The importance of battery maintenance often goes overlooked by many drivers, and we can’t blame them. Like many other vehicle components, a car’s battery is something most of us don’t think about until it isn’t working properly. For those of us who have experienced a battery die on us, it can be a downright inconvenience. Other times, a battery dying can be dangerous and unpredictable. To get a handle on your battery, it is best to have a routine for how to care for it. Since much of the gadgets and technology we use in our cars these days relies heavily on a power source, it is important to maintain your battery to avoid getting stuck on the roadside somewhere. Battery care doesn’t have to be a hassle; in fact, there are several easy ways you can keep an eye on your battery without breaking a sweat or feeling totally inconvenienced. Furthermore, ongoing battery care can greatly impact the length of time between replacements and can save you a great deal of money and time. Here are a few preventive methods that can add more years to your car battery life.
Your alternator is one of the key components that contributes to battery maintenance. The alternator is responsible for recharging the battery by providing electrical power while the motor is running. When the car turns off, the battery is still in use, emitting residual electrical current. If your alternator does not routinely do its job properly, it can cause your battery to die while it sits or not give the battery enough charge to hold overnight. It is important to keep in mind that just because your battery is giving you trouble, it doesn’t mean that the battery is the cause of the issue. A professional automotive shop should inspect both the battery and the alternator when issues arise.
Purchase a Battery Charger
When you go out of town for a few days and then attempt to start your car for work the next morning only to find that your battery is dead, it can be frustrating and troublesome. If your car typically sits for periods of time, it might be a good idea to purchase a battery charger. However, battery chargers aren’t just useful for cars that sit for periods of time; they are also helpful for drivers who typically drive short distances frequently—these types of trips don’t give your alternator enough time to recharge the battery. Purchasing a battery charger can greatly extend the life of your battery.
Selective Battery Use
Anything that uses battery life should not be used until the car is running and has been driven. Sitting parked in your driveway does not charge your battery, but the battery charges once it’s been driving for at least a few minutes. Using battery life for electronics such as your phone, video players, navigation, or other accessories can deplete your battery life rather quickly, especially if you routinely use the accessories while the car is not on or driving. By giving your battery a break from electronics, you can at least give it a chance to catch up on power and charge before draining it again.
Of course, the best way to extend the life of your battery is to have it routinely inspected by professionals. It is also a good idea to learn how to check the condition of your battery yourself, as it is best to do at least once a month. You should keep an eye out for corrosion and/or rust, as these are the culprits of destroying battery connections. You can clean the battery terminals yourself safely, but you should first make sure to take proper safety precautions and consult with a professional.