If you're looking for the best vehicle battery care tips, consider these 10 tips to maintain your vehicle's battery:
- Eliminate shorter trips
- Tighten the battery
- Never forget the lights
- Clean any corrosion
- Turn off electronics when idling
- Perform regular checkups
- Keep an eye on the expiration date
- Do not overstress the battery
- Invest in a trickle charger
- Maintain the alternator
Your vehicle's battery is one of the core components that you have to maintain all the time. It is responsible for providing your engine with the initial charge that gets it started. Without a working battery, you can't start the vehicle unless you rely on temporary solutions like a jump start.
While you must keep an eye on your vehicle's battery and learn about these symptoms of a failing battery cable, it is as important to familiarize yourself with some tips that could extend the lifetime of your battery. We all know that batteries should last somewhere between three and five years, but some tips could help you achieve the most out of your vehicle’s lifespan.
This article provides you with some secret vehicle battery care tips. In addition, it highlights 10 tips for maintaining your vehicle's battery and extending its lifetime.
Vehicle battery care tips: 10 tips to maintain your vehicle's battery
With our decades of experience in the car market, we can tell the common problems that your battery can deal with. We can also give you an idea about what habits might lead to shortening the lifespan of your vehicle’s battery.
Let's take a closer look at the compiled list of vehicle battery care tips summarized in the following tips to maintain your vehicle's battery:
1. Eliminate shorter trips
Have you ever heard that automotive experts always recommend never making short trips, especially in winter? Did you know why that is?
When you start your vehicle and allow it to run for a short time, it does not give the battery the chance to charge fully. In other words, the battery will provide all charges it has to start your engine, and it expects that you're going to run your vehicle for a certain time, so it's fully charged. So by performing short trips, you do not allow this chance to your battery, and that's why you'll deal with batteries problems.
Continuous short trips lead to shortening the lifetime of your battery, and therefore, you should consider eliminating them. However, you can plan and combine your trips to have as long trips as possible instead of these shorter trips.
2. Tighten the battery
Your vehicle's battery must be tightened securely, and failing to do so leads to problems. For example, the battery might get vibrated, and when this happens, it impacts the connections and lead to some problems in the way the electric charge runs. Thus, it can easily shorten the lifetime of your battery. Therefore, consider performing a visual inspection and confirming that your battery is securely fastened to your vehicle.
3. Never forget the lights
One of the very common habits that kill your vehicle's battery is forgetting the lights turned on. So many of us have been in this situation where we forget to turn off all the lights and leave the vehicle overnight to end up our morning with an edited battery. How frustrating is this situation?!
Therefore, you must build a habit of turning off any headlight and other electrical components in your vehicle so you don't deal with any complications. While you will still be able to turn on the vehicle using a jump start, dealing with the situation continuously leads to impacting the lifespan of your battery.
4. Clean any corrosion
Corrosion is a very common thing that could build up around your battery and battery terminals. It is critical that you continuously inspect the battery and clean up any corrosion. You'll see that the terminals themselves or even the cables are covered with rust. When this happens, you will need to learn about how to clean the corrosion without any hazard’s issues
Note that if the cables or the terminals are cracked, you must not perform any clean-up because this has the potential of causing electric shocks that could impact her life. Therefore, you must consult your mechanic and have him check what can be done because, in some instances, you might need to replace the entire battery.
5. Turn off electronics when idling
Whenever your vehicle is idling, you mustn't turn on any of the electric components that you don't need—having these electric components turned on when idling leads to depleting the electric charge in your battery. As a result, it can easily reduce the lifespan of your battery.
6. Perform regular checkups
Your battery needs care, and your vehicle owner’s manual should have all the details. Read through the manual and get yourself an idea about how often you should inspect the battery. This helps you detect any problems early and resolve them before dealing with major breakdowns.
7. Keep an eye on the expiration date
Everybody has a life span, and you should understand that the battery will fail at some point in time, and when this happens, you'll need to replace it. Therefore, consider noting the battery's expiration date to prevent dealing with sudden situations that are not convenient. You can also have an idea by monitoring how long your battery has been sitting in your vehicle. Typically, most car batteries last between three and five years and if you feel close to this threshold, consider replacing the battery.
