Taking Care Of Your Car’s Battery
When it comes to car maintenance, most people think about changing tires, replacing brake pads, and refilling engine oil. However, not many stop to consider one of the most essential components of a car — the battery. As a car battery usually only needs to be replaced every four to five years, it’s easy to forget about this component of your car. In fact, one common mistake most car owners make is not changing their car batteries on time. Many go to mechanics or battery dealers only when they realize that the battery’s dead after encountering problems starting their cars. What’s more, not many people are aware of how to maintain their car batteries. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of easy tips and tricks on how to care for your car battery. Read on to find out more!
However, if your car battery is already dead, here is where you can get a good car battery replacement.
Clean and Maintain Your Car Battery
One of the most important things to do is to clean your battery regularly. This is especially so if you live in humid, tropical climates. Moisture, dirt, and grime accumulate on the battery over time which leads to corrosion of the battery’s plates and overall battery damage. As a result, the lifespan of your battery will decrease and you’ll be required to replace it more frequently.
Instead of wasting money on repeated car battery changes, follow this DIY method to clean your battery and protect it from corrosion. Mix baking soda and water and apply the solution to the battery terminal and cables. Once the mixture stops bubbling, use a toothbrush to scrub away any excess dirt or grime and rinse the terminal with water. Alternatively, you can also purchase sprays that are meant for cleaning car batteries.
Take Longer Drives
It takes a lot of power to start a car’s engine, but the battery charges whenever your car’s engine is running. Hence, long drives help the battery to recharge. But, if you’re only driving for a short distance, your car’s battery won’t be able to recover the power it lost starting the engine. Over time, your car’s battery voltage will decrease to a point that it won’t be strong enough to power the engine. As a result, you’ll have difficulties starting your car.
Going for longer drivers frequently is a good way to maintain your car’s battery. In addition, it can also increase your fuel economy which means you’ll spend less on petrol in the long run.
Has anyone ever told you that a flat battery won’t affect your car’s fuel economy? Or that short drives are enough to charge your car’s battery? Maybe you’ve heard that you should disconnect the battery if you’re not going to use your car?
We’re not sure where these myths come from, or who started them, but they’re definitely not true. A dead or dying battery can have a drastic influence on your car’s fuel economy as it affects the fuel injectors and alternator. And, as we’ve mentioned previously, your car’s battery recharges when the engines running. So long drives are needed to recharge it.
When To Change Your Car Battery, And How Frequent?
Most car batteries need to be replaced every four to five years. But, with that said, you should constantly monitor your car’s battery performance whenever you use your car. This way, you’ll be able to troubleshoot any battery problems before it actually goes flat.
Some things you should look out for include low levels of battery fluid, battery leakage, and slow starter crank. If you notice any of these when driving or starting your car, they may be signs that your car’s battery needs to be replaced.
What Things To Look Out For When Choosing A Car Battery
If you do need to replace your car’s battery, here are some things you should consider:
Understand Car Battery Types and Specs
Before going ahead and picking whatever battery your car mechanic or battery dealer recommends, ensure that you know what type of battery your car needs. SLI (starting, lighting, and ignition), Li-ion (lithium-ion), and lead-acid batteries are common types of car batteries. Your car’s user manual should include information on what battery it requires. In addition, you can also take a look at the battery specs like cranking amps and reserve capacity.
Compare Different Brands
Like all other products, car batteries are produced by different manufacturers and there’re many brands to choose from. You can consider choosing a battery from popular brands like Bosch, Akiyo, and Amaron. To make an informed decision, you should also consult your car mechanic or battery dealer on which car battery brand is best for your car.
When comparing battery brands, remember to look at warranty periods. Choosing the battery that comes with the longest warranty coverage is one way to save money. In addition, also ensure that the warranty covers free battery replacement.
Signs of Trouble for Your Car Battery
Previously, we’ve listed some common battery problems you should look out for. Here are some others you should take note of as well:
- Lit battery lights — this means that your car’s battery is most likely dying and needs to be replaced
- Car backfiring — this is caused by weak batteries that cause fuel to build up in the cylinders
- Dim headlights — if you’re battery is failing, it won’t be able to power your car’s electrical components
- The car won’t start unless you press the gas pedal — if your car requires you to step on the gas pedal to start the engine, it’s probably time to change the battery
- Bad smell — if your battery is corroded or damaged, it may cause the battery to leak gas
- Old age — if your car’s battery is three years or older, it may require more frequent checks than newer ones
Now that you’ve read these simple tips and tricks, hopefully, you have a better understanding of how to care for your car and its battery. Remember, maintaining your car well ensures that you don’t have to spend so much money on repair costs and also ensures the safety of your vehicle.
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Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.