How many of us really do a check on our car's battery? Perhaps none. In fact, they say that a battery is actually the "life spark of a car". It does not attract the attention of the owner until his car refuses to start. And by then, the most likely outcome is not servicing but replacement altogether. Daily traveling takes a lot of the car's components and the battery is one of them. So to make sure that you do not shell out a fortune in servicing or replacing your car's battery, here are a few tips which would help you know how to increase the life of your car's battery.
Tips for Extending the Life of Your Car Battery
Checking the water level, perhaps, plays the most important role in maintaining your car's battery. The water that is used must be distilled or demineralized, and the refill must be done using a tool made of rubber or plastic, and nothing of metal. Overfilling the battery must be avoided, but you would also have to ensure that the plates always remain submerged in water. If the water level goes below than what is recommended, then the battery plates would start deteriorating rapidly. To add to this, always add water after the battery has been charged.
Avoid Short Trips
One of the easiest ways of increasing your car's battery life is by cutting on frequent small drives. This is more important if you live in a cold climate. Starting a cold engine causes condensation in the exhaust, which when not evaporated, causes water accumulation in the muffler. So if you are not running your car long enough for the evaporation to happen, then after a certain period, the accumulated water can damage the muffler. So, the next time when you go to the nearest store, consider walking.
Do Not Jump Start
Jump starting a cold dead battery is not a good idea. But if you need to, then just allow your car to warm up in the sun about 30 minutes prior to the jump start.
Keep it Clean
Cleanliness is not only important at home, but also for your car's battery. Over time, dust and dirt get accumulated in the cables and the battery itself, and act as a conductive agent thus, causing uncontrolled discharge, and loss of electricity. So to avoid such problems, simply clean the battery using a dust brush. Needless to mention, do not use water.
Disconnect When Not in Use
If you are off for a vacation and your car may lie dormant for sometime, then just be reminded to disconnect the battery. This is to avoid unnecessary drainage of electricity.
Corrosion and loose connections also lessen the battery life. So look for these things when you check your car's battery, and get a qualified technician to have the problems solved. You may also make use of a simple solution of baking soda and water to clean the battery terminal, which usually has the accumulation of a white powdery substance that interferes with the transmission of electricity.
The way you recharge your car's battery may also decide how long its life is. Experts recommend to recharge immediately after every use, and using a battery charger that matches with the size of the battery. To avoid overcharging of your battery, an automatic charger is recommended for use.
One of the helpful tips to improve a car's battery life is by checking the electrical wiring too. Sometimes, wires are damaged and get exposed thus, causing electrical leaks and short circuits.
Look for Damage
It is a good practice to have a look at the battery every time you look under the hood. This will keep you abreast of the battery's wear and tear status. Common signs which indicate that the battery is deteriorating include cracks in the plastic casing, or anything missing in the connections. If the damage is mild, then an early service would give the appliance a few more months or so. Normally, signs such as cracks, vents or swelled battery casing, etc., indicate that the battery is dying, and needs a replacement.
Following the above tips is easy, but maintenance requires consistency. So take out a little time for your vehicle's battery every week or so, and zero your chances of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.