When was the last time you had your car battery tested or replaced? Summer heat rather than winter cold poses the greater threat to battery life, according to the Car Care Council.
Sooner or later all batteries have to be replaced. A battery has an average lifespan of four years under perfect conditions, meaning the battery goes through full charge cycles, isn't exposed to extreme temperatures, has a consistent charging system and isn't powering a bunch of accessories like in-vehicle entertainment systems.
The two major reasons for shortened battery life are excessive heat and overcharging. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system allows too high a charging rate, leading to slow death for a battery. Battery life is also shortened by weather conditions, mileage, vehicle age, and driving habits such as frequent on/off cycles.
To get the most life out of a battery, the Car Care Council suggests the following simple steps:
Have a technician be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging.
Always replace a battery with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified.
Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. As corrosion accumulates on battery terminals it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.
Today’s car batteries don’t usually give a warning, but check the battery if you notice the headlights and interior lights dim, accessories fail to operate, or the “check engine” and/or battery light is illuminated.
Avoid getting stranded. You need to have it tested! Call or stop in at Hillside today and we will be glad to test your battery for free.