A car battery provides the zap of electricity needed to keep your car running. From the engine to the air-conditioner in your car – everything is powered by the battery. In fact, a car battery is the most significant component under the hood. But like humans, batteries also have finite lives.
Yet, much has been said in praise of batteries but not enough about battery care – about measures that can increase the average service life of a car battery.
Life Expectancy of a Car battery
The average life expectancy of a car battery is typically between three to five years. However, this “average” also relies on other factors which determine the lifespan of the car battery.
Extreme temperatures wear out a car battery faster. This is because harsh weather conditions put more pressure on batteries. They become more chemically active and drain out quickly, especially when exposed to heat. And as liquid level drops, the internal structure of the battery starts to deteriorate. This often leads to battery failures.
Lack of maintenance and negligence often cause premature battery deaths. As evident, corrosion will build-up over time, especially near the battery terminals. This build-up can disrupt the charge flow and cause operational failures. Nonetheless, you can still maintain optimal charge flow and maximise battery performance with proper preventative care.
Poor Driving Habits
Driving shorter distances can drain out your battery faster than usual. If you drive a short distance, the battery is unable to recharge fully. Batteries that are constantly undercharged cause acid stratification and their lives are cut short.
Also, poor habits such as leaving the lights on or using electrical components when the engine is turned off can subtract some years from the battery life.
If you buy car batteries from reliable brands, you enjoy a host of benefits, from free installation services, robust built to longer warranties and higher cranking power. Moreover, dependable battery manufacturers like Amaron or Exide offer genuine, original products that offer better performance and longer battery life – benefits that cheap batteries cannot provide.
In addition, factors such as preventative care practices, installation quality, vehicle type, charging system, and more are also responsible for your battery’s health. If provided with proper care, the extension of battery life is possible.
Can You Extend Battery Life?
Nobody likes sudden battery failures, much less the cost incurred to replace them. Yet, battery failures are imminent with time and use. Given the conditions, is it even possible to extend the battery life?
Not every battery lasts until the “calendar life” – the time before a battery becomes unserviceable, whether active or not. However, battery lives can be extended with preventative care. You can reduce the cause of unwanted physical and chemical deterioration which occurs inside the battery cells and prolongs the battery life.
Here are some tips you can use to extend the life of your car battery and enjoy an optimal performance on the road.
Reduce Heat Exposure
Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can hamper battery health. This is because heat exposure increases the evaporation of vital liquids from the cells and lowers the charge – even if the battery has a sealed top. Extreme heat deteriorates the battery’s interiors and reduces its power.
Therefore, make sure to keep away from direct sunlight. Always park your car under shade whenever possible. Avoid short trips and use protective battery covers. In this way, you can prevent faster chemical reactions and save the battery from premature death.
Curb Electronics Use when Idling
Avoid the use of electronics when the engine is not running. Turn off functions like radio or AC as their use can wear out battery power – the battery loses charge faster. If the charge drops to a certain level, it affects the battery’s charging ability, thus, shortening its service life.
Furthermore, make sure to turn off accessories like headlights before exiting the car. Leaving them on will discharge the battery faster. As a result, the car battery will have insufficient voltage to power the starter motor the next time you try to start the car.
Insulate the Battery
Cars today come with reduced hood space which impacts the airflow in the engine. As a result, car batteries have become more susceptible to heat and damage. Such extreme temperatures can shorten battery life.
Use protective insulation covers to keep your car battery away from heat damage. An insulation wrap can protect your battery against extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Besides, you can easily find a battery sleeve from a manufacturer or a local car battery store near you.
Keep Corrosion at Bay
Car batteries oxidise over time, especially near the two terminals as a white powdery substance gets deposited. By eliminating build-up and keeping the terminals clean, you can increase charge flow through the wires, and in turn, increase battery life.
To clean away the build-up, make sure to first detach the terminals from the battery. And then, use a toothbrush dipped in a mixture of baking soda and water to scrub out the dirt. Rinse the liquid and wipe the battery case with a dry cloth before re-attaching the terminals.
Follow Routine Maintenance
Routine checks and servicing can maximise car battery life. In fact, monthly battery inspections can work wonders and increase your battery’s performance by a stretch. Keep the battery top, battery case, and terminals free of dirt, grime, and corrosion.
Make sure the clamps, screws, cables, and terminals are tightly connected. Also inspect for signs of damage or breakage. If you notice any warning signs, seek immediate professional battery repair or replacement service to avoid sudden battery failures.
Limit Short Car Trips
The starter motor of a car relies on the battery to power itself. Once the car is in motion, the car battery is recharged by the engine. But if the trips are short, it leaves no room for the battery to regain adequate power. This can reduce battery voltage if done repeatedly.
As a result, car batteries get completely knocked out, often leading to slow cranks and frequent jumpstarts. Moreover, if the car sits idle for prolonged periods, the battery life reduces further. Avoid such battery failures by frequently taking long car trips.
Keep Your Battery Clean
A dirty car battery case loses the charge faster and often interferes with engine start-ups. In some cases, a dirty battery case can also cause a mild short circuit and flatten the battery as a result. Thus, make sure to keep the battery clean at all times.
Do not let dirt and grime settle on the battery case to prevent malfunctions. Clean the build-up using a brush and rinse away everything carefully. By keeping the battery clean, you can easily extend its life and maintain optimum battery performance.
However, if the battery corrosion is worse, avail professional battery checks from a car battery shop near you. This can prevent sudden battery failures and breakdowns.
Avoid Car Idling for Longer Periods
Car batteries tend to self-discharge and become flat if left unused for a long time. On average, batteries can be left unused for about four weeks. However, the amount of time a battery can sit idle usually depends on its potency. The potency of a car battery decreases as the age of the battery increases.
In fact, a car battery starts to leak internally after crossing a certain age. On such occasions, the battery demands immediate recharging or else it dies.
Furthermore, if a car sits idle for a long time, it puts a parasitic load on the battery. Consequently, the load increases the rate of discharge, often knocking out the battery completely, irrespective of its age.
Perform Monthly Battery Checks
The lifespan of a car battery is reduced if left partially or fully discharged. Thus, to test the battery’s health, it is best to perform monthly battery voltage checks. Use a multimeter or opt for a professional check-up from a local car battery store to assess the condition of your battery.
Typically, a healthy battery has a voltage of 12.7 or above. If the battery voltage drops below 12.2 volts, you should seek immediate replacement before the battery dies. You can buy either an Exide car battery or an Amaron car battery for profitable returns.
By following the above battery-care tips, you can prolong your battery’s life and prevent sudden breakdowns. Nonetheless, your battery will run out after it reaches the end of its lifespan. Is your battery at that point? Get the best car battery replacement service from Car Fit Experts!
Car Fit Experts to the Rescue!
India’s leading automotive-care provider – Car Fit Experts offers quick and comprehensive auto-care solutions. Avail timely car battery repair and replacement services in select cities across the country. You can purchase batteries from reliable brands such as Amaron and Exide at highly affordable rates.
Use our centre locator to search for “car battery dealer near me.” Car Fit Experts has an extensive network of service centres, but best of all is our doorstep facility, which is available whether you are in your office parking lot or at home.
For more information, visit our website www.carfitexperts.com or contact us at 1800 102 6364 today!