At some point, if you keep your car long enough, your battery will need to be replaced. It’s just the circle of battery life. You’ll never keep it going indefinitely, past the usual three to five-year time frame that most of them last.
Still, there are strategies you can try, if you’re really interested in keeping your battery around as long as possible. Some of those strategies include…
Don’t leave your car out in the heat. Sadly, if you live in, say, Phoenix, your car battery probably won’t last as long as if you live in Minnesota. In other words, the heat can take a toll – and so if you park outside on hot, humid summer days, you may be prematurely aging your car battery.
Take longer drives. The longer your car drives, the more your battery becomes fully charged. Now, nobody’s suggesting that if you have to run out to get some cold medicine at the pharmacy two miles away that instead you make it a 900-mile road trip. But if you are concerned about your battery and are usually only are taking little excursions, five-minute trips here and there, you would actually be doing your car battery a favor to drive it around a little more often and on longer, 30 to 60-minute trips.
Make sure your battery stays tightly fastened. Otherwise, it could end up shaking around a lot, which isn’t good for it. Fortunately, if you get your car looked at on a regular basis, such as getting oil changes, then your mechanic will take a look at it for you. The battery needs to be bracketed properly, and if you often drive on pot hole-infested roads, it is something you’ll want to watch out for.
Don’t leave your lights on in your car. Perhaps the most common drain of a battery comes in accidentally leaving your lights on overnight or when parked for an extended period of time. You don’t want to be that person who is in a rush to get to work and races to the garage or driveway and turns the ignition… and nothing.
Leaving your car lights on all night doesn’t mean your battery is finished. A neighbor or a tow truck driver might jump your battery and get it started (we’d be happy to do that for you, too), but that said, having it drain down to nothing isn’t good for the life of your battery.
You could clean your battery. Do you see any corrosion? That would be a white powder near the battery terminals. If you use baking soda, water and a nonmetallic brush, you could get your battery looking close to brand new – and removing that powder might keep it around a little longer. That said, if your battery is starting to corrode, that’s also a good sign that you’re probably due to get a new battery.
Because it is important to remember that no matter what you do, eventually the car battery is going to need replaced. And if that’s the case, you’ll want to head on over to Milex Complete Auto Care and pick out a new one.