Background Image: Car driving through streaming orange lights - side view
September 2, 2023

How to get the best life out of your car battery

Much like the batteries in your devices, car batteries have a limited lifespan and lose their capacity to start the car over time.

Battery lifespan varies based on factors like exposure to extreme temperatures, how often you drive and how well you take care of the battery. Even if your car has a maintenance-free battery, it still needs some simple care.

There are a few steps you can take to enhance your battery's lifespan. The best part is that it's fairly straightforward to keep your battery in good shape.

Here are five great tips to keep your battery in excellent condition and, ultimately, help you get the very best life out of your car battery.

1. Avoid exclusively taking short trips

Short drives may not give your battery enough time to recharge, as the alternator can't fully replenish the energy used for starting your car. Over time, your battery might not have enough power to start, especially in winter when it's already working harder.

Maintain your battery by taking longer and regular drives. If your car is parked for a long time, consider using a compatible battery charger to keep the voltage at a suitable level.

2. Make sure to drive your car regularly

Leaving your car idle for long periods can drain the battery as it doesn't get the usual charging from the alternator that keeps your car running smoothly. When your car is unused for a while, this can result in a dead or weak battery, which might even become deeply discharged, potentially shortening its lifespan.

To keep your battery charged when your vehicle isn't used often, think about using a battery maintainer.

3. Don’t use accessories unless the engine’s running

Besides starting the engine, your car's battery also powers various devices when you turn the key. To preserve battery life, turn off accessories like seat warmers, lights, and air conditioning before shutting off your car.

By switching off and disconnecting extra devices before leaving your car, you can avoid draining the battery while your vehicle isn’t in use, which helps to ensure it's all set to hit the road when you're ready for your next drive.

4. Keep the battery terminals clean

Corrosion can seriously affect your battery’s performance. The sulfuric acid inside lead-acid batteries can lead to build-up on the battery's terminals and cables, which increases electrical resistance, making the battery work harder.

Keeping your battery terminals clean takes just a few minutes. Start by ensuring the battery is disconnected, then unbolt and remove the connectors. Gently brush the terminals and connectors using a diluted solution of baking soda and water. Next, to prevent future oxidation, apply a protective anti-oxidising grease. Reconnect and bolt the connectors, and you're done.

5. Test your car battery regularly

For optimal battery performance, make sure to regularly check its condition.

A battery test measures the voltage and health of your battery, providing insights into its condition and performance. This helps you anticipate potential battery issues and make informed decisions about maintenance or replacement.

While you can purchase your own battery tester or charger, another hassle-free option is to drop by a Delkor® retailer near you for a quick and easy battery check.