Imagine rushing to the office for a huge presentation with an important prospective client only to have your car break down on your way to work? Or worse, imagine going on a much needed, impromptu road trip with your friends only to have your car battery die as you are passing through deserted streets leaving you and your friends stranded in the middle of nowhere. If the mere thought of these situations was enough to put in a state of anxiety and nervousness, it’s time you did a quick check on your car battery.
An essential component of every vehicle, a car battery is vital for carrying out numerous operations in the car- be it to switch on the lights or charge mobile phones. An average car battery has a life expectancy of 2 to 5 years but just like any other machinery equipment, it goes through daily wear-and-tear and requires regular maintenance to keep all operations running smoothly. Yet, more often than not, car batteries die a premature death owing to negligence and lack of maintenance.
However, you can implement certain easy and effective measures to increase the shelf life of your car battery rather than spending money unnecessarily and purchasing a new car battery every 2 years. Here we discuss some of the easiest tips and tricks that every car owner must follow to increase the life expectancy of their car battery.
One of the most important factors which influence the shelf life of your car battery is the weather. A running battery under the hood is already subjected to high levels of heat and pressure and driving around town all day long in extreme heat can have a terrible impact on your car battery leading to an increased chance of ending up with a dead battery. In fact, a car battery in areas with hot climate has an average battery life of 2 to 3 years whereas car batteries in cooler regions can easily last up to 4 to 6 years.
The reason for this is that the warm weather causes the electrolyte solution in car batteries to evaporate and damage the internal structure. For instance, a 12-volt car battery consists of six cells and each cell generates two volts. These cells are then attached to two plates of lead and lead dioxide which are submerged in sulphuric acid. This creates a chemical reaction and converts the chemical energy into electricity. The high heat and humidity, however, affect the efficiency and volume of the sulphuric acid, causing batteries to die quickly.
While you may not be able to avoid driving your car during the summers, you may benefit from parking your car in a covered garage, parking lots with sheds or under the shade when you head off to work all day to allow your car battery to cool down and regain its original internal state.
An ill-positioned or loosely-fitted battery is highly susceptible to internal damage due to vibrations, shocks and short circuits from the accidental touching of wires. This can cause your car battery to blow its fuse and die a premature death. In order to prevent such mishaps, you may benefit from grabbing the battery and giving it a shake. If it jiggles, it is ill-fitted and needs to be fastened tightly and positioned properly on the mounting bracket. The bolts holding the car battery must be secured tightly to avoid the battery from moving. In rare occasions, the car battery may be missing the factory hold down accessory and if that’s the case, you’re better off by consulting a car expert where your car battery can be fixed properly.
Though a car is all about convenience, quick and short car rides with can prevent the battery from charging to full capacity. This can take a toll on your battery’s health and result in its premature death. To preserve your battery and avoid unnecessary expenditures on a new car battery, drive your car frequently for extended periods. If you don’t use your car often, consider investing in a portable car battery charger that can jumpstart a car battery to avoid being stranded in the middle of nowhere in case of car battery failure.
Just as metal catches rust, a car battery too can corrode over time. Battery terminals can get oxidised and develop a green or white build-up which is indicative of current leakage. Such leakage can kill your car battery. Moreover, dirt and grime on top of the battery can encourage current leakage across the battery terminal. To avoid such incidents, scrub the terminals with a toothbrush dipped in a solution of baking soda and water. Avoid splashing water around the engine and rinse off the battery with low-pressure water. Follow up quickly to clean the battery with a dry cloth and voila, you’ll have a new car battery in no time!
Want to extend your battery life but don’t have the time to care for it? Contact AIS Car Fit Experts- the one-stop-shop for professional car care services. Our services include car battery check as well as replacement using world-class products installed by our expert technicians to ensure a smooth-running car and maximum client satisfaction.