Car Battery Maintenance - Enji


Car Battery Maintenance

May 16, 2022

A car's battery life is dependent on the care, maintenance and attention given to it which can prevent battery failure and remove factors affecting battery life. On average, a car battery will last between three to five years, but early battery failure can occur within one or two years. The best way to give your battery longevity is to keep it healthy and be aware of the early warning signs batteries give you before failure.

How To Keep Your Car Battery Healthy

Avoid leaving your car in the heat

Both hot and cold weather can affect, damage or hinder a battery but warmer weather can damage your battery in a more serious way. A higher temperature in the engine bay of a vehicle accelerates the corrosion inside a battery and can evaporate the water within a battery's liquid electrolyte. Ultimately, this leads to a shorter battery life and weakened ability to start an engine.

The best way to ensure your battery's life is not affected is to keep your car out of the sun in warmer months, avoid driving on high temperature days or invest in a car cover.

Keep Your Car Battery Charged

Most batteries are easily able to retain their charge if used often for frequent short trips and maintained correctly. However, this is not always achievable when traveling or when you are unable to keep your battery healthy.

Keeping a battery charger for your car is one of the more simple ways to ensure it is always charged on the go but if you're worried about flat batteries from underuse it may be wise to use a trickle charger. This type of car battery charger slowly adds voltage to the battery while eliminating the chance of normal charge depletion from non-use.

Regularly Check Your Battery Voltage

Beyond car battery maintenance, the health of a vehicle's electrical system should be tested regularly to avoid battery failure. The easiest way to test the voltage of a battery is to use a voltmeter. A fully charged car battery will read between 12.4 and 12.8 volts and may require a professional inspection if it falls outside of these regulated numbers. Beware of using faulty voltage regulators for your battery test as this can give you false information.

Top Up Your Electrolyte Fluid Or Distilled Water

In some vehicles, car batteries can be serviced by the owner without the assistance of an automotive mechanic or automotive electrician. If this is the case, a battery will have caps on the top of it where fluid can be added if the supply of distilled or demineralised water is low.

It is advisable that the electrolyte levels of a car battery are checked every three months or so to ensure optimal performance and longevity. During warmer months this may need to happen more frequently. Topping up with electrolyte fluid or distilled water is simple, you can find both in an auto part store.

What Is A Maintenance Free Battery?

Maintenance free batteries are an option for car owners that do not want to meddle in the electrolyte levels of their car battery maintenance. They come sealed and require no service attention other than keeping the battery terminals clean and fully charged.

Clean Battery Terminals And Battery Casing

Dirty battery terminals with grime or dampness can become corroded and damaged if left unchecked, which could flatten your battery. A crusty battery terminal can prevent the alternator and other parts of the electrical system from functioning or charging well and hinder the flow of electricity through the battery.

It is quite simple to clean surface-level dirt, grease or grime with a sponge or cloth but if the mess is more severe you may need a mechanic to clean the terminals during a service.

Always Turn Off Your Lights

One of the most simple prevention strategies for maintaining the health of your battery is to turn your lights off! Leaving on interior lights or your headlights is one of the most common causes of a flat battery and can result in deteriorating battery health.

Using a vehicle’s in-car functions like the radio, air conditioning or lights without the vehicle running drains a car battery exceptionally fast. Before getting out of the car after a drive, make sure you turn everything off!

What To Do If You Have A Flat Battery

Getting a flat battery once in a car's lifetime may be inevitable, so knowing what to do if you get stuck with a battery that wont tick over is important.

Ask For A Jumpstart

It may be a bit embarrassing at the time but asking for a jumpstart from a stranger is the easiest way to revive a flat battery.

How To Jumpstart Your Car

  • Position cars towards each battery.
  • Make sure the battery booster and pack is fully charged from the charged battery.
  • Connect the red jump lead to both cars.
  • Connect the black jump lead to both cars.
  • Idle the car that is able to start.
  • Attempt to start the car with the dead battery.
  • Turn off and disconnect.
  • Restart the car.

Use A Portable Battery Charger

Along with a set of jumper leads, having a battery charger in your car can help you get out of strife. It is important to note that you will need a voltage battery that is consistent with the strength of your current car battery. These can be purchased from local auto parts shops.

Replace Your Current Battery

Going to a retailer is a good idea but you might need the help of a mechanic for installation and ensuring you have the right fit for the model and make of your car. Different specifications including voltage, size and terminals can make finding the right car battery replacement a time consuming task.

Looking For Help With Battery Installation?

If you need assistance maintaining or installing your car battery, Enji can put you in contact with local mechanics in your area who can assist you.

Mechanics with Enji are able to assist in any of your vehicle needs.