Your car battery generally lasts anywhere from 2 to 5 years, depending on the climate. Here in Texas, they last 2-4 since we have to deal with 110 degree summers. Truth be told, heat and vibration are a car battery’s worst enemies. Overcharging and undercharging, lack of regular maintenance and excessive current drain are also a battery’s silent killers. There’s a short list of things we can do to make sure we don’t get stuck with a battery that won’t turn the starter over.
If you travel less than 20 minutes a day, your alternator may not have enough time to charge the battery to capacity. At least 30 minutes gives it enough charging time to avoid undercharging, which gradually worsens your battery’s ability to hold a charge.
Avoid battery drain
Most vehicles nowadays cut off the electric supply when the key is off, but there are some out there that still provide power to the outlets. If you keep a phone charger plugged in, or you have a security light, it’s constantly getting power, and draining your battery and taking money out of your pocket. A little known fact about alternators is that they are designed to maintain a battery’s charge, not recharge it.
Your alternator’s current is controlled by a voltage regulator or a computer control module, of one of them is faulty, your battery will suffer. Overcharging shortens a battery’s life by accelerating the aging process.
Undercharging is the result of not charging your battery enough after being severely discharged. If you do end up with a dead battery, it should be charged using a bona fide battery charger.
Secure your battery
Vibration shortens your vehicle’s battery life. All cars nowadays use secure systems that hold it in place and minimize the vibrations that are transferred to your battery. If you aren’t tightening down your battery, you’re running a risk of waking up to a dead battery.
It’s easy to forget about your battery, after all, if it’s not causing any problems, why worry about it? Keeping your battery maintained and checking to make sure it’s holding a charge will keep your battery in service as long possible and keep you on the road. Of course, if you have any questions about your battery, swing by and talk to some of our service guys.