8. Do not overstress the battery
If you feel that your battery doesn't hold the charge, it indicates that it's approaching the end of its lifetime. If that's the case, consider never overstressing the battery here. In other words, if you think that certain electrical components are not necessary and you don't need them, you might want to turn them off.
9. Invest in a trickle charger
If you're planning to leave your vehicle for a long time for a vacation or any other reason, you must continuously maintain something to charge the battery. Sometimes a very simple component like your vehicle's clock might deplete the vehicle's battery charge over time. Therefore, you might want to invest in some slow chargers that continuously charge the battery, so it doesn't run out of charge and doesn't lose its lifetime.
10. Maintain the alternator
It might sound a bit weird that you should maintain the alternator to extend the lifetime of your battery if you read. However, you shouldn't be surprised once you understand the story.
The battery is responsible for providing the electric charge for your vehicle to work and start. Once your car starts, your battery should be set aside. The alternator's job will be to convert the mechanical energy from the engine to electrical energy and supply all electric components in your car.
However, if it is not in good condition, your vehicle will immediately switch to the battery and deplete its charge because it's not designed for that purpose.
Therefore, you'll notice that a failed alternator can easily lead to damaging your vehicle's battery. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the common symptoms indicating that the alternator is failing or about to fail so you don't risk the battery.
Signs of a bad battery
While it's important to familiarize yourself with the common vehicle battery care tips, it is important to watch for the common symptoms indicating that your battery is failing. Then, you can reach out to your mechanic and replace the battery if needed when this happens.
Let's see this also, look at some of the common signs of a bad battery:
1. Your check engine light might illuminate
Depending on the severity of the situation, when the battery is failing, it might trigger the check engine light. So the check engine light is a critical light that you have to keep an eye for because it indicates an internal issue here sometimes, this light might be linked to a minor problem, but it also gets indicates a major issue.
Therefore, you must never ignore this light and resolve the problem immediately.
2. Your engine will turn over slowly
Since the battery is the main component responsible for starting your engine, sometimes, it will lead to slow engine cranking when the battery doesn't have the right juice level. Whenever you notice this, it should immediately tell you that you should replace it.
3. You will hear some weird clicking noise
If you start your vehicle and notice that it's only making a clicking noise, it could be a problem with the starter motor. However, the issue might also be linked to a bad battery. Have your mechanic inspect the vehicle and detect the root culprit to resolve it.
4. Your headlights will be dimmer
A bad battery can impact the way your headlight functions. When the battery doesn't have sufficient charge, you'll notice that the headlights are not as shiny as before, and this should be a quick indication that you should replace the battery.
5. Some of the electric components won't work
Whenever you notice that you can't start some of the electric components like the GPS, the radio, and others, it could be a problem with the battery. Note that a faulty alternator might lead to the same problems; therefore, you cannot immediately replace the battery because it could be something else.
6. Corrosion will build up frequently on the terminals
Although we indicated that you couldn't clean up the corrosion on your battery terminals, it might indicate that your battery is approaching the end of its lifetime. Therefore, check with your mechanic if he thinks you should replace the battery instead of wasting your time and energy cleaning up these terminals.
7. The battery case will look different
If your battery fails, you'll notice that the battery case doesn't look normal. This is because when the internal chemical compounds are going bad, they lead to expanding and changing the shape of your battery case. That is a clear indication that you must replace the battery immediately.
8. The battery is old
Finally, if you know that your battery has been sitting in your car for more than three years or close to five years, it is a clear indication that you must replace the battery before dealing with major complications that might not be convenient.
Vehicle battery care tips: final thoughts
Dealing with battery problems is never fun, and they haven't suddenly without any preparation, which means that they'll always be inconvenient. Therefore, teaching yourself one or two things about vehicle battery care tips helps you extend the lifetime of your battery and prevents sudden breakdowns.
This article provided you with 10 tips for maintaining a vehicle's battery and extending its lifetime. However, no matter how much effort you put into maintaining the battery, it will get to a point where you have to replace it, especially if it ends the lifetime. But, if your vehicle has other major problems, it might not be worth your investment in replacing the battery. Instead, you should sell it and use its value to buy a better car that doesn't have any problem and probably might not need a new battery.
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