Modern vehicles have a number of electronic components, none of which can operate without a well-functioning battery. From charging a cell phone to starting the engine, the battery generates the electricity that keeps everything running.
In most cases, a battery can last between two and five years, though driving habits and climate can affect its lifespan. In fact, the most significant contributor to a battery’s shelf life is weather. More specifically, heat degenerates the battery, since the auto environment operates in a bubble of friction and heat, anyway. Put these two sweltering elements together, and a battery can drain quickly. As far as ways you can keep electricity flowing, here are a few tips:
If you want to know the state of a battery’s health, you must regularly test it. You can opt for a commercial battery tester or take it in and have a mechanic do it. Either way, knowing where it stands is half the battle.
Cut the Lights
Any component that uses electricity should be closely monitored, and lights left on continuously can drain a battery faster than almost anything. Avoiding unnecessary use means staying aware of doors left open and overhead lights kept on. If you have a habit of forgetting, find ways to remind yourself (post-it notes on the dashboard work well for some).
With time and use, corrosion damages a battery, but keeping the terminals free of dirt and debris will go a long way to keeping it in fighting shape. More importantly, cleaning a battery can be done with a few simple ingredients you likely already have. Baking soda mixed with water forms a paste that can be brushed over the area with a toothbrush. Afterward, use a damp cloth to wipe away residue and you will be good to go. If you’d rather have it professionally cleaned, ask the mechanic to do a once-over when you have the oil changed.
Aside from lights, the radio and air-conditioner use electricity, so limiting their use will save energy. Roll the windows down when you can and listen to music on another device. Also, avoid idling the engine, as having it running when not in use unnecessarily strains the battery.
You must drive for at least ten minutes to let the car battery fully charge. Thus, drives that take less time should be limited. Better yet, if your destination is that close, try walking or riding a bike.
For all your car’s maintenance and repair needs, remember to call the experts at Doc Motor Works in Sherwood, Illinois at 815-201-5122 today.