optimally. When you turn the key, the battery drains right away, and the engine then charges it slowly and gradually. So if you take short trips frequently, your battery will undergo considerably more wear and tear quickly than if you make long journeys. In that case you might have to opt for car battery replacement within a couple of years.
Factors that Affect Battery Life
In addition to the wear and tear mentioned above, several other factors can affect your battery life:
- The climate of the place you live in can affect the battery life. Extreme temperatures, high or low, can affect the battery life negatively.
- The physical stress your battery is under can affect its life.
- Your car’s electronic features, obviously, also impact your battery life. Do note that with regular maintenance, you can keep wear and tear within limit.
Enhancing Your Battery Life
Luckily for you, there are some steps you can take to enhance your car’s battery life. You might have to replace car battery soon if you don’t invest time, effort, and money into maintaining it. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Keep short trips to a minimum. Nothing affects the battery life more adversely than your battery being unable to charge fully after depletion. The bigger risk here is that the battery doesn’t have sufficient power to be able to start the engine. Therefore, even if your battery is in good shape, you will need a jump start to turn your car on. Of course, your commuting needs might not exceed 10 miles a day. In such a situation, you just need to accept that you have to replace your battery soon.
- Inspect your car’s battery on a regular basis. If you notice any evident signs of wear and tear, you will know that you need to take your car to a professional. The most obvious sign of damage is corrosion. You can deal with corrosion on your own, using DIY cleaning products available on the market.
- You should also ensure that the battery is fixed perfectly. If the battery doesn’t settle properly, the constant vibrations while you are driving can cause significant damage. Moreover, the battery might come loose if it stays wobbly for a long time.
- Don’t turn on any of the electronic components of your vehicle when your engine is off or in idle mode. If the engine isn’t on, your battery will not receive a charge. Over time, this can affect its life. Therefore, you should avoid turning on the infotainment system or any other feature while your car is parked. For older cars, the load the battery is under is greater when the engine is not on.
- Schedule regular check-ups for your car battery. You often don’t notice the issues that might be causing your battery to deplete and affecting its life. For example, any faulty components of the battery can make it next to impossible for you to start your car in the morning. If the battery doesn’t charge properly, you will eventually have to search for a change car battery service.The last thing you want is for your car to break down unexpectedly.
Follow these tips and you can enhance the life of your car battery. This allows you to derive maximum value for the money you spent on the battery. Moreover, you can make sure that the battery stays functional for the extent of its useful life. That said, you will eventually have to replace your car battery, but by following these tips, you can ensure that you don’t have to replace it prematurely.