Car Batteries – Maintenance and Best Practices

Have you ever experience a moment when you cannot start the car engine? You twist and twist the car keys and all you hear is the clicking sound but the engine will just not come alive! Then, you realized that you have a flat battery and you wished you have done more so that you won’t be in such a predicament.

An integral part of your car

The battery is crucial to your car. It starts the car whenever you need it to and these days, it is also used to charge your phone when you are driving. All cars use specific and very standard batteries which you can change every now and then. But did you know that, with proper car and maintenance, your car batteries can last up to 5 years? The average lifespan of car batteries is 2 to 5 years but if you find yourself changing this every 2 years, then you are not using the device right. Having noted that, car batteries tend to last shorter under warm weather conditions which is why Malaysian car batteries do not last as long as those in the West.

Keeping batteries at Tip-top

One of the reasons why car batteries do not last long under warm conditions is because it causes fluid inside to evaporate. This in the long-run will surely deplete the lifespan of the battery. When you drive a lot under hot weather, it will drain off the battery very quickly. But that does not mean you do not care. In fact, you should take extra precautions and if you do, your car batteries will surely last longer than just 2 years. Here are some really good practices.

Stop when idle

A lot of drivers have the bad habit of leaving the radio player or air-conditioning unit running when the car is idle. That is the time when it is most damaging to your car battery. If possible, do not use these devices when the car is not moving, like when you are waiting for someone at the bank. Turn off the engine, leave the vehicle instead of sitting in the car waiting. It can be dangerous to be inside a vehicle with the air-conditioning on for a long period of time any way.

Sturdy and steady

Whenever you can, open up the hood and check the battery pack. Make sure that it is tightly fastened onto its frame and not loose in any way. If your battery is not properly and sturdily fastened, it would vibrate and that can cause damage internally. In a worse case scenario, it could even lead to short circuits which then extend the damage to other parts of your engine. If you drive a lot on bumpy roads, it could loosen the screws and then cause these vibrations.

Clean the white stuff

Corrossion is very common among battery packs. This is the white powdery stuff that accumulates above the batter around the buttons. Use a toothbrush and scrubs off these white stuff every now and then because they can seriously damage the battery over time. The corrosion will only worsen and that can cause the screws to loosen. When that happens, unwanted debris could fall into the battery pack. Like any other form of dirt, you do not want them lingering around your engine, so clean them up.

Go for full charge

It usually takes about 30 minutes to get your car battery into full charge. If you are planning to drive, try to drive for a longer duration. Short rides stop your battery from going to its full charge. Think aboutusing a portable car battery charger which is used for jump-starting vehicles. This can be used for drivers who do not drive that often and in the long run helps to keep your battery life longer. Basically, try not to go for short or quick drives, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Remember the lights

This is one of the most damaging causes to your car batteries. If you are forgetful, then make sure you have some form of reminder. Newer cars now come with a beeping sound if the driver forgets to turn off the lights after removing the keys from the ignition. If your car does not have this function, then you need to be extra careful because forgetting once or twice is fine. If you constantly forget to turn off the light, your car battery’s life will be done very soon.

Testing your batteries

Use a car battery tester if you have one. If you don’t, invest in one. This will give you indication of how much longer your car battery have before it stops functioning. In knowing and gauging this, you can foresee when you need to buy a new battery instead of having it surprise you. You should test your battery once every year (or at least nine months).