From the moment a car battery is manufactured, its life span begins to count. This is why it is not advisable you purchase a car battery that has stayed too long on the shelf. After installing a new car battery into the vehicle, its components begin to deplete. No car battery lasts forever, however, some batteries give clues of an imminent battery failure, some don’t. This is why you need to pay attention to your car battery.
By the way, what’s a car battery and how do they work?
What Is A Car Battery And How Do They Work?
Car batteries are devices that transfer the needed electric current needed to power the engine of your car. It is able to convert chemical energy to electrical engine, which ignites your car engine and the electrical components of your car such as charging port, lights, radio etc. Without a car battery, your car won’t start.
Besides just supplying the jolt of electric current needed to rev up your engine, your car battery also stabilizes the voltage needed to keep your car engine running.
How Long Does It Last?
Once a new battery is installed in your vehicle, it is expected that it should be able to last for an average of 3-5 years. However, this time frame is also dependent on a lot of other factors.
Factors That Determines How Long Your Car Battery Can Last
- Your Location
People who live in colder climate region will experience a longer life span on their battery compared to those living in hot regions. This is because heat facilitates the chemical reaction that takes place in a car battery. In addition, too high temperature contributes to the degradation of the components of a car battery.
- Driving Lifestyle
The amount of time you spend actively driving your car also contributes to the lifespan of your battery. If you are fond of only travelling short distances of like 5km, or perhaps your car is often chilling for more than two weeks in the garage before you turn on the engine again; then this attitude contributes to weakening your car battery.
Driving short trips only does not give enough time for your car battery to recharge. And just leaving our car parked for extended periods causes the battery to self-discharge. Hence, it is important that you try to give your battery enough driving time to recharge. If you must leave your car parked for too long because you need have to take it out, ensure to always start your car and leave the engine on for a while to afford self-discharge.
- Personal Habits
Personal habits like constantly charging your phone with your car, listening to the radio, turning on the headlights etc, are potent contributors to draining your car battery. You should want to consider limiting the frequency of these habits for your battery’s sake.
- Dirt And Grease Accumulation
These can often go unnoticed, but not paying attention to dirts, grease, and corrosion build-up on your car battery can limit its life span. Ensuring general maintenance and clean-up on your car, will limit the accumulation of dirt, grease and corrosion.
Now that you are aware of the factors that contribute to how long your car battery can spend, it is also important you are cognizant of signs that your car battery is failing, and needs a replacement.
Signs That Your Car Battery Is Failing
- Slow Starting Engine
This is one of the most potent signs to look out for. When it begins to take long before your car engine kicks in, it is sign that the components of your car battery have depleted; hence they can no longer supply the required current to start your engine.
If these slow starting of engine continues long enough, one day, you might just find out that your car won’t start at all. You should change your car battery or at least go for a battery testing when your engine won’t start on time.
- Bad Smell
One of the liquid components of a car battery is sulphuric acid. When you suddenly begin to perceive a bad smell like a rotten egg, most likely it is coming from the car battery. This might be evidence that the battery is leaking, and needs a fix-up or an entirely new battery.
When there is corrosion on either of the terminals of your car battery, you will notice a white ashy substance. When this happens, it is often an indicator of an internal or structural failure in your battery. If left unattended to, it will finally damage your battery and your vehicle will not be able to work.
- Dim Lights And Other Electrical Issues
As stated earlier, your car battery powers all the electrical components of your vehicle. When your headlights suddenly become dim or your phone does not charge properly, this can be indicators that the car battery is weakened.
- Sudden ‘Click’ Sound
Ideally, when you put the key into the ignition or you press the ignition power, the engine immediately fires up; but, if what you get is an unusual ‘click’ sound or buzz sound, it means your battery has issues. Rather than just jumpstart the car, you should also look into testing your car battery or going for general car maintenance.
Generally, paying attention to how long your car battery has been in use can be enough indicator of when to change it. Under ideal conditions, a car battery should last for an average of 3-5 years. So, when the battery starts exceeding 3 years, begin to pay attention and gather the money to buy another car battery.
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