How to Maintain Your Vehicle

Key Factors That Affect The Life Expectancy of Your Car Battery

Car batteries play an essential role in the general performance of your car by supplying sufficient electrical energy. A vehicle's air-conditioning system, lighting and other accessories that require electricity rely on the effectiveness of the battery. As such, it is important to make sure that your car battery is in good condition.

Usually, car batteries last for several years, but certain factors affect their longevity. These cause the battery to fail sooner, forcing you to buy another one. Knowing the aspects that determine your battery's life expectancy can help you increase its lifespan by correcting common mistakes you could be making. Some of the factors that affect a battery's life are outlined below.

Size of the battery

Have you always wondered why it's important to consider the battery size before buying? The size of the battery determines its longevity. If you buy a small battery in order to save some money, you will start facing problems sooner than expected. Small batteries have less reserve capacity — this is the instant power the battery puts out. This insufficient reserve capacity forces the battery to work extra hard to meet your requirements, hence reducing its lifespan.

Inappropriate charging system

Your car battery needs to be charged as you drive. If you use a weak charging system, the battery will not get enough power as it won't be charged effectively. Things will get worse if you are using the radio or lights while driving. Usually, the lights, air conditioning, radio and other systems will fail when your battery runs out of energy, and your only option is to recharge it. Therefore, it's important to use the right charging system so enough power can be stored in the battery. This will ensure your car systems don't fail when you need them the most and increase the battery's life.

Driving habits

Another aspect that determines the longevity of your battery is your driving habits. The battery will be drained quickly if you like using additional devices as you drive. The use of radar detectors, GPS systems, satellite radios and DVD players drain the power significantly. If you like using these devices every time your vehicle is running, you should take great care of your battery — get enough battery juice and a powerful charging system. Also, you'll want to avoid heavy traffic if possible as this will force you to use other car accessories like air conditioning. The slow speed also reduces the charging rate since the alternator's speed has diminished.

Contact a car service to learn more.