Did you know a dead battery is one of the top five reasons people call for roadside assistance, according to Best Roadside Service?
Not being able to start your car or getting stuck somewhere is not fun. So obviously, it’s important to make sure you take care of the battery in your vehicle.
6 ways to extend the life of your battery
The average car battery life is anywhere from three to five years, but if you want to maximize the performance of your battery, follow these six tips to keep your battery running longer:
1. Inspect your battery and cables monthly.
Keep your battery and cables clean and corrosive-free. Dirt can interfere with the terminal connections and hinder your ability to start your vehicle. Sprinkle baking soda on the battery and floodwater (just) on the battery. Also, make sure your battery is secured properly so it doesn’t move while driving. A loose battery can add undue tension to the battery cables.
2. Unplug your devices
Do not operate any car accessories – radio, lights, electronics – while the vehicle is not running. This drains the battery and shortens its lifespan. Only keep your devices plugged in when you need them.
3. Insulate your battery from extreme changes in temperature.
When a battery is exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures, it can lose its charge. A battery insulating jack can help the battery retain and repel heat.
4. Check your car’s alternator.
The alternator generates electricity that recharges the battery. So, if it’s not working, your battery won’t work either. Stop by a local mechanic or auto shop – most will run a test for free.
5. Keep up with regular maintenance.
Bring your vehicle in for frequent tune-ups and inspections. Poor engine maintenance can strain your battery, hurting its charge. Routine maintenance varies by make and model, so check your owner’s manual (or contact your mechanic) to determine the timeframe between vehicle inspections.
6. Watch for headlights or dome lights left on.
Headlights, or even a dim dome light, will drain a battery dead overnight. Make sure to check for any interior lights when it’s dark outside.
Stop – Avoid a DEAD battery!
So, you’ve done all the things above, here’s how to know when your battery may be dying: Car is hard to start.
When starting the vehicle, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start: Check engine light is on or flashing.
This means your battery power is weak and a quick test is recommended for your battery: The battery, alternator, generator light is on.
If a warning light comes on and says, battery, alternator, or generator, then your battery may be malfunctioning or close to being dead.
A functioning battery powers your ride
Your battery may be out of sight, but don’t let it skip your mind. Basic maintenance and spot checks of your car battery can add life to your vehicle and ensure you don’t end up stuck somewhere on the side of the road. Be sure to check with your mechanic when you have questions or issues with your battery.
Finally, keep jumper cables in your car and know how to jump-start a car. Just check your owner’s manual for instructions for properly jumpstarting your car.
Check out additional information at AutoZone – Battery Charging and Maintenance.
Also, be sure to review our other blog articles on taking care of your vehicle:
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