Many motorists don’t give their battery a second thought until it fails to power their vehicle. Although cars can struggle to start for several reasons, such as an empty petrol tank, or a malfunctioning alternator or starter, a faulty battery is the most common reason. And a failing battery often happens at the most inconvenient time.
Why do car batteries fail?
The average life span of quality car batteries is three to five years. However, it does depend on a motorist’s driving habits, the climate, and how well they maintain their battery. Car batteries can fail for the following reasons,
- Forgetting to switch off the car lights or radio overnight.
- Terminals corrode, making it impossible for the battery to transmit power to start the car.
- Cold or hot weather can damage the battery.
- A faulty charging system.
- Battery reached end of its life and needs replacement.
- Frequent short trips don’t allow the battery to charge fully.
- A car is stationary for long periods.
How to prolong your car’s battery life
The most effective way to maintain a car battery in good condition is through regular battery checks. The trusted battery specialists recommend a battery check twice a year. Regular battery checks will forewarn motorists of problems in advance. In instances where a problem is spotted, the specialists can advise and replace the failing battery if need be.
In addition to regular battery checks, here are three tips for motorists to extend their car battery life.
Keep your car warm
Cold weather can be damaging and affect battery performance. Protect your car and the battery by parking in a garage. If you park outside, make sure your vehicle is out of the wind. Alternatively, use a car cover to protect your car at night.
Take it easy
Don’t rush to turn on the radio or heater. Start your car and let the engine run for a few minutes. Let the alternator charge the battery before you switch on to listen to your morning playlist.
Keep the battery clean
Dirt and corrosion affect how the battery will perform. Pop the hood and clean up any dirt on the battery. Use a water and baking soda solution to remove corrosion.
Battery damage can happen during the cold and warm months. Get your battery tested before winter and summer starts. A battery check doesn’t mean a battery replacement. The specialists’ tests are thorough, as they also check the car’s starter and alternator, and they are FREE.
If you go to one of South Africa’s trusted battery fitment centres, they will only replace a battery if necessary. And if they replace your battery, the specialists will recycle the old battery.