Get The Most Out Of Your Car Battery
We’ve put together five low-effort tips and tricks so you can make sure you get the most out of your car battery.
1) Make sure your battery is fastened tightly
If your battery isn’t tightly secured, it will rattle and vibrate, which can cause internal damage. Check your battery terminal regularly, or have it checked regularly, especially if you frequently drive on bumpy roads, and make certain it is properly positioned and secured in the mounting bracket.
2) Reduce corrosion by keeping the battery clean
Battery terminals corrode over time, but you can reduce the speed of corrosion by keeping your battery terminals clean. Just give the terminals a quick clean with a toothbrush dipped in water mixed with baking soda, then spray them with cold water to rinse the baking soda off, and dry them thoroughly with a clean towel.
Dirt or moisture can also damage the battery case over time, and will eventually cause your battery to lose charge. Just give it a wipe down with a clean towel every so often, to prevent buildup over time.
3) Limit short drives and long periods of inactivity
Your car’s alternator can take up to an hour of driving to fully charge your battery, and your battery slowly loses charge even when your car is turned off and parked.
This means if you don’t drive your car very often, or only on short trips, you will slowly drain your battery. If you can’t drive more often, or for longer periods, we would suggest looking into a portable car battery charger, to ensure you never end up stranded somewhere looking for a jump.
4) Don't use electronics when idling, and avoid idling excessively
If your car is idle, any electronics (radio, air conditioning, power windows, etc) draw their power directly from the battery. The fact that the engine is on can give you a false sense of security, but if the wheels aren’t turning, the alternator isn’t generating power.
Avoid using any electronics when you’re idling, and don’t leave your car idling unnecessarily, as this will also drain the battery.
5) Come up with a strategy to prevent you leaving your lights on
This is probably one of the most common causes of a flat battery, and it might not seem it, but it happens a lot more often than you might think!
Try leaving a post-it note on your dashboard to remind you, or park your car in such a way that you will have to walk past your headlights on the way into your home.