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September 12th, 2016 by


Your car battery has an uncanny ability of breaking down when you least expect it – or when you are far from help.

And while we think your battery dying is just part of the draw, there are a couple things you can do to ensure your battery is in tiptop shape.

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Here Are 7 Tips to Maintain the Lifespan of Your Car Battery

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1. Keep To Your Manufacturer’s Schedule

Ignoring your car’s problems won’t make them go away. If your engine is not performing as it should, your battery is going to work harder to keep your car in motion. This reduces the lifespan of your battery dramatically.

2. Get Into the Habit of Replacing Your Battery

“The most common question we get from motorists is – how often should I replace my car battery? A battery can last on average up to three years. This is, however, dependent on your driving conditions, habits and the weather. It is inevitable that a car battery will die at some stage , thus, it is vital you set a reminder for when you need to change or check your battery. Take the time to do regular checks. This will not only prolong a car’s battery life, but will also help avoid disappointments,” says Joe du Plooy Group Marketing Executive at Tiger Wheel & Tyre.

3. Drive Your Car Regularly

This may seem odd, but cars that are regularly active keep their charge. This is because a car’s battery is charged while it is in motion.

A stationery car means a stationery battery and the longer the car battery stays unused, the weaker the charge.

If you are going on an overseas trip or will not be driving your car for longer than a week, ask a friend to start the car and leave it running for a couple minutes per week.

If there is no one to help, it is advised to disconnect your battery before going away.

“Feeling disappointed while sitting stranded in a driveway, city parking lot or even a remote holiday destination can be avoided if a car battery is given a little TLC, through regular maintenance and testing,” advises du Plooy.

4. Check the Battery’s Charging Rate (a.k.a Heart Beat) 

Like a heart, your battery relies on the optimum amount of charge and under or over-charging your battery will also reduce its lifespan.

Du Plooy says most reputable battery dealers will conduct quick battery checks for you. Free battery tests are offered at Tiger Wheel & Tyre stores.

5. When Stationary, Don’t Leave Anything Running For Too Long

We have all fallen victim to charging our phones in the car when away from a wall plug, only to find your car won’t start when you need to leave. Avoid leaving car lights and accessories on in your car for long periods of time when the engine is not running.

Not only does this discharge the battery, it weakens the lifespan of the battery.

6. Clean Is Nice and Nice Is Clean

Our batteries can often be the last thing we keep ‘clean’ when washing our car on a Sunday afternoon. Did you know, dirt and dampness can damage a battery case which is also another way your battery can lose charge?

If you are not sure, ask the mechanic to check and clean the terminals during your annual car service. If you notice corrosion or acid on your battery terminals, remove this with water and then cover the terminal connection with grease to avoid this happening again.

Another thing about the terminals on your battery is to ensure they are secure at all time. Vibrations in the car, while it is in transit, can loosen terminals which could result in a sudden halt.

7. Jumping a Flat Battery

Basically, don’t do it. Modern cars are full of all types of electronics, if you jumpstart a flat battery, the excessive current may damage your electronics which might result in you having to replace them. If there is no other way, ensure your headlights are switched on before you jump start your vehicle.

It is recommended to read your car manual for recommendations on how to jump start your car as it changes from car to car.

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