While out shopping for a new car, what would you look out for at first? Most of you may check the level of comfort you’ll get from the car, size, price, range of features, etc.
But only a few knowledgeable folks will pay heed to the car’s engine quality and, most importantly, the car’s battery. And why won’t they?
In a car, the battery is responsible for undertaking an assortment of tasks both from inside and outside.
It’s the battery only due to which you’re able to start your car plus the in-car computers also go on running due to the battery.
Also, when it comes to the car’s maintenance, the battery’s care is a crucial task for enjoying a smooth ride every time. Isn’t it?
A critical aspect of this regard is the average car battery’s lifespan and how long car batteries last? In the article, I’ll elaborate on car batteries’ various concerns to better understand the same. So, let’s start.
How Long Do Car Batteries Last?
Be it a brand new just taken out from the showroom car or someone running over the roads for years, a standard car battery ought to serve for three years at max.
Yes, you may read somewhere else that a car battery has a lifespan of 5-years, but it’s a study that claims that most car batteries wore out and becomes inefficient after 3-years.
It is more common for cars that involve in day-to-day running. You can assume the lifespan of your car’s battery with that of your smartphone or computer.
Just like with every charge, their batteries become inefficient; with every charge, the same happens to your car’s battery.
Hence, the more the car runs, the more you charge it, the more frequent replacements your car battery will need.
And the best time to do so is after 3-years. If not done, you may see yourself stranded midway with the car in no mood to drive further or encounter other issues directly related to your car’s battery.
Factors that can have an impact on the lifespan of car batteries
When it comes to car batteries, multiple factors contribute to their lifespan, including the following ones.
The level of care it’s getting.
Driving like a beast on the roads negatively affects the car’s tires and other elements. Aggressive driving can severely affect the car’s batteries.
The most common consequences of doing so involve not getting the required performance from the battery.
Do you know that a car’s battery functions well in colder climates than in warmer conditions? The battery tends to last longer when it’s operated in colder climates than in tropical conditions.
There is a scientific explanation behind the same. Since the battery involves an active chemical reaction that powers the battery, the chemical reaction occurs more quickly in lower temperatures than in high temperatures.
Also, in hot climates, the chemical liquid filled inside the battery should evaporate more quickly, making the battery work harder, negatively affecting its lifespan.
Since the battery powers up the car’s internal and external elements, it requires sufficient and proper charging from the car’s alternator.
If the alternator fails to lend out ample voltage to the battery, it will make the battery drain out more quickly than usual.
The situation will worsen if you’re using the cooling system or listening to the radio continuously.
In some cases, the battery will run out of enough power and thus causing every other component dependent on the battery to come to a halt, including the car itself.
Alternator diodes are faulty.
In a car, the alternator diodes’ condition is very critical in the lifespan of the battery. When the diodes are in good condition, they will ensure that the current flow in the same direction.
If the current flows in the opposite direction, it will take out power from the battery even if it is not running or the engine is off.
Or, in more familiar terms, the battery will keep on draining no matter what’s running in the car.
Sometimes, your driving habits can have a severe threat to the car’s batteries. For example, frequent turning on and off the engine can lead to a faster draining of the battery.
Further, more use of the in-car components like the infotainment system, air conditioner, charging port, and so on can take out more power from the battery.
Plus, not getting the battery checked by the mechanic after an extended family trip on hilly areas can impact its life in the long run.
Signs of a dead battery
So, you are encountering the following issues with your car? One possibility is that your car’s battery is dead! Yes, the following are the common signs of a dead car battery.
A slower or sudden start
A dead or improper battery is sometimes responsible for your car’s sudden or slower start than usual. If you’re encountering this issue, get your battery checked and replaced if it’s over three years with the same battery!
Checking whether the radio turns on or not is the best way to determine the battery’s charging.
When the radio is in ON position, it will take out power from the battery. If the battery is dead or insufficiently charged, the radio will either don’t work or behave abnormally.
Foul smell from the battery
Similar to the foul smell your home’s battery produces when it’s faulty or dead, the car’s battery will also produce an odd smell when in bad condition or leaking in most cases.
The smell resembles that coming from the rotten eggs.
Plus, any gas leakage from the battery is often subject to significant damages to the other car components. Hence, it’s better not to take the foul smell from the battery casually.
Engine lights flashing
If the engine lights are flashing like never before, that’s another sign of a dead car battery or less charging.
There might be other reasons behind the same, but a dead battery is what every mechanic points out at first.
Ways to improve your car battery lifespan
So, now that you know the importance of a car battery and the ill effects of a dead battery, here are some tips to improve the car battery’s lifespan that won’t cost you much.
Take proper care of your car battery
Just like you remain mindful of your car’s maintenance from both inside and outside covering its majority elements, be equally aware of the battery’s maintenance and care.
For example, as the battery is responsible for your car’s multiple components’ proper functioning, get your whole car frequently serviced.
Proper and sufficient servicing will prevent the components from sucking out more power out of the battery.
If your car is off, never turn on the car lights and air conditioner as, during that time, they will take energy from the battery only. Thus, causing you less battery power afterward.
Even if you don’t require to drive frequently, and the car is standing in the garage for over two weeks now, remember to run the car engine for at least a few minutes. It will keep the battery from getting drained too quickly.
Plus, you should check the various connections of the battery with other components of the car. They ought to be tight and in the correct sequence as per the car’s model and manufacturer.
Don’t use the car for short rides
Short car trips prevent the car battery from charging up completely. And this further impacts your longer trips via car. Hence, look for another alternative for short trips.
Tightly fasten the battery at its place
If you ride more often on bumpy roads or at higher speeds, always check the car’s connection after the ride.
If you do not fasten the battery appropriately at its place, it’ll vibrate and incur internal damages. All this will result in the battery’s shorter lifespan.
Turn off the lights when not needed
Suppose you keep the lights off when, not in use; it puts an extra burden on the car’s battery and may hamper its performance.
When you’re leaving the car for the final time, remember to turn off the lights, even if it’s the reading lights.
Clean the battery terminals
Battery terminals tend to rust with time if not appropriately maintained. Hence, always check the region around the battery terminals and clean it if needed with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda.
Your car battery is the vital component of your car that performs a plethora of functions 24/7 and without demanding much from you.
Just proper care and once in 3-5 years replacement is what you should invest in when it comes to your car battery.