Everyone knows car batteries need to be replaced from time to time. What isn’t so well known is that a car battery will eventually give out, even if it’s not being used. This is because the chemicals in the battery will eventually expire and will no longer be able to produce a charge. There are, however, a few ways to keep your battery from burning out too quickly.
Protect Your Car Battery
High levels of humidity can lead to rapid corrosion buildup on the battery terminals.
Summer in New Smyrna is not easy for car batteries. The high levels of humidity can lead to rapid corrosion buildup on the battery terminals. While you can use battery terminal protector pads, you still need to regularly remove the terminals from the battery and clean them thoroughly. For excellent results, pick up a battery terminal cleaner from your favorite parts store.
The same applies if you’re visiting areas where the temperatures reach extreme cold levels. You can protect your battery by using one of the many aftermarket insulation kits. Many of today’s vehicles are already equipped with an insulating cover. Extreme temperatures can significantly shorten the life of your vehicle’s battery.
Keep your car battery secured in place. All vehicles come from the factory with the battery locked in place with a hold-down and in many case a protective box. If you allow the battery to bounce around under the hood, this can cause the plates to buckle and short out against each other. Not only can this ruin your battery, it can cause significant damage to your vehicle. If your battery’s hold-down is damaged or missing be sure to replace it.
Keep Your Battery Topped Up
Keep your battery’s fluid level topped up at all times. While many of the batteries made today are sealed and require no maintenance, there are still plenty with removable caps. You should check the acid levels on a regular basis and top the cells off using distilled water. If you plan to leave your vehicle sitting for an extended period, consider plugging it into a low amp battery charger.
Although no one can avoid making short trips from time to time, try to avoid them whenever possible. Short runs tend to drain the battery and do not give the alternator time to restore it to full charge. If you do make a lot of short runs during the week, make time for a long run at least once a week to counter these negative effects.
Avoid Unnecessary Draining
Turn off all electrical accessories when you turn off your car, and leave them off until after your vehicle has been started again. It takes a lot of energy (known as cold cranking amps or CCA) to turn your car’s engine over and start it. If the battery has to handle this load and that of a number of accessories, this can overload the battery and significantly reduce its lifespan. Finally be sure the CCA matches or exceeds the specifications set by the manufacturer. The engineers who designed the vehicle calculated this number very carefully and anything smaller is just asking for trouble. A battery that is too small will not be able to stand up the load of a vehicle designed for larger battery.
It’s not hard to achieve maximum life from your car battery, all it takes is a little knowledge and taking the time to perform a few basic maintenance tasks. If you are not sure how to do this, you can bring your vehicle to New Smyrna Express Service. Our technicians will clean, inspect, and service your battery every time you bring it in for routine maintenance or repairs. Contact us at (888)742-9073 or visit us at 1919 N. Dixie Fwy, New Smyrna Beach, FL.
Written By: Jeremy Kiel