A car battery can last anywhere from three to five years - providing that you look after it properly. Older batteries are extremely unreliable and can cause a lot of inconveniences to drivers - including randomly going flat when out and about. That’s why replacing your car battery in that three to five year period is vital.
No one wants to come to the terrible realisation that their car battery is flat, and that their car won’t even turn on as a result. Sometimes, batteries are temperamental, but there are a few ways you can get a little more time out of it.
Making sure that all lights, electronics and the radio are turned off when the engine isn’t running is one of our most important tips. Keeping unnecessary accessories on will drain your battery rapidly and can cause it to go flat much quicker.
The winter months can be a trying time for car batteries, but most drivers forget that high temperatures can be just as damaging. A rise in temperature can cause water to evaporate from the cells inside your battery - so when it comes to those freezing cold days, when your car just won’t start - it’s actually the heat that has tipped your car over the edge. The colder months highlight your car battery’s true weakness - its last bit of energy is used up when you turn the key.
To avoid these disastrous effects, we suggest parking your car either in a garage or somewhere slightly sheltered from the weather. Not everyone has access to these options - so be aware that changing temperatures can dramatically impact your battery.
The time that your battery loves the most is those long, lengthy drives where it can properly be recharged. Shorter trips are not so helpful for your battery health, as they don’t give your engine enough time to properly recharge the battery. As the most taxing part of a car battery’s job is turning on and off, during a shorter trip, this time is a lot quicker. Overall, avoid short, frequent trips or you may risk harming your battery.
Keep taking your car out for drives as often as you can, and whatever you do, don’t let it stand still for weeks on end. At the moment, with fuel prices through the roof, it's understandable that you want to preserve what fuel you have. Sadly, this won’t do your car much good. A lack of use will result in your battery naturally losing charge, although you can combat this by investing in a battery charger.
Get up close and personal with your car battery to ensure that it’s properly tightened and fastened down. The reason for this is that the more your battery vibrates, the more it drains. Use a wrench to fasten the bolts on the clamps until the battery feels secure, although be careful not to over tighten as this can damage the battery.
A tip you may not have thought of is keeping the top of your battery clean. Cleaning your battery not only avoids corrosion but ensures that the battery will not discharge across the dirt layer. We suggest wiping down the surface with a damp cloth, or use baking soda and a toothbrush to really get into all of the crevices. This is not necessary to do every week, but keeping on top of it will definitely help your battery last longer.
Taking your car into a garage to check battery health is always good practice even if you haven’t had any previous battery issues. Checking the voltage at home is also possible and these devices can be bought for around £10 at most retailers.
After around three years, it’s time to think about replacing your car battery, and we can help with that. We offer used car batteries at a fraction of the price - up to 75% cheaper than a brand new battery to be exact. If you’re in need of a new battery and want to have a chat about your options, get in touch today.