Extend the Life of Your Car’s Battery

November 15th, 2018 by

Gas-powered vehicles depend on lead-acid batteries to power devices like the radio or the infotainment system. Batteries are essential for starting your car, and they’re very reliable. However, if your battery fails, you could get stuck in a parking lot somewhere. You’ll have to call a tow truck or hope for a friendly person willing to give you a jump start. If you have trouble starting your engine often, you should replace the battery before it stops working or starts leaking. Here are some easy ways you can extend the life of your car’s battery.

Turn Off Accessories

Accessories include heated seats, heated steering wheel, headlights, and other electronics in many vehicles. Make sure all of these are turned off when you shut down your car. Otherwise, they can drain the battery. Before you leave your vehicle, check these devices. Some cars have alarms that let you know when you open your car door without shutting everything off first. You should also avoid using accessories like your phone charger as much as possible in heavy traffic. The car’s engine recharges the battery, but it may not charge fast enough at low speeds.

Drive Regularly and Limit Short Rides

A quick ride to your neighbor’s place or the store down the street won’t charge your car’s battery fully. If you take mostly short trips, the battery can’t recover the energy it uses to start your vehicle.

Even if you don’t use your car, the battery will lose a small amount of power every day. Driving regularly can help you avoid trouble with starting your engine. If you know you won’t be driving for more than a few weeks, disconnect your battery’s negative cable. If you want to preserve all of your electronic settings while the power is disconnected, you can buy and use an automatic battery charger instead.

Clean Your Battery

The terminals on your battery can corrode over time. Without regular cleaning, chemical buildup can make them less conductive and reduce the battery’s effectiveness. If the terminals don’t look clean, disconnect them and scrub them with an old toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water. Then wipe the terminals off with a damp cloth, dry them, and reconnect them. To keep your terminals’ connections tight, make sure the battery doesn’t move when you hit bumps or make turns. You can test the voltage with a multimeter as well.

If you see lots of rust or liquid, have your battery replaced by a professional. You should also see a mechanic if the battery is hot or looks bloated.

Taking care of your battery can help you save money, stay safe, and extend your car’s life. However, you’ll need another vehicle eventually. Visit Rocky’s Auto Credit in Mesa, Arizona, for an extensive inventory of used cars, trucks, and SUVs. We have more than 20 years of experience, and we’re devoted to our customers. No matter what your credit is like, we can help you find an affordable, reliable vehicle with a low down payment.

Posted in Car Tips