Neglecting to care for your car and it’s crucial parts will not only cost you a substantial amount for repairs and replacements, but it could even write off the car altogether. Or, inconveniently, you could break down when you least expect it.
The car battery is essentially like the heart of the vehicle. The car cannot run without a functional, charged battery. If you look after your battery, it tends to last 3-5 years. A new battery will cost you hundreds of dollars so it’s in your best interest to take good care of it in order to prolong its life.
There are simple, key tips to maintain a good battery life and once you’ve learnt these, it will eventually become second nature for your current and future cars.
Intentionally refrain from actions that drain your battery
There are a few different things that will drain your battery if you aren’t careful. It’s important to avoid these at all costs, as each time you drain your battery, it can take time of its life.
A more common action is accidentally leaving exterior or interior lights on. There may have been a time you remember rushing inside after driving at night to only go to drive hours later and you realise you left the lights on and your battery is flat. Out came the jump leads to jumpstart the car. This simple mistake can deteriorate your battery.
The damage from this accident roots from the lead sulfate buildup on the plates when discharged. Overtime, the build up can cover the plates and halt your battery from holding charge.
Another action, which may not be as common, is if you rarely drive your car. For instance, driving a car once every three weeks may save you petrol but it will damage the battery. Leaving the vehicle unused gradually drains the battery, and if you leave it for a lengthy period, it won’t be possible to recharge. Instead, you will need to unfortunately replace the battery. Aim to drive your vehicle once every two weeks for 15 minutes at a minimum.
Learn warning signals and respond adequately
The warning lights on your dashboard light up for a reason. For your battery, there could be one of two signals that light up – look out for the check engine signal or the battery warning signal. Other physical signals could be having difficulty starting your vehicle, dim lights due to electrical issues, or you sense a strange rotten smell. Simply take your car into the mechanics if you notice these signs and are worried.
Give your car battery a clean
A dirty battery directly causes crucial wires and terminals to corrode. Without these parts functioning adequately, you will need to replace your battery. You may be wondering how corrosion occurs. It is in fact hydrogen gas generated as a result of chemical reactions and debris building on terminals. Therefore, one way to avoid these corrosions is by clearing away the dirt.
Simply analyze your battery, clamps, screws, cables and additional parts for dirt or anything that looks amiss, such as loose screws or damaged components. Learn the specialist techniques to clean your battery without causing damage.
To take extra precaution, you can place high temperature grease on posts and cable connections.
It’s recommended that you clean your engine just before winter begins, even if it appears clean. This is due to the fact that the remaining crud destroying connections and the chillier days can have an even bigger impact on your battery life. Batteries simply don’t like the cold so you are therefore preparing your battery for winter.
Corrosions occur more frequently in the winter after the heat in the summer evaporates the battery fluid. When this fluid evaporates through terminals, the chemical reactions occur when the fluid touches the terminals. You need to be extra attentive in order to prolong the life of your battery.
Invest in a full car servicing once a year
The true benefits in a full car servicing is that it can stop issues from turning into even bigger problems further down the road. These unchecked issues can even get to the stage where you need to purchase a new vehicle. Yearly checks are mandatory for all vehicle owners, however, they don’t actually go into depth and check every component. For this reason, taking your car in for a specialist servicing at car servicing and repairs mechanics will give you peace of mind that your battery and additional parts are functioning safely.
Once you have ingrained and put all these tips into practice you will see your vehicle lasting a lot longer, unless out of control issues arise. Bear in mind that batteries do need to be replaced around every five years. When it does get to this five year period, ensure you do go for that servicing to see if you can push its lifetime out even further or need to replace it.
Olivia Fairhurst is a business owner and content manager for various clients, including Tony Allen Auto Service. Olivia is a passionate about writing and helping individuals and companies learn and grow through reading her articles.