As a car owner, you know that certain parts will naturally degrade and that you will inevitably have to replace them at given intervals. At the top of this list would be the humble car battery, but did you know that if you take certain steps, you may be able to elongate its life and try and avoid any unexpected breakdown along the way? What steps can you take if you're just about to buy a new battery and want to maximise your investment?
Changing your Use
Firstly, take a look at your driving habits. Some people only use their vehicle in short bursts to go back and forth to work or school, for example. These short-range trips will invariably reduce the lifespan of your battery as you may not be driving the vehicle enough to ensure a full recharge. Remember, the primary job of the battery is to generate enough boost to start from scratch, but the vehicle does need to run for a certain amount of time to replenish that output. Try to schedule a lengthy trip each weekend if you can, or invest in a car charger otherwise.
Keeping in Good Condition
Get into the habit of checking the outside of the battery casing. Look at the connections to ensure they are still securely fastened and clean any residue that may accumulate over the terminals. The area underneath the bonnet is a very hostile environment, and it is not unusual for dirt and grime to build up across the top of the casing. If it accumulates to a certain point, the battery may discharge and generate a short circuit. This will only serve to flatten the battery and reduce its life.
Shielding from the Sun
Where possible, park your vehicle in the shade to avoid the side effects of that unrelenting Australian sun. Excess exposure could increase the amount of water evaporation within the cells and even in those "no maintenance" batteries.
Avoiding Parasitic Draw
You should also get into the habit of turning any auxiliary units off before you exit the car. Certainly, they are designed to protect your electrical system as much as possible and avoid any "vampire" draw on the power. Still, there are so many auxiliary devices in the modern-day vehicle that you should avoid any unnecessary draws as a matter of habit.
Finally, don't forget that a battery will naturally discharge if the vehicle is not in use for any extended period of time. It's never a good idea to allow a battery to drain to zero, as this will certainly affect how long it lasts. Instead, connect to a charger if you know that you're going to be away from your car on holiday or for any other reason.
Reach out to a car battery provider to learn more.