How to Get The Most Out Of Your Vehicle’s Battery

Industry average life span of a vehicle battery is 3 years.  

Here at Performance Transmission and A/C the oldest battery we have encountered was 7 years old!  

In Florida vehicle batteries are worked even harder than most areas of the country due to our long, hot summers.

In this article we will give you some simple tips on how to get the most life out of your battery!

Overall the easiest way to care for the battery is to care for your vehicle as a whole.  Find a trustworthy, honest and reliable auto repair shop, like us! Make sure to have all your vehicle’s scheduled preventative maintenance completed when necessary. With that said here are our other tips!

 

Your vehicle’s battery doesn’t have enough electricity in it to power all your lights and electronics when the vehicle is not moving.  The battery gets charged from the alternator.

Door lights, headlights and dome lights all put a toll on a battery.

Extended time idling can wear down a battery.

When your vehicle is OFF, make sure your lights and radio are off and don’t leave any electronics charging!  Charging your electronics while your vehicle is OFF will drastically effect the life of your battery.  It simply was NOT designed for that type of use!

 

A vehicle battery is designed to provide a sudden burst of power for ignition. The alternator generates electricity and charges the battery.

Rides under 20 minutes don’t give the alternator enough time to give the battery a good full charge. Too many short rides in a row will shorten the life of the battery.

Long car rides give the alternator ample time to fully charge the battery allowing it optimum life to power all your vehicle’s accessories.

 

 

Corrosion on battery terminals is a common issue. Sometimes corrosion could be from leaking acid.  If the battery is leaking then it is likely getting close to needing to be replaced.  Corrosion interferes with the alternator’s ability to charge the battery.

You can control corrosion build up by cleaning the battery every couple of months.

Start by wiping down the top of the battery with a moist cloth.

Next scrub the terminals with a toothbrush dipped in a water and baking soda mixture.  (1 part water to 3 parts baking soda)  It is normal to have some bubbles form on the terminals with this mixture.

 

 

 

Many roads in our area are littered with pot holes, bumps and speed bumps.  We also have lots of  bumpy lime rock dirt roads.

If you drive over bumpy roads every day you should check your battery connections regularly to ensure they are secure. If you would prefer feel free stop by the shop and we can check the connections for you.

A loose battery connection could vibrate and cause internal damage and short circuit.

 

 

 We have all done it….turned on the interior dome light of our parked vehicle and then forgot to turn it off.  When you finally return to your car (after work or the next morning) it won’t start.

When a car is OFF the only thing powering the lights or charge ports is the battery.  As we have already mentioned, the battery doesn’t have much charge if the vehicle is not moving, so it dies quickly and easily.

Every time your battery dies and the vehicle is jump started the life of the battery is shortened.

If you happen to be someone who lives alone or in a rural area and finding another vehicle to help jump start your vehicle is hard, there are portable car battery chargers that can solve your problem.  These devices allow you to charge your battery enough to start it without needing another vehicle!  They are sold at local auto parts stores or available on internet retailers, like Amazon.

 

When a vehicle isn’t used on a regular basis (every couple days), it is common for even a newer battery to die.  The battery is simply not capable of holding its charge for weeks without the vehicle being turned on or used.

So if you are planning on not using a vehicle for an extended period of time due to vacation or illness, you may want to disconnect the battery.  Or, if you can, start the vehicle every couple days and allow it to run for 20+ minutes.

 

 

 

We hope these tips have helped you better understand how your battery works and how to get the most life out of your battery.

Please remember that you are always welcome to stop by our auto repair shop and have us perform an electrical system analysis (tests the battery, alternator & starter) for only $19.95.  It will give you peace of mind that your car will start every time!

 

 

 

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