person working on car
Automobile Maintenance

Car Battery Maintenance: How To Keep Your Car Running

In 2017, 44% more car owners reported battery failures than in 2016. It’s not due to manufacturing as less than 7% of battery failures are as a result of manufacturing issues.

For the most part, battery failures can be avoided, especially when car owners have the car battery maintenance knowledge to keep their batteries healthy.

Nowadays, most cars have a key fob that you don’t actually need to insert, but simply need to keep within certain proximity in order to start your car. But if this key fob is left in the car for long periods of time, the receiver and transmitter continue to communicate. As a result, the car’s battery will drain faster.

Do you want to know how to preserve your car’s battery for as long as possible? Keep reading to find out what maintenance you can keep up with as an owner to prolong your car battery’s life.

Don’t Stick to Only Short Car Rides

When you get that new car, it can be tempting to start slow, taking only short trips to the grocery store or a local restaurant to show off your new ride. Or if your car is older and you think your battery is on its last leg, you might assume that it’s better to only use your car when you have to. But car batteries thrive off of those long trips.

Keep in mind that your battery charges every time that your car is running. So if you’re making lots of short trips and starting and stopping your car multiple times, your battery never has enough time to fully recharge.

You can try leaving it running for a little while at the end of your trip, or taking a little extra drive around your neighborhood at the end of a bunch of short trip errands.

And if you ever have to jump start your car, make sure to always leave it running for a few minutes before you drive anywhere or turn it off, so that your battery can charge.

Keep Your Car Battery Clean

One way that you can give your car battery care on your own is by keeping it clean. Checking your battery for corrosion and dirt can help prolong its life.

If you notice a lot of corrosion, you can clean the terminals by using a toothbrush that is dipped in a baking soda and water solution. Once you’re done, use a spray bottle with cold water to clean the solution off and then dry your battery with a cloth.

Don’t Drain It

There are a few simple things you can remember so that you never completely drain your battery.

For one, don’t ever leave your lights on either inside or outside of the car, when you turn it off and leave it for any period of time. Those lights will continue to drain the battery until it dies.

If you’re sitting in your car in order to charge a device like your phone, make sure the car is on. If the car is off and the lights are off, but a device is plugged in, the device will charge and drain your car’s battery in as little as minutes.

Make Sure Your Battery Is Tightly Fastened

Even if you have the most expensive and newest battery, you still need to make sure that it’s tightly fastened. If it isn’t, it could vibrate while the car is in motion which can cause circuits to short out and internal damage as a result.

Check your terminal on a regular basis, especially if you every drive on bumpy roads. You want to ensure that it is always properly and tightly fastened on the mounting bracket.

Make Sure You Look For Signs That You Battery Might Just Be Too Old

If your check engine light keeps lighting up, this may be a sign that your battery reached its last leg.

If your engine takes a long time to start or sounds slow and sluggish, it might be time for a new battery.

If your battery fluid levels are low, you might need a new battery.

Make sure to look out for that rotten egg smell. This smell is often caused by leaking, which means that corrosion could have extended to the poles.

How Long Does a Car Battery Last?

Your typical car battery will last anywhere from 3-5 years. This depends, of course, on many factors such as the battery type and quality. It may also be affected by driving habits like only ever taking short trips in your car.

If you’re suspicious that your battery might be nearing the end of its life or if you notice any of the above-mentioned signs, bring it in for a checkup. A mechanic will be able to connect a reader to your battery that will indicate whether or not it’s time for a new one.

Are you interested in dry charged automotive batteries? Check out this page to learn more about these high-powered, long-lasting batteries.

Don’t Avoid Your Car Battery Maintenance

While it may be tempting to avoid doing your own car battery maintenance until the next check-up, you’ll be thankful when it isn’t you who’s asking for a jumpstart at the grocery store.

It doesn’t take much. Just make sure you aren’t ONLY making short trips and that you aren’t draining your car battery without realizing it by leaving your key fob in the car.

Paying attention and following those few simple tips will leave you with a long-lasting, healthy car battery.