Take Charge: 7 Car Battery Care Tips
Out of all the parts that you’ll have to replace in your car, the battery is the most commonly replaced part according to a study done by JD power.
If you find yourself replacing your car battery more than once a year, you might want to check out some battery care tips to help it last longer.
We know that they’re not cheap, so we compiled some things to help make sure you take care of it!
1. Clean the Cables
One thing you should make sure you do is that you clean the cables for the battery every now and then.
Over time, they will start to get corroded, which can damage the battery and make it stop working earlier than it normally would.
Thankfully, cleaning the cables is really easy. All you have to do is mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water. You should get a nonmetallic brush as well.
Cool the cables off with cold water, and then disconnect them from the battery. You shouldn’t pry anything open, so use a cable puller if they won’t come out. Once the cables are removed, you can easily clean the corrosion off and then reconnect them to the battery.
Get rid of all the white fluffiness and any corrosion. When you do reconnect the cables, make sure that they’re very tight. If they’re not, the current will have a difficult time going in and out of the battery.
2. Don’t Take Too Many Short Trips
One thing that will start to drain your battery quickly is taking too many short trips.
Sometimes they’re necessary, but if you can avoid them and walk or bike instead, you should do that instead.
Every time you turn your car on, you make it use a lot of its battery power to charge it up for the rest of the journey.
When you only drive a short distance, the car doesn’t have the time to regain the energy that is used to start the car. If you do this over and over, soon there won’t be enough voltage to help your car turn on.
3. Make Sure it Fits Tightly
Whether you put the battery in yourself or someone else does it, you should make sure that the battery is snug in its compartment.
The clamps and the cables are important to be tightened, but you also shouldn’t tighten them too much. If you tighten it too much, you could end up damaging the battery instead.
4. Avoid Exposing it to Too Much Heat
A lot of people think that the cold winter is what will kill your car battery. But in fact, the heat can actually be worse for it than the cold.
Yes, your battery will have to work harder to start up in the colder weather. But if your car battery fails in the winter, it was likely due to the heat that came during the summer.
If you live somewhere with extreme heat, it can cause water to evaporate from your sealed battery. In the winter months, the cold will finish the job and take the life out of it while it’s trying to start an engine that has thick oil.
You can try to protect your battery from the heat by parking it somewhere shady and not leaving it in the hot sun all day.
5. Replace it As Soon As the Time Comes
Depending on what battery you buy, you should have a rough estimate of how long it will last for.
There are many types of batteries you can buy, like a deep cycle car battery, but all of these batteries come in different kinds of grades of quality. When you buy a lower grade battery, it will probably die somewhere around the one-year mark.
If you know the time is coming for you to have to replace your battery, make sure that you take the car in to get the battery replaced as soon as possible so you don’t have to get stranded anywhere.
6. Start the Car Every Now and Then
If you don’t use the battery, you could end up causing it “self-discharge” which is when it loses the charge it naturally has.
Not starting your car for short trips won’t help your battery, but you also need to make sure you don’t let it sit there without using it at all.
If you don’t have the battery charged at all times, then it could start to damage the battery. It will do this to any type of battery, regardless of how new or old it is.
Depending on the type of battery you have, you shouldn’t let your car sit for more than a week without charging it.
7. Take Care of Your Entire Car
Taking care of your battery is important, but that doesn’t mean you get to neglect the rest of your car maintenance.
If one part fails, the entire car could end up causing the battery to fail as well.
In your maintenance manual, you should be able to find the recommended services and milestones to help maintain your car’s life.
When you go take your car in for its regularly scheduled maintenance, they can offer to test your battery while you’re there as well.
Discover More About Car Battery Care
These are only a few tips on car battery care, but there are many more out there.
If you aren’t familiar with cars and all the mechanics of them, you’re not alone.
Thankfully, we have you covered! If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more just like this one!