An automotive battery is an interesting piece of hardware. It is not because of the fact that nobody prefers to talk about it until the day it gives up. It is also not because of the fact that without it, your vehicle cannot even start. It is because with every technology introduced in the automobiles, the battery is entrusted to handle more load while the design or materials inside it stay the same (to provide context, we are still using lead-acid batteries and most are flooded type). Now that we have mentioned this, here’s something worth mentioning too. The life of your vehicle’s battery is in your hands. What follows next are some tips that help you understand how easy it is for you to care for your vehicle’s battery:
1.Inspect terminalsÂ â€“ The biggest signÂ of care you can show your vehicle’s battery is inspecting its terminals.Â This is because you can see for yourself if there are deposits formed at the terminals that can increase resistance and decrease the battery’s life.
2.Secure battery â€“ Perhaps as important as checking the terminals is ensuring your vehicle’s battery is secured in its spot. This ensures that it does not keep bouncing around in its place and,Â as a result, get damaged.
3.Check electrolyte level â€“ Though it is important in the case of regular Lead Acid batteries, always make sure to check the water level in the battery’s cells. If each cell has recommended electrolyte level in it,Â high current flow into the battery is not going toÂ affect the battery negatively.
4.AvoidÂ short tripsÂ â€“ Avoid making frequent short trips in your vehicle as it affects your vehicle’s battery negatively. Since your vehicle’s battery has to supply high voltage current to start your vehicle and the process to charge it is slow, frequent short trips can discharge the battery quite fast. Short trips do not allow the charging of vehicle batteries at a goodÂ pace.
5.Accessories’ usage â€“ Remember, using your vehicle’s accessories while the vehicle itself is off puts strain on the battery. If your vehicle is going to be powered off for long, do turn off all the accessories or the battery will run out of power. This not only results in the vehicle not firing up but also reduces the life of the battery as a Lead Acid battery dies quite fast when depleted below 60% of its capacity.
6.Charging precaution â€“ If you are using a charger to charge your vehicle’s battery, do ensure it does not overcharge the battery. OverchargingÂ leads to decomposing water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, which are pretty hazardous, and, even ifÂ used in safe conditions, will lead to dip in the electrolyte level.
7.Disconnection precaution â€“ Before disconnecting your vehicle’s battery from the terminals, do ensure you go through your vehicle’s owner manual to ensure you know which accessories reset to their factory conditions and which might need troubleshooting later.
These are some of the tips that can help extendÂ your vehicle’s battery’s life. The best tip, however, is to ensure you drive/ride your vehicle regularly and do not let it stand for long periods of time. This automatically puts your vehicle’s battery to use. Coupling this tip with that of preventing frequent short trips will ensure your vehicle’s battery stays in operation for Â at least 3-5 years or even longer. But while you take care of your vehicle’s battery, do take note of the signs thatÂ tell you when to replace the battery to prevent theÂ electrical systems of your car from potential damage.