No driver ever wants to be in a situation where they want to leave for work or home, but the battery is flat! Avoid such incidents by taking care of your car (and the battery)!
Car batteries need a lot more maintenance than car mats to keep them healthy! Don’t know where to start?
Below are ways and tips to prolong your car battery’s life!
How Long Do Car Batteries Last?
And what is considered normal?
Car batteries typically last for an average of 2 years to 5 years.
However, there are many factors that can affect car battery lifespan. Such as the weather, and how you take care of your car. As well as your driving habits and the battery/brand you choose to use!
9 Tips To Prolong Your Car Battery’s Life
1. Park In The Shade When You Can
To avoid unwanted evaporation from the battery cells!
This water is to keep the acid in the battery dilute. Without the water, the acid will eat away the inside of your battery!
2. Limit Short Frequent Trips
Those short trips add up! Eventually draining the battery!
Because each trip requires you to start up the car (i.e. use the battery). And if the trip is not long enough, there’s not enough time for it to charge back!
With this argument, frequent long trips are actually better for your car battery.
Otherwise, it’s a good idea to buy a portable car battery charger! For emergencies! Or to maintain the correct voltage level yourself!
These allow you to jump-start your car too. Without the need for another vehicle to be present!
3. Ensure That The Battery Is Secure
Any shaking or vibration may result in a short circuit. Which will damage the battery and your car’s electrical system!
A potential danger to your passengers and you too!
4. Do A Monthly Voltage Check
You will need a car battery tester for this. As a voltage check will help you know that your battery maintenance is optimum!
Aim for 12.5V to 12.7V always! Any reading less than 12.5V is something to worry about.
A dead/ flat battery will read at 12V!
Get your car serviced on a regular basis and not just when it’s time to change the engine oil!
The service crew should routinely check the car battery health for you. And should inform you if they find that your battery falls under the recommended percentage.
If case they don’t tell you, do not be afraid to inquire about your battery’s health at the service center!
5. Don’t Use Electronics While Idling/ Without Turning On The Engine
This is another thing that will drain out the battery unnecessarily!
The reason for this:
Is that when the engine is off, so is the alternator (which charges up the battery and maintains its voltage).
So when you turn on the headlights, music, air conditioner, dash cam, etc or leave the key in the ignition with the engine off, the battery is draining out. Without being replenished!
Always double-check that your lights are off when you park your car for the night!
And whenever you start the engine, it’s good practice to keep all electronics off! This is because starting the car also draws the power form the same battery.
So if your battery is powering your starter motor and additional electronics at the same time, this will force the battery to work harder. However, this only applicable to old car models.
On modern cars, all of the battery’s power is automatically directed to the starter motor when you start the engine. Before it will power other electric components/ accessories!
6. Clean Your Battery
Watch out for rust and other signs of corrosion. Especially on the battery terminals and connectors!
You can use an old toothbrush and a simple solution of baking soda and water to scrub these away!
Note: Corrosion includes any white, blue or greenish stuff creeping onto the terminals and connectors.
7. Disconnect The Terminals If You Will Not Be Using Your Car For A Long Time
Even if you don’t use your car:
The battery will drain on its own naturally. So if you know you’re going to be away for weeks and months on end, you better disconnect the terminals!
Or connect it to a trickle charger!
8. Keep An Eye On The Distilled Water Level (On Maintenance-Required Battery Type)
If your vehicle is still using a conventional battery, maintaining the distilled water level is very crucial to upkeep your battery’s health!
During the battery charging and discharging process, water evaporates. And the level of water (i.e. electrolyte) gets lowers over time.
This is not a good thing because it exposes the plates in the battery cells! And can lead to damage!
Note: Don’t use regular water from your tap! Only use distilled water. Also known as deionised water or demineralised water.
9. Make Sure You Choose The Right Aftermarket Headlamps
If you would like to modify your car like changing the headlamps or other accessories:
Do make sure that you are choosing the right wattage for your car battery. Else, the new accessories will put more load on your car battery.
Which means that a period of time, your battery will get flat much earlier than expected!
Always check with the seller before buying any car accessories to make certain they are compatible with your car battery!
With all these tips, you can maximize your car battery life span!
And if you happen to find out that your battery is not working anymore:
Do check out our list of recommendations for the best car battery brands in Malaysia!