If we’re honest car batteries do not get the respect that they deserve. Without your car battery, your car wouldn’t start, it’s what gives your car the initial boost to start up. Many people will know what to do to check tyres, lights and oil (among other things) but not many will know what to do to keep their battery in good condition or even what their batteries do. Let’s take a look at what your battery actually does for your car and how to keep it in the best condition this Autumn.
First let’s look at some car battery facts;
- Batteries naturally discharge themselves, we’ve touched on this in previous blogs but if you don’t drive your car on a regular basis or for long journeys to let your battery charge itself, it will eventually die.
- Extreme cold weather can result in a quicker loss of power but luckily for us batteries have been fitted with cold cranking amps that give the battery that extra boost to start.
- Car batteries can’t just be ‘binned’, you must recycle them as they contain sulphuric acid and lead dioxide that may harm the environment.
- You will need the correct size battery for your car but don’t worry if you don’t know which size you need, you can find out by using a battery size guide.
- Car batteries can last on average up to five years but if you look after it and let it recharge itself properly it can last longer.
- A weak battery can have a knock-on effect with other parts of your engine. Faulty batteries can affect fuel economy as the vehicles alternator will have to draw more horse power to charge the battery and this uses more fuel.
- Its best to get it professionally fitted as even the smallest mistakes can have a huge negative impact. Having a battery connected incorrectly can cause serious damage. One mistake could cause damage to the whole electrical system. It is for this reason that we would recommend a professional fitting a car battery.
- If your warning lights come on this doesn’t always mean you need to get it replaced, there could be a problem with the charging system or something else. We would recommend going to a garage before rushing out to buy a new battery.
So how do you look after your battery? And how can you make your battery last as long as possible?
Well the first thing to do would be to not neglect it! Keep up the maintenance on your car battery just like you’d do with any other part on your car. This includes keeping your car in a garage or in a non-frosty area in the cold months if possible. Another thing that will help your battery in the colder months when starting your car is switching everything off that uses electricity, this will help reduce the load on your battery on start up.
The biggest issue with batteries is it not being charged properly. Getting the battery fully charged is easier than you may think. Taking long journeys with your car will easily charge the battery, taking short infrequent journeys will partially charge your battery which could make it not last as long. If you know that you won’t be driving your car for a while you could invest in a trickle feed charger that slowly charges the battery.
There are many things that can help your battery last longer but ultimately keeping it fully charged will make it last longer and survive the colder months. We hope this helps you understand a little more about car batteries. More car maintenance blogs here.
Disclaimer- Articles are for general information only – customers should always seek their own independent advice. GoSkippy is not affiliated with the organisations/businesses mentioned and does not recommend or endorse any of the included products or services. For more information please visit our disclaimer.