Being responsible for car maintenance for the first time can seem daunting. However, you should do your best to keep it operating efficiently, and one significant aspect is the car battery. If this part fails, you cannot start the vehicle without jumper cables or a replacement. To ensure you get the most use out of your battery, below are several strategies to prolong its life.
Car Battery Maintenance Checklist
1. Inspect Monthly
When looking at the vehicle’s battery, always search for signs of corrosion accumulating around the terminals on top of it. As the sulfuric acid vapor escapes from the battery, it corrodes these connections, turning them white and forming a crust on top.
When the corrosion becomes severe, it destroys the connection between the battery and the vehicle. If you catch this issue early, a mechanic can clean the battery with a specialized paste to remove the buildup.
2. Drive Regularly
One uncommon aspect of car maintenance is driving your vehicle once a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. This allows the alternator to recharge the battery, and prevents the electrical power from leaking out while the vehicle is dormant. If you know that you won’t be driving the vehicle for an extended period, let it idle for about 20 minutes a day to maintain the charge.
3. Be Mindful of Accessories
To maximize a battery’s life span, don’t use any accessories while the engine is off. Having the radio system on, running the heat or air conditioning, and charging personal devices without the engine on will quickly drain the battery. Similarly, whenever you exit the vehicle, turn off all of the cabin lights and headlights.
4. Use Covered Parking
Extreme temperature changes affect a battery’s performance, as heat heat can evaporate the liquids inside the battery and weaken the charge. On the other hand, cold temperatures slow the chemical reaction, degrading the quality of the battery.
However, you can ensure proper car maintenance by parking in a garage or using a car cover. This prevents the temperatures from directly affecting the battery, as well as insulates the car from inclement weather.
When you have battery issues or need a replacement, contact Car Care Clinic at Gateway Transmissions. Their team of technicians have been helping local drivers throughout Oak Harbor and Mount Vernon, WA, for more than 20 years. They have the experience and tools necessary to test your battery and provide expert car maintenance to keep you on the road. Visit the website for more information about their services. Call (360) 679-0700 to schedule an appointment.