The Best Ways To Keep Your Car Battery Healthy
Your battery is one of the most critical parts of your car. It keeps things moving and is often a deciding factor in your car’s overall health. It charges things inside the cabin, gets your car moving on a cold day, and more. With so much to do, car batteries can last anywhere from three to five years, perhaps more with proper care. That’s why we’re here. Like any other aspect of a car, batteries need to be used and cared for properly. These tips will help you keep your car’s battery in good health.
Keep That Battery Secure
Believe it or not, having a giant lead-acid weight floating around in your engine bay may not be the greatest idea. Not only is it a risky physics experiment, but an improperly secured battery can take internal damage if not properly secured. As a result, you could see poor performance or even short circuits. It’s a good idea to ensure your battery is nice and snug whenever you may be under the hood.
Monitor Battery Terminals For Corrosion
Because batteries have a relatively lengthy lifespan they, like so many other parts of your car, can be subject to corrosion. This is doubly true if you live in a state that sees a lot of moisture, or one with harsh, salty winters. Generally, it’s best to work this check into other routine maintenance, keeping an eye on the terminal surfaces for corrosion whenever you find yourself under the hood. Luckily, you can be preemptive here. We’re fond of this Car Battery Terminal Protection Kit, which includes agents to help you both clean and protect your battery- just in case some corrosion was already present. Just make sure to use eye and face protection when you do, and always disconnect the battery.
Avoid Using Powered Functions If The Engine Is Off
While using the radio for 10 minutes while your car’s engine isn’t running won’t totally kill your battery, this is one of those things that tends to add up over time. Functions like charging a phone, using the radio, or running the fans can put undue strain on the battery.
Drive Your Car
Without a doubt, one of the best ways to keep a battery healthy is to use it regularly. Like your car, a battery’s performance will begin to suffer when it is left to sit. For those who store a car over the winter, battery tenders are a solid choice to keep your battery in good shape over the colder months.
Avoid Short Trips
Like using powered functions while the car is off, this point may be unavoidable on occasion. It’s likely people you live with won’t take kindly to being told “it’s bad for my battery” when you refuse to move your car out of their way. Still, it’s best to try and avoid small trips, usually those under 10 or 15 minutes. Driving these very short distances means your car’s battery won’t be recharged to the fullest by your car’s engine. That effect compounds, and soon you’ll be wondering how your battery died.
Supposing your battery does show signs of poor performance, perhaps as a result of one of the factors listed here, we have a few batteries for cars, SUVs, and trucks that we recommend. For smaller cars, Hopefully, just a few of these tips and recommendations will your car’ battery lead a much more healthy life.
Chase is an automotive journalist with years of experience in the industry. He writes for outlets like Edmunds and AutoGuide, among many others. When not writing, Chase is in front of the camera over at The Overrun, his YouTube channel run alongside his friend and co-host Jobe Teehan. If he's not writing reviews of the latest in cars or producing industry coverage, Chase is at home in the driver's seat of his own (usually German) sports cars.
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