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4 Things That Could Shorten the Life of Your Car Battery

If you have ever had your car battery suddenly die on you, you know how stressful this can be. On average, a car battery has a life expectancy of six years. However, depending on the care you accord it, your battery could die young.

Here are common mistakes that could make you replace your car battery too often and what you can do to extend its life.

1. Lack of Regular Maintenance 

Of all the parts of a car, the battery is arguably the most neglected. For many car owners, the battery is never a priority as long as the vehicle seems to be working properly.

While car batteries succumb to normal wear and tear, prolonged neglect can shorten the battery's lifespan. Inspect your battery at least once a month to identify signs of corrosion and to maintain the right level of electrolyte.

Batteries with detachable caps are especially prone to corrosion around the terminals, which can drastically reduce the life and effectiveness of the battery. To remove corrosion, clean and rinse terminals with hot water, dry the terminals, and apply a battery lubricant.

Whether yours is a standard or maintenance-free battery, regularly check the level of electrolyte in the battery. Extremely low or high levels of electrolyte can diminish the efficaciousness of the battery.

If you are unsure, ask your local battery retailer or mechanic to inspect the level of electrolyte before your battery succumbs to extensive and potentially fatal damage.

2. Excessive Usage of Vehicle Accessories 

The alternator powers the battery when your car is on. However, the battery rapidly loses its voltage when you charge electronics or use the car's electronics when the vehicle is off and not receiving any charge.

Your car battery is not designed to charge electronics such as smartphones. The role of the battery is to power the ignition.

Avoid using the starter battery to power the vehicle's accessories or your electronics. Instead, consider adding a deep cycle battery to charge these electronics.

3. Exposing Your Battery to Extreme Weather 

Constant exposure to ambient weather can reduce the performance of your car battery.  Purchase an insulator kit if your battery does not come with one. The type of insulation kit you need will depend on your car's model and age.

Insulation kits are made from a breathable and thermal-resistant material that can help the electrolyte retain the right temperature and therefore improve battery performance and lifespan.

If possible, store your car in a garage to avoid problems caused by extreme weather.

4. Not Fully Charging Your Battery 

Even when your car is off, accessories such as the vehicle's computer system continue to siphon energy from the battery.

If you use your vehicle often and for short trips, you likely do not give the battery enough time to recharge.

Repeatedly undercharging your battery can drastically minimize its life expectancy not to mention the inconvenience of waking up to an undercharged battery. If you use your car frequently, get a battery charger to power accessories and electronics when your car is off to allow the car battery to retain charge.

Charge your car battery to full capacity at least once a week to extend the battery's life. At the same time, be careful not to overcharge the battery.  This can increase the risk of explosion and contaminate the water in the battery, compromising the battery's longevity. 

The battery is the heart of your car. With proper maintenance, your battery can give you great and dependable service for a good couple of years. Consult with a reputable battery retailer to ensure your battery is always in tiptop condition.

Whether you are looking to buy a car battery with superior performance or to replace your current one, get in touch with Modesto Battery Corporation. We are the trusted provider of high quality and affordable batteries in Modesto, California.