Preventing a battery from dying is the best way to avoid this unfortunate situation from happening in the first place. And the best way to do that is to stay informed about your battery’s current state and to take the necessary steps to ensure that it recovers quickly.
What Factors Impact the Lifespan of Your Car Battery?
It is helpful to have a basic understanding of batteries in order to figure out how to make them last longer. Batteries are made up of a mixture of water and sulfuric acid, and a new one should last anywhere from 4 to 6 years. However, this depends on a few things:
- driving habits
- car type
- weather conditions
Batteries will last longer in a colder environment. This is due to the fact that heat affects the chemicals in the battery. This can cause it to enter a partial discharge state after about 24 hours, while this process can take a few days in colder weather. The discharged areas begin to die once the car battery has been discharged for an extended period of time. After this point has been reached, the battery can not be recharged.
It is important to remember that even when you are not driving your car, the battery can be drained by electronic devices that are still in use, such as:
- the security system
- the clock
- keyless entry
- radio systems
This means that if you do not drive your car for an extended period of time and your battery is old, there is a good chance it may not be able to start the next time you need it.
How to Extend the Life of Your Battery
The good news is that automobile batteries charge while the vehicle is in motion. However, it is worth noting that this only occurs on relatively long trips – usually around 20 minutes – with no stops in between. The most important function of the battery is to assist in the start-up of the vehicle, and this is also the time when the battery loses the most power. As a result, if you continue to zap the battery without fully charging it, you will soon be working with a low-charged battery.
Even if you drive your car for long periods of time, it is still a good idea to charge your battery on a regular basis. The frequency varies depending on where you live. However, in warmer climates like San Diego, once a month is recommended. There are several methods for accomplishing this, but it is a process that necessitates caution and knowledge. For the average car owner, automatic, computer-controlled chargers are usually a better bet because they require less knowledge and determine the proper charge rate for your battery.