It is indeed true that if an object is given the care due to it, it will last a lifetime – well, may not be your life but certainly its own. Premature cessation is normally due to a lack of adequate care and maintenance. Your car’s battery also comes with a pre-set lifetime that generally ranges between two to five years. Yet, it’s highly common to find people replacing their car’s batteries much sooner than the specified lifetime. Why? Well, except for a few exceptions, nine out of ten times the reason is negligence.
So, let’s find out a couple of ways in which you can grant long life to your car’s battery.
Avoid Taking Too Many Short Trips
Excessive short car trips prevent your car battery from fully charging and can even lead to short battery life. However, there’s a catch – excessive short trips in and of themselves don’t impact the battery’s health. It is the time the vehicle has been left unused between those short trips that must also be taken into account. To simplify, if your car sits idle for several days in a row and then is used only for making short trips that are under 20 minutes, your battery life may suffer. So, to ensure your car battery’s longevity, drive your vehicle more frequently and for periods longer than 20 minutes.
Ensure Proper Battery Fastening
By proper battery fastening, it is meant to avoid either of the extremes. Whereas on one hand, a battery that has not been securely fastened using a strong battery clamp will become internally damaged due to excessive vibrations. On the other hand, over-tightening of the battery will also damage it! The key is to simply tighten the nuts until resistance is felt and then to continue for an additional half-turn only.
Frequently Monitor the Health of Your Battery
Just as we humans are advised to make routine check-ups to avoid major health problems in the long-run, similarly, even car batteries’ life can be preserved by performing routine check-ups. With time, the battery’s terminals often become damaged due to corrosion. But, premature damage can be avoided by getting regular check-ups for any build-ups that can be removed simply by applying alkaline or acidic agents. Moreover, you must also keep an eye on the system voltage – a healthy battery will have a voltage that is 12.7 V or above. If the numbers drop below this level when monitored using a Voltmeter, recharge your battery to the optimum level.
Guard Your Battery against Extreme Temperature Changes
Both extremely hot and extremely low weather conditions have their own woes. Extreme heat can lead to the evaporation of the battery fluid, malfunctioning of the charging system due to overcharging, and corrosion of the battery’s lead plates. On the other hand, the blight of bitter cold can be seen in the form of reduced battery capacity, greater battery pressure due to solidification of engine oil, and reduced recharge rate. Well, you may feel that there’s not much you can do in this department but you can surely get proper insulation kits installed that will ensure that your car’s battery remains cool during the summers and warm during the winters.
Eliminate Power Usage When the Engine is Turned Off
Your car’s battery is responsible for supplying power to your car’s engine for ignition. Having electronics such as interior lights, radio, etc. turned on when the engine is on idle mode exerts unnecessary pressure on the battery. If the additional pressure exceeds the output of the alternator in passive mode (which is typically only 30% of its output capacity), the battery will suffer damage, sometimes even permanent. Hence, it is important to switch off all the lights and unplug all electronics before leaving the car or when the engine is idle.
Cleanliness is Indeed Next to Godliness
In addition to regularly cleaning off residue build-ups in the battery terminals due to corrosion, it is also important to make sure that the top of the battery is clean from any sort of dirt or grime. A dirty battery is more prone to getting discharged and even short-circuiting which will eventually lead to a flattened battery. Thus, regularly cleaning the battery thoroughly is a simple yet highly effective way to maintain its health and durability.
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