A car battery can last between two and five years, but there are ways to maximise its longevity With proper care, your car battery could reach or exceed its lifespan. Here are some ways you can extend its life.
Drive regularly and avoid only the short trips
When you take your car on short drives, you prevent you car’s battery from fully charging. To maintain the battery power, drive it frequently for longer periods.
Don’t use the car accessories when it’s idling
Turn off things like the radio and airconditioner when your car isn’t on. Even when starting a car, especially in winter, ensure everything is off before.This is because if the car is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you’re only relying on the car battery to power those electronics. This is harmful to a battery because it’s not meant for this type of use.
Get your battery tested
You can test your battery at home using a multi-meter and connecting it to the car when it’s off. This reading will tell you when your battery is sufficiently charged or when it’s due for a replacement. A battery centre will be able to give you more accurate readings, and if your battery is more than three years old, it’s advisable to have it checked every few months.
Clean your battery
Battery terminals corrode over time, but to prevent this and prolong their life, regular cleaning will help. Scrub the terminals using a toothbrush that has been dipped in a mixture of water and bicarbonate of soda. Spray with water to rinse the mixture off, and dry thoroughly with a clean cloth. You can also use sprays and tools that are specifically made for car batteries.
Switch off headlights and car lights when you leave your car
Accidently leaving any of your car lights on when it’s stationary can drain the battery. Try getting into the habit of always checking the lights in your car before you leave it.
Disconnect the battery when you go away
If you’re going away for longer than three weeks, disconnect the battery. Even though your car isn’t on, current is still being drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the car’s computer.
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