Keep Your Car Battery in Good Shape with These Tips

A typical car battery lasts around three years. As with anything, though, proper maintenance leads to an increased lifespan, while a lack of care might decrease its lifespan.

Owning a car requires routine maintenance and maintaining your car battery is one of the most crucial steps to take.

This guide can help you learn several critical things about battery maintenance, including why your battery needs it, and the steps you should take to avoid having to junk your car as a result of a bad battery.

Learn the Purpose of a Car Battery

Your battery kicks in and converts stored energy into electrical energy each time you start your car. As a result, your vehicle starts.

A car won’t start if the battery is dead. In fact, a dead battery is one of the first things most people check when their cars won’t start. If they determine that the car has a dead battery, they know what to repair to fix the problem.

Car batteries contain a charge, and most batteries require a 12.6-volt charge to work correctly. Over time, a battery might begin losing the charge. Batteries can also wear out for reasons other than age. 

You must replace the battery when it wears out, but you can make it last longer if you care for it. Understanding the purpose of a battery and how it works can help you know what steps to take. 

Park it in Shady Places

Caring for your car battery is a great way to increase its useful life, and you can do this by keeping it cool. Heat is one of the worst enemies of car batteries, as it drains a battery’s charge. 

If you want to avoid this, you might want to park your car in the garage when you are home. Then, while you’re out, you might want to look for shady places to park. 

Florida is known for its high temperatures, which is a feature that is both a positive and a negative. The heat is nice for water activities and outdoor events, but it’s not the best thing for a car battery.

Clean the Battery Terminals

Maintaining your car battery also requires cleaning the battery terminals. Every car battery has two terminals: a positive one and a negative one, and both are vital. 

You might want to get in the habit of checking these terminals every month or two. You can look for signs of corrosion when examining them, and you can clean them. 

One way to clean them is with baking soda and water. If you make a paste with these ingredients, you can use a toothbrush to scrub the terminals with the paste. 

Keeping them clean helps you remove the corrosion, which is vital as corrosion can damage the battery.

Avoid Leaving Things Turned On in Your Car

Another smart idea is to doublecheck that everything is off when you turn your car off. For example, make sure the headlights are off. 

You might want to check your dome lights too. You might also want to unplug any chargers you have in your car. 

When you leave things on, such as the lights, they’ll pull voltage from your battery. The result can be a dead battery. While you could recharge the battery, allowing it to die like this will place a lot of strain on it. 

Your battery will last longer if you always shut things off when you park your vehicle. 

Test the Battery 

You might not realize that you can test your car battery health, and you should test it occasionally. You can do this in several ways.

First, you can do it yourself with a multimeter. A multimeter is a standard tool that you can use to test electrical currents. 

If you don’t know how to do it yourself, you could visit an auto parts store. Many auto parts stores offer free battery testing. They’ll come out to your car and test the battery for you. When you leave, you’ll know its condition.

You can also bring your car to a mechanic to let them test it. They can tell you if your battery has life left in it or not. 

Keep it Running for at Least 15 Minutes a Trip

Each time you drive your car, it requires work from your battery. This is because, as you drive, the battery recharges. You’ll need to drive at least 15 minutes for this to occur. 

When you make trips shorter than 15 minutes, your battery doesn’t have the time it needs to recharge. Therefore, most mechanics recommend limiting short trips that require less than 15 minutes of travel. 

If you have to make short trips, you may want to leave your car running for a few extra minutes to give your battery the time it needs. 

Start Your Car Occasionally

One of the common signs you need a new car battery is trouble starting your vehicle. For example, if the engine turns over a little but barely starts, it might signify a weak battery. 

If your engine doesn’t turn over at all, it can indicate a dead battery.

A battery tends to die faster when it’s in a car no one drives. In other words, if you own a car that you rarely drive, you might find that it has a dead battery the next time you try to start it.

You can protect battery health by starting a parked car once a month or so. 

Dead Battery: Fix it or Junk it?

While a car battery lasts for years with the proper care and maintenance, they don’t last forever. Cars don’t last forever, either. 

If your car has a dead battery and other issues that cost a lot to repair, you might decide to junk it instead of fixing it. 

You can learn more about junking a car in Florida by contacting us. We offer cash for cars and will pick up your car no matter the condition.