It’s impossible to imagine a car without a battery as the battery is fundamental for starting, lighting, and ignition. As the car battery is starting the engine, the alternator begins charging the battery. Next time you’re starting the car, the battery is charged and prepared to work again. Any driver knows that no car is going to run with a bad battery.
Even though the causes for which a car battery may die are plenty, some are more common. Parasitic drains, time, corrosion, cold weather, and electronic drain are the most common reasons for which a car battery is going to die.
Cold weather leads to battery failure
It goes without saying that cold weather is the leading cause of battery failure. A car battery may weaken even if the temperatures aren’t extreme. For instance, a batter can get 35% weaker in 32degrees. When the temp lowers to 0 degrees, the battery becomes 60% weaker. Once the battery is weak, the interior lights are barely working- let alone starting the car. It’s why most car batteries die during winter.
Eliminating this cause is tricky as you cannot change the weather. Sure enough, it’s easier when you have a garage, but not everyone has that kind of luxury. Therefore, you should follow some rules when taking care of the battery throughout the winter.
Pay attention to the signs that show that your battery is losing its power. A weird clicking sound when you start the car or the headlights dimming as you’re running the car are telling you that your car battery is on its last legs.
You may test the battery on your own or take it to an auto shop for checking it. Even if you cannot change the weather, you can prepare for it.
Pay attention to corrosion as well
We all know that battery acid is corrosive and the corrosion of the connections is more common than you’d think. You should check the battery terminals from time to time. Any blue or green growths on the terminals show corrosion and possible damage to your battery.
A thin white powdery layer is also a sign of corrosion so don’t miss it. Corrosion is always expected, but you should also be one step ahead of it and clean the connections any now and then. Wipe away the dirt and grime if it’s only external corrosion. Grab a wire brush for cleaning the stubborn part. Once the battery is nice and clean, it’s going to charge a lot faster again.
Electronic parasites may happen too
Even if they’re not familiar, electronic parasites are also a reason for which the car battery may die. A bad alternator is a regular parasite. The car battery uses the alternator for recharging, and it makes sense for the battery to die when the alternator isn’t running accordingly. A broken fuse may also drain the battery.
You need to get in touch with an experienced mechanic for solving the electrical problems. It’s not that the car’s voltage is lethal for you, but there may be other dangers that can damage you and your vehicle.
Let’s not forget the human factor
In all fairness, we all remember when leaving the lights on by accident. Unfortunately, it’s one human error that kills the car battery for sure.
Even if car batteries are durable and fantastic for powering the car, they sure need to provide more and more energy nowadays (the digital navigation system and display are only a few to name). Let’s not forget that we’re charging the phone/tablet/various mobile entertainment gadgets while driving the car and the battery has to provide more power.
Turning the lights off and unplugging the devices isn’t enough. Even the anti-theft system gets its toll from the car battery. Make sure that you unplug everything and turn the lights off when you park the car- it’s going to count a lot for the battery on the long run.
Car batteries die after some time
Time is an essential cause of dead batteries. Most car batteries are going to last for 3 to five years. If you’re living in an area with cold winters, the battery lifespan is even shorter than that. As long as you’re always paying attention to the warning signs of battery failure, you should be able to know when you have to replace it. You have to test the battery any now and then.
It’s not only the running time that impacts the lifespan of car batteries; the amount of time between the rides is also essential. Therefore, the less often you drive, the higher the risk for the car not to start up. If that’s the case for you, a battery tender is an option to consider. The battery tender works as a charging system for the battery, keeping it charged entirely, with no risk for overcharging.
Always be ready
Some things you cannot change (climate or time), but you can take the steps for expanding the lifespan of the battery. Get a portable jumpstart for being prepared in cold weather. The jumper cables are an essential addition to the car emergency kit, and you should always store them in a cable bag in the trunk of the car.
Even if jumping a car is a bit intimidating for some drivers out there, it’s easier than you’d think. Just follow the right steps for doing it.
Needless to say, the best way to preserve the lifespan of your car’s battery is to pay attention to its wear symptoms and to take good care of it. Being a responsible driver isn’t only about following the rules, but also about making sure that everything on your car runs nice and smoothly. You don’t want to find out that you need to replace the car battery in freezing cold, in the middle of the road, at 11 pm. Even if you carry the portable jumpstart in the car- trust us on this one as well.