You get in the car and turn the key, but nothing happens. You have no power. Although winters can be tough on car batteries, there are still ways to prolong their lifespan and prevent being trapped in subzero temperatures.
4 common reasons a car battery dies
1. Lights left on
The most typical cause of a dead battery is this. If kept on for a long enough period of time, even a tiny light like a glove box or rear reading light will completely deplete your battery. Fortunately, interior lighting in most contemporary vehicles are set to dim when the engine is off after a predetermined period of time.
2. Hidden power drains
Most batteries are designed to handle a constant power draw for things like anti-theft systems and remote keyless entry systems. However, there could be something drawing power from somewhere deep in the electrical system of your car, such as a poorly installed aftermarket stereo.
3. Corrosion or lose connections
Something could be preventing your battery from being properly recharged while you’re driving. First, check that the positive and negative terminals on the battery are clean and in good shape. If they are full of corrosion (it can look like a blue-green fuzz) or clogged with debris, they won’t be able to conduct electricity from the battery to your car’s electrical system. Loose connections can also cause problems.
4. Parked too long
When you travel to Florida in the winter, do you leave your automobile parked? When you get back, the battery might be dead. The keyless entry or anti-theft systems draw a modest but consistent stream of power. Without a chance for recharging, the battery can just run out of power.
6 tips for extending battery life
1. Limit short trips
Your car’s battery can’t fully charge during short trips. By occasionally taking a longer journey, you can maintain the battery power in your automobile. Alternately, think about purchasing a portable auto battery charger, which can jump start your battery without the need for a second vehicle in the event that you ever yourself stuck.
2. Keep your battery tightly fastened
Unfastened batteries run the risk of vibrating, which can cause short circuits and interior damage. Make sure your battery terminal is securely fastened in the mounting bracket by having it examined on a regular basis, especially if you frequently travel on bumpy routes.
3. Turn off all lights when you get out of the vehicle
Your car’s battery might be drained if you unintentionally leave your headlights or interior lights on. On the other hand, if you forget things, you may put a reminder on your dashboard or park, so you have to cross your headlights to reach where you’re going.
4. Control the corrosion
Your car battery’s lifespan may be increased if battery terminals are kept free of corrosive buildup. With a cloth or toothbrush immersed in a solution of baking soda and water, corrosion can be removed. Then, use a spray bottle filled with cold water to rinse the mixture thoroughly. Finally, dry completely with a fresh cloth. (Take care not to breathe in this poison.)
5. Test your battery often
Using a car battery tester, check the output voltage level of your battery to see how well you’re maintaining it and whether you need to replace it.
6. Don’t use electronics with the engine off
Turn off any battery-draining devices, such as the music system, heater, and air conditioner, when your engine is not operating. Long periods of inactivity can also drain a battery.
The lifespan of your car’s battery can be increased by promptly addressing any battery issues as soon as (or before) they arise. You might be amazed at how long your battery can last if you follow these easy instructions and have a little luck.