Car batteries typically last for 3 to 5 years under normal conditions. This can change, however, depending on many factors. If you think your car battery drains fast, don't just buy a new one right away. First, you need to look at the components in your vehicle that consume electricity. You also need to consider things like your driving habits, changes in temperature, location, and many others.
- Electrical system
- Rough roads
Vehicles have extensive electrical systems. And sometimes, drained batteries can be fixed by looking for a faulty wire or a malfunctioning device that is grounding out. Today, however, looking for the source of the ground can be quite hard because there are so many car accessories and gadgets that use electricity like alarms, MP3 players, GPS receivers, etc. If you can't pinpoint the source, it would be best to hire a professional mechanic or electrician to do the job.
Traveling on rough roads or terrain can also affect the longevity of car batteries as it can disturb the chemical reaction that produces the energy that the car needs.
Changing Your Car Battery
Step 1: Turn the engine off and open your vehicle's hood, making sure that it is securely in place.
Step 2: Start by removing the negative and positive cables using pliers or a combination wrench. You need to loosen up the nuts before you can twist and pull the cables out.
Step 3: Next, remove the hold-down clamp to take the battery out of its tray. Take note that car batteries are really heavy. Some are equipped with handles but others are not. If you're going to lift it by yourself, make sure you grab it from the bottom.
Step 4: Once you've taken it out, mix some baking soda with water to create a cleaning solution and use this with a wire brush to remove dirt and rust from the tray, cable connectors, and hold-down clamp.
Step 5: Once the area is clean, install your new battery on the tray and use the hold-down clamp to secure it in place. After that, reattach the positive cable before the negative cable. And once everything is secure, start your car to test if the installation is successful.
Tips to Prolong Your Car Battery's Life
- Car batteries are usually checked every 2 to 4 months. Remember to check the water levels of the power cells (six cells in normal batteries) and make sure that they barely reach the end of the refill hole. If water levels are low, refill it with distilled water. Never use tap to avoid causing damage to the terminals.
- Clean the positive and negative terminals every 3 months. You can use a wire brush to remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated. Doing this will ensure that nothing impedes the flow of electricity to your car's system.
- If you are not going to use your car for at least 2 weeks, consider disconnecting the negative terminal to prevent the slow and gradual loss of charge.