Car batteries have a limited lifespan, and neglecting your battery will only hasten its demise. Consider the following steps to extend your car battery’s expiration date:
- Limit short trips – Short trips prevent the battery from fully charging. Each start takes a toll on your battery, and it only recovers after you have driven around long enough to fully charge it. If your car is seldom used, it is a wise idea to invest in a portable battery charger. That way if it fails to start, you won’t have to jumpstart it using another car’s battery.
- Keep your battery secure – A battery that is subjected to constant vibration could have internal damage and short circuits. Make sure your battery is fastened securely in place to minimize vibration. If you drive on rough terrain, check your car battery afterward to make sure that it did not come loose.
- Turn off lights – If you leave your lights on for a long period of time, your battery will feel it. Make a habit of turning off all lights when you exit the car.
- Control battery corrosion – Corroded battery terminals could affect the performance of your battery. If the terminal is corroded, scrub it with a toothbrush dipped in a mixture of water and baking soda. Rinse it with a spray bottle and dry with a clean towel or cloth.
- Test battery frequently – To check the condition of your car battery, use a tester to determine the voltage output. The test will help you known when you’re due for a new battery.
- Don’t strain the battery when the car is on idle – Plugging in your smartphone or turning on your radio, air conditioner, or lights when the engine is not running will wear out your car battery. Also, avoid extended idling of your car’s engine as it could also compromise your battery.
- Service your car regularly – When you keep your whole car maintained, your battery will feel the positive effects.
Caring for your battery can certainly make it last longer, but bear in mind that all batteries die eventually. Watch for the early signs of battery failure so you can replace the battery while it is still operational, rather than ending up stranded when you least expect it.