The battery is among the most critical parts of a car. It is what provides power to the engine and enables it to start. Without a strong battery, your vehicle will have trouble operating. Therefore, you need to know how to maintain your battery to keep it running optimally, so you never get stranded.
Let’s discuss some car battery basics you need to know.
1) What Is The Expected Lifespan Of A Car Battery?
The lifespan of a car battery is dependent on the discharge and charge cycles that it has gone through. Therefore, the more cycles a battery goes through, its lifespan will be shorter.
Car batteries can last anywhere from 3 to 8 years. However, many factors can impact longevity. For instance, cold weather or sitting idle can allow batteries to drain and result in reduced reliability.
Other factors include the battery’s quality, design, manufacturing process, and frequency of use.
2) How Do I Know If My Car Battery Is Healthy?
The most telltale sign that your car battery is healthy is that your vehicle starts quickly, without sputters or delays. Conversely, an undeniable red flag is if the car struggles or doesn’t start.
However, if you need clarification on the health status of your car battery, the most straightforward way to get a reading on it is by connecting it to a car battery tester.
Typically a handheld device, this type of battery test can quickly provide detailed information about your vehicle’s battery health. The results can show you the current condition of the battery, test its current output and diagnose fault codes in the system.
Luckily, getting your battery tested is relatively easy. Most repair shops and even some automotive parts stores can test car batteries for no charge. Also, consider purchasing a battery tester to keep on hand when the issue arises. Finally, remember that a battery tester that functions as a charger can provide a “jump” in a pinch.
As you might imagine, this can save time and headaches while avoiding a stalled car when it’s most inconvenient.
3) What Are Common Problems With Car Batteries?
A car battery provides the power to start the engine and control the electrical system. Fortunately, modern vehicles have warning systems to alert drivers if an issue is detected.
Some issues that can negatively impact car battery performance include:
- Dirty Terminals
- Loose Cables
- Disconnected Clamps
- Poor Connections
- Faulty Alternator
- Malfunctioning Voltage Regulator
In some cases, fixing the issue could be as easy as removing corrosion, cleaning the battery terminals, tightening the connections, or recharging the battery. But a new battery could be in order if the fix is more complex or complicated.
4) How Do I Know My Car Battery Needs Replacing?
The most common sign that your car battery needs replacing is if it fails to start your engine. Other symptoms include dim lights, slow or no cranking, and a clicking sound from under the hood when you turn the key in the ignition.
Keeping your battery healthy is vital if you have a vehicle you don’t drive often. The best approach is to apply a dab of petroleum jelly on the terminals and cables. You might also attach charging cables to ensure the battery’s integrity.
For motorists who frequently drive, following a few best practices can help to preserve their vehicle battery include:
- Not Running Auxillary Power
- Turning Off Interior/Exterior Lights
- Tightening Connections And Cables
- Parking In A Garage During Cold Weather
- Maintaining The Alternator
- Limiting Short Drives
While following these tips won’t guarantee your car battery will last forever, they can certainly contribute to a longer overall lifespan.
5) Be Mindful Of Car Battery Disposal
When your car battery reaches the end of life, it must be disposed of responsibly to avoid releasing harmful chemicals into the environment.
Residents should dispose of their car batteries at an authorized location. The worst place for an old battery is a landfill because they contain lead and acid that can contaminate soil, water, and air.
Luckily, disposing of a car battery is easier than you think. If the battery gets replaced at a professional repair shop, the chances are high that they’ll handle the disposal details. You might also check local recycling programs or automotive parts stores that accept (and sometimes even pay) old car batteries.
That’s a win-win for everyone! Not only are you doing your part to keep your vehicle running optimally, but you are also saving the environment by doing the right thing.
Do you need to replace the battery in your car? Stop by one of our locations in Eldersburg or Sykesville!