064 542-2818 (Marius) marius@battery4u.co.za

Car batteries are the silent workhorses of our vehicles, providing the necessary power to start engines, operate lights, and power various electrical components. However, they are often taken for granted until they fail, leaving us stranded and frustrated. Maximizing the lifespan of your car battery not only saves you money in the long run but also ensures reliable performance when you need it most. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your car battery:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Just like any other component of your vehicle, car batteries require regular maintenance. Keep the battery terminals clean and free from corrosion by cleaning them with a mixture of baking soda and water. Corrosion can impede the flow of electricity and shorten the lifespan of your battery. (see our article Understanding Car Battery Corrosion and Effective Cleaning with Baking Soda )
  2. Check the Electrolyte Levels: If you have a traditional lead-acid battery, check the electrolyte levels regularly. Ensure that the plates are fully submerged in the electrolyte solution. If necessary, top up with distilled water to the recommended level. All Battery4U batteries are maintenance free and do not require this inspection.
  3. Avoid Short Trips: Short trips, especially in cold weather, can be hard on your car battery. The alternator needs time to recharge the battery fully, and short trips may not allow it to do so. Whenever possible, combine multiple short trips into one longer journey to give your battery a chance to recharge fully. A good rule of thumb is to give your alternator 15-17 minutes to recharge the battery after you have started the car. For instance,  If you come home from the shop that is a five minute drive, let the car idle for ten minutes while you take out all the bags before switching it off.
  4. Keep it Charged: Modern vehicles are equipped with numerous electronic devices that draw power from the battery even when the engine is off. Prolonged periods of inactivity can lead to battery drain. If you don’t drive your car regularly, consider removing the negative terminal to save your battery. This does mean you would need to reset radio stations etc in the car, but it will save you the price of a new battery. It is recommended that you start your car at leat three times a week and let it idle, or drive it, for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Turn Off Accessories When Not in Use: Accessories such as headlights, interior lights, and entertainment systems can drain your battery if left on when the engine is off. Get into the habit of turning off all accessories before turning off the ignition to prevent unnecessary battery drain.
  6. Insulate Against Extreme Temperatures: Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can have a significant impact on battery performance. Park your vehicle in a garage or shaded area during hot weather to prevent excessive heat buildup, and consider using an insulated battery blanket during cold weather to maintain optimal operating temperatures.
  7. Test Your Battery Regularly: Periodically test your battery’s voltage and cold cranking amps (CCA) to ensure it’s in good condition. Most auto parts stores offer free battery testing services, or you can invest in a multimeter to test it yourself at home.
  8. Replace When Necessary: Despite your best efforts, car batteries have a limited lifespan. If you notice signs of a weak or failing battery, such as slow engine cranking, dim headlights, or dashboard warning lights, don’t hesitate to replace it. It’s better to replace a battery proactively than to risk getting stranded on the side of the road.

By following these tips and tricks, you can maximize the lifespan of your car battery and enjoy reliable performance for years to come. Remember that proper maintenance and care are key to ensuring your battery’s longevity and preventing unexpected failures.