As we continue into August of this year, there is no better time than now to be closely monitoring your car battery. The Summer months are always the hardest on car batteries due to the intense hot weather we experience during this time. With that said, there are things you can look out for to determine when a car battery is on it’s last leg and things you can do to extend the life of your battery. Before we dive into these two areas, let’s first take a look at what causes car batteries to die.
When dealing with car batteries there are a couple of reasons why car batteries may abruptly quit working or lose their momentum faster. The first goes directly to human error. This could be from something such as leaving your car lights on by accident when you get home or forgetting to close the trunk. A situation like this can leave you with a dead battery the following morning. If this does happen to you – rest-assured. Battery Joe provides off-site battery replacement and services whether at your home or even in the airport parking lot!
The second most common reason for dead car batteries (aside from age) in our region is the extreme temperature. When temperatures creep over the 100 degree mark, this results in sulfate crystals building up at a much faster rate. What does this lead to? – a longer period of time taken to charge your battery and eventually permanent damage. As you can see below, our region is in the second lowest battery expectancy zone due to the intense heat:
- Faulty Charging
- Parasitic Drain
- Defective Alternator
- Excessive Short Drives
- Loose or Corroded Battery Cables
- Old Age
Fortunately, if you do run into any of these problems, Battery Joe can always determine what the problem is and fit your vehicle with the perfect replacement to get you back on the road.
What to Look Out For?
Even though it is a good idea to routinely change your battery every 3 years or so, there are some signs which can help you determine whether or not your battery is on it’s last leg:
- Check Engine Light: Sometimes your check engine light will appear when the power in your battery is weak
- Swelling Battery Case: If the casing of your battery looks bloated, this could be due to excessive heating and also a sign of a dying battery.
- Battery Leak: Leaking and/or gunk forming around the posts of your battery (where the + and – signs are located) can indicate a damaged battery which may not start in the near future.
- Slow Engine Crank: When starting your vehicle, if you notice the cranking is slow or takes longer.
How to Extend the Battery Life?
Now that we have covered the signs of a dying or damaged battery, let’s go through how you can prolong the life of your battery. Here are some of the main ways:
- Double Check that all lights are turned off when you exit the vehicle.
- Limit Short Rides When You Can: Quick drives will keep your battery from fully charging.
- Buy a Portable Car Battery Charger: When you are not driving your vehicle for an extended amount of time, these portable charger can jump your battery without the need of another car.
- Test Your Battery Frequently: Knowing the state of your car’s battery is important when determining how much longer you can use it. Testing your battery’s voltage output level with a car battery tester is recommended. You can find one of these in our Battery Joe stores.
- Turn off Electronics When Your Car Isn’t running: Disabling things such as your radio and air conditioner when your engine is off will put less of a burden on your car battery and thus prolonging its lifespan.
Identifying signs of a potential dying car battery is important as well as maintaining good practices to further the lifespan of your battery. Whether in Lubbock, Amarillo, Midland or the Abilene area, we are always ready to help you at the store or at your specific location! Feel free to head into one of our stores where we offer FREE car battery servicing and installations! Learn more about these as well as other products which will help you maintain a healthy car and car battery here:
Sources: Tires Plus, your Mechanic, Firestone, Now From Nationwide