The car battery is very important for sustaining the functionality of your vehicle. In fact, you cannot even start your engine without a functional car battery. As you probably know, the car battery is responsible for sending an electrical current to the starter motor. Once the starter is charged, it cranks up the engine and gets it running.
The alternator is mechanically connected to the engine and is responsible for supplying power to the electrical components of your vehicle. The battery also serves as a backup power supply too, but it depends on the alternator to provide most of the power. But the main job of the car battery is to get the starter motor powered up so that it can start the engine.
6 Tips to Make Your Car Battery Last Longer
Each time you put your key in the ignition and twist it, you are slowly wearing down your car battery. The average car battery is designed to last between 3 to 5 years, depending on how much you drive and what the average temperature is in your location. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can help make your car battery last a long time.
Below are the top 6 ways to make your car battery last longer.
1) Take Longer Trips
If you do a lot of city or in-town driving, then these shorter trips can be bad for your battery. Your alternator needs time to recharge your battery after the engine is started. If you’re only driving for 10 or 20 minutes during each trip, this is not enough time for the battery to get recharged. As a result, the voltage of the battery will diminish as you continue to do this. Think about taking long trips with your vehicle more often.
2) Don’t Use Accessories When Engine is Off
When you put your key in the ignition and turn it over one click, your car battery is automatically activated. This gives you the ability to turn on your headlights, air conditioner, and radio before you even attempt to start the engine.
However, do not turn on these accessories because they’ll solely rely on your battery power for energy. It is better to turn your engine on first before activating these accessories because your alternator will supply power to them instead of the battery.
3) Secure the Battery Tightly
The internal components of your battery are very sensitive. Since driving causes a lot of vibrations to occur in the vehicle, you need to ensure that your car battery is tightly secured in its terminal. If it were to become loose just a little bit, the internal components could get damaged from the vibrations.
4) Clean the Terminals
Corrosion will naturally form on your car battery terminal as time goes on. You need to keep your terminals clean or else the corrosion will interfere with the electrical current that gets sent to the starter motor. Use a mixture of cold water and baking soda to clean the terminals.
5) Avoid Heat Exposure to Your Vehicle
Hot temperatures can diminish the life of your car battery. If you live in Florida or some other tropical environment with excessive amounts of heat, then your vehicle’s car battery will wear down fast. The battery’s cells experience water evaporation when exposed to heat. This lowers the voltage of the battery and causes it to become bad a lot sooner.
6) Check Your Voltage
Use a voltmeter to check the voltage of your battery each month. If the voltage is at least 12.7 volts or more, then you have a fully charged battery. But if the voltage is under 12.5 volts, you should recharge the battery immediately.