In addition to changing your oil, replacing air filters and other general service tasks, taking care of your car’s battery is one of the most effective ways to ensure your car runs smoothly and without any problems.
Flat or damaged batteries are one of the top causes
In this guide, we’ll break down the facts regarding your car’s battery and help you determine when it’s time to choose a replacement. We’ll also share car-specific tips to help you get the most from your vehicle’s battery and extend its lifespan.
Just like your computer or Smartphone’s battery becomes less efficient with every charge, your car’s battery gradually deteriorates every time it’s charged up by the vehicle’s engine. After three years, it’s normally time to install a replacement.
Your car can still start quickly, even with a failing battery. However, features that have significant power demands that are powered by the battery, like headlights, may not function as well as they should.
Try starting your car at night with the headlights switched on. Are they dim? If the headlights look overly dim, put the vehicle in park or neutral and rev the engine. If the battery is failing, the headlights will get brighter as you apply the accelerator.
This is a great way to check if your battery is starting to fail. A completely broken battery is even easier to spot: when you turn the key in the ignition or push your car’s ignition switch, it won’t start at all.
These computers can draw energy from your car’s battery at a slow, steady rate, wearing it down over time. Although the charge each computer draws is tiny, the aggregate effect can drain your car’s battery when it sits unused for a long time.
If you use your car infrequently, avoid letting its battery become drained by on-board computer systems by taking it for a short drive – around the block once or twice will do – to recharge its battery every week or two.
Testing a battery is easy, and every reputable garage or repair shop will have its own set of electronic testers on hand to test yours. Regular tests can reveal when your battery needs to be replaced and help you avoid embarrassing breakdowns.
If your car has stop-start technology and you’re replacing its battery yourself, make sure you purchase a suitable replacement. Your nearest automotive shop will stock a battery designed to accommodate your vehicle’s extra needs.
By the way, if you’re replacing your battery yourself – which is quite simple on many cars – it’s important that you dispose of it safely. Find your nearest hazardous waste disposal service and never throw your car battery out with the rest of your rubbish.
Do you want to extend your car battery’s lifespan? Use the following tips to get the most out of your car battery and extend its functional lifespan beyond the standard three-year mark:
• Service your car frequently to prevent an inefficient engine and other vehicle components from straining the battery
• Never leave your lights or air conditioning on while your vehicle is switched off, as they’ll drain the battery
• Check your battery after you’ve driven off road or on a bumpy road, as the impacts can loosen its connections
• Make sure your car battery’s terminals and casings are kept clean and free of dirt, dust and grit
Changing your car’s battery every 2-3 years will keep it running at its best and help you avoid embarrassing roadside or car park breakdowns. Is it time to replace your car’s battery?