Nobody wants to be stranded with a dead car battery. You can avoid the aggravation and inconvenience by knowing the life of your car batter, and the circumstances that can affect its projected lifespan.
Typical car battery life expectancy is around three years, with higher quality batteries lasting up to five years. Sometimes batteries even last much longer. However, many common occurrences can potentially diminish battery life, and it’s important to be aware of these factors to know if your battery has been compromised.
Factors Affecting Battery Life
One factor affecting car battery life is long standing times, such as not driving your vehicle for a couple of weeks. High temperatures that accelerate corrosion and discharging your battery accidentally (i.e. leaving your lights on) can also contribute to the early retirement of your battery. Temperature extremes are bad, too. Batteries are more likely to die or go flat during very cold periods because it takes more effort to start the motor in low temperatures. (This means that by the time spring rolls around, your battery could be on its last legs.) At the other extreme, very hot weather will also lead to increased battery corrosion and degradation.
How to Extend Car Battery Life
So we’ve gone over the bad… Now here are some tips for extending the life of your car battery:
- Wrap a heat barrier around your battery to protect it from extreme temperatures.
- Don’t add new electrolyte (acid) to your battery.
- Don’t disconnect battery cables while the engine is running.
- Don’t put off recharging your battery.
- Avoid making too many short trips, which don’t give your battery the opportunity to recharge fully.