No driver wants to get into his or her car and find that it will not start. People may not think about their vehicle’s battery until this happens, but it is a crucial part of the car, as it sends power to numerous systems such as the sparks plugs, radio, air conditioning and lights.
Even the best car batteries can drain over the long run, and signs of this include flickering lights, a weakened alarm system and slow starting. However, there are certain circumstances that drain a battery quite quickly, and there are ways to prevent this.
Many people understand that really cold temperatures can drain the battery quickly, which is why drivers who live in cold states plug their vehicles in if they are kept outside. However, temperatures that reach higher than 100 degrees F also drain the battery. This is because extreme temperatures cause the build up of sulfate crystals, and this can damage the life of the battery.
Prevention: Do your best to keep your car inside during hot or cold weather, and when you do start it, keep it running for awhile as the battery takes longer to charge. It is always a good idea to keep your battery in top-running condition so it can better handle severe temperature swings. It is also smart to carry the best car jump starter in the event your battery does die.
Whether you are in a hurry, distracted or tired, there may be times you forget to turn the headlights off or completely close the trunk. As a result, the battery drains while you are away and, if left long enough, there will not be enough juice left in the battery to start the next time you get in.
Prevention: Take the time to ensure all interior and exterior lights are off and that everything is closed securely. Some newer vehicles also alert the driver when lights are left on, so listen for this warning signal.
Corroded Battery Cables
Another reason a battery may be drained of power is because the car battery cables and/or connections are corroded. When this occurs, the charging system cannot charge the battery when running. Loose battery cables also drain the battery because they cannot transfer the charge efficiently.
Prevention: Check your battery’s cables for signs of dirt or powdery blue or white corrosion. Use a toothbrush or cloth to clean off the connections and cables. If the connections are loose, tighten them.
Batteries age, just as people do, and this causes weakness over time. If you have not changed the battery in awhile and the car is having difficulty starting on a regular basis, it may be time for a new battery.
Prevention: Keep the battery properly maintained to extend the life of the battery. However, replacement is inevitable, and most experts recommend replacing the battery every three to four years.
Keep Your Car Battery Running at Top Performance
There are a number of things you can do to prevent gradual drainage of your vehicle’s battery. Make sure you have it inspected regularly so any potential issues can be fixed.