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  • 16 Nov 2020

What Causes a Car Battery to Die Quickly?

What Causes a Car Battery to Die Quickly?

A car battery supplies the electrical power necessary to start the vehicle. It is also where excess electricity that is made by the alternator is stored. Energy conservation has a huge role in all of this. A vehicle can be jump-started once it dies, but if it is repeated now and then, the damage may be permanent. So, what can damage a car battery? Well, this article has all your answers.

 

  • Leaving the headlights on will drain the battery, and if left on for long enough can have an effect on the life of the battery. If the car won’t start, a jump start may be required to get back on the road. Ensure when jump starting the vehicle that whatever is used has some sort of surge protection for the computer.

 

  • Keeping your radio running for quite some time while the engine is not running can drain your battery. The battery provides the initial electrical charge to the starter motor. Hence, using the battery’s power for infotainment systems while the car is sitting will cause the engine not to be able to start.

 

  • Infrequent use and short trips may affect the life of the battery, on longer drives the battery receives more charge from the alternator.      

 

  • Corroded terminals or a loose battery can affect the charging of the battery in the vehicle. The terminals connecting the battery should be frequently cleaned and checked for corrosion. 

 

  • The temperature that the vehicle operates in can also determine the life of the battery. However, batteries tend to last longer in colder climates than in the warmer ones. 

 

How to Save Car Batteries When Not in Use? 

If your car is not used for an extended period, charging is required to maintain the battery.

To save the battery when your vehicle is sitting for a while, the battery must be charged every 3 months on a suitable charger or have a trickle charger/maintainer fitted to the vehicle. On modern vehicles never remove the battery without some sort of backup power connected to the vehicle. For older vehicles without computers the negative terminal can be removed to eliminate any drains. 

How to Disconnect a Car Battery? 

Now, let us move on to another question you might be having. Firstly, you must locate your car battery. Most vehicles have them located under the bonnet. If it is not under the bonnet, then refer to the vehicle manual for further help. Secondly, you have to locate the positive and negative terminal, positive being the red and marked with a plus sign and negative being the black and marked with a minus sign. To remove the cable loosen the nut of each terminal, remove the negative first followed by the positive terminal. Then undo hold down clamp and remove the battery. When fitting the new battery make sure to place the positive terminal on first followed by the negative.

 

For longevity of the life of a car battery, maintenance must be ensured. Have your battery tested by a qualified technician approximately every three or four years. If the battery is the accessible type, the electrolyte level should be checked every 3 months.

The other steps that you can follow are to add water carefully, keeping the cables tightened well, not leaving your car for too long without driving it. Follow the procedures mentioned above, and you will ensure your battery will hold its durability.

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