Just like smartphones run out of battery from time to time, car batteries are no different. A car battery is a vital component of any car, as, without it, your car won’t even start. Many other components of the car like the AC, headlights, horns, music system etc depend on the car battery for them to work. Typically, most car batteries have an average life span of 3-5 years depending on the type, driving habits and weather conditions. Generally, car batteries wear out quicker in warmer climates than in cold climates. This shows that it’s essential that proper care be given to car batteries so that they can last longer and perform their functions. There are various ways you can take advantage of to make your car batteries last longer;
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- Avoid Leaving Your Car Unused For A Long Period
Diverse conditions can arise to make us leave our cars unused for a long time. It could be because we are trying to be economical with fuel price or perhaps there are still COVID-19 lockdown restrictions where you stay. It could even be because where you work is nearby, and so you don’t need to drive. Regardless of the situation, it is detrimental for the car to be left unused for a long time because it causes the batteries to discharge slowly. This happens because the terminals are still connected and the entire circuit path is still complete. Hence, if you have to leave your car unused for a long time, it is advisable that you remove the battery’s terminals to make it last longer.
- Take Longer Trips
Shorter trips, if too frequent, can weaken your car batteries by forming crystal deposits on the negative plates. On the other hand, longer trips lasting hours are able to fully recharge your batteries. You can sufficiently extend the life of your battery by taking long trips frequently. However, if you don’t use your car very often, you should consider buying a battery charger to help maintain the correct voltage
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- Clean The Batteries Regularly
Cleaning of batteries is routine maintenance you have to imbibe to extend the life of your batteries. If you don’t clean, then corrosion can accumulate across the clamps and nodes which can lead to short circuits and discharge. The materials needed to clean your batteries are cheap and easy to get. You can make use of baking soda, water, and a toothbrush. Make a mixture of baking soda and water, dip a toothbrush into it and scrub the terminals of the battery. Then rinse the mixture off of it using a spray bottle and dry it using a cloth.
- Keep The Water Level At Its Required Standard
Typically, the fluid inside the battery is a mixture of distilled water and acid. Due to use and exposure to warm weather, the water inside the battery can evaporate and get dried up. This causes the acid to become more concentrated. When this happens, corrosion happens faster on the battery and the lifespan is shortened. To prevent this from happening, regularly check the water level in the battery and keep it to the required mark.
- When Not In Use, Turn Off All Electronics
The batteries power the electrical components of your car, one of which is the headlights and sidelights. Especially at nights when you arrive home tired, it’s easy to forget to turn off all lights before leaving the car. When this happens, you run down the car’s battery and you need to jump-start it the next day. To avoid this, double-check and turn off all lights before leaving your car.
Using electronics like AC, charging phones, or using the music system when the car engine off puts a serious strain on the car battery. Consistently doing this weakens the battery and causes it to shut down. It’s best to just turn off all electrical devices when your car is idling.
- Regularly Check Your Battery’s Voltage At Least Once A Month
Checking your battery’s voltage periodically makes you aware of how to keep it running smoothly. A lead-acid battery must have a voltage greater than 12.7 volts to be fully charged. When the voltage level drops below 12.5 volts, the battery should be recharged immediately. In terms of voltage, a 12.0 volts reading means an entirely dead battery. When this happens, you could jump-start, or in worst scenarios, get a new battery.
- Keep Your Car Away From Direct Sunlight
Direct exposure of your car to sunlight has debilitating effects on the batteries. Under hot weather, the fluid inside the battery evaporates which can distort the internal components of the batteries. When this happens, the lifespan is shortened. Therefore, it’s wise to keep your vehicle away from direct sunlight as much as you can.
Car batteries are very vital to the normal functioning of a car. Therefore, it is essential they are well maintained to last longer.
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