5 things that secretly shorten your car battery lifespan

17/01/2019

If you don't want to spend some extra bucks on a brand-new not-so-reasonably-priced battery, better check out those tips!

Imagine one day your car refuses to start for no apparent reason and this is the 4th times you are late to work! You press your car key multiple times but the engine just sits still. You open the hood and find out your car battery is dead. Now what?

If you don't want that to happen again, better learn the causes so that you'd know how to prevent it in the first place:

Checking a car battery

Be extra cautious with this rather delicate component

1. Inadequate charging

Sometimes the charging system can be a problem. If done improperly, it can shorten the life of the car battery and consequently drain it much faster than usual, sometimes it could die when you're in the middle of nowhere.

The problem could be worse with cars that power their radio, lights and other systems through the alternator. Of course, you can always find a good guy at the roadside to give you a quick boost if you are in luck, but eventually, you have to find a professional to fix the problem altogether. If this had happened to you in the past, go to the nearest auto service and have the battery fixed as soon as possible.

2. Unwanted energy drain

Sometimes, components in your vehicle stay up even when you have turned off the engine, for some reasons. In many cases, this type of drain does no harm to your car battery, just like the way those little batteries that keep your clock or radio operational 24/7. In others, it can exhaust the battery very quickly, especially when there are electrical problems.

Video: Easily Identify Vehicle Battery Draining Problems(Parasitic)

3. Human error 

Here are some things that you certainly have done in your life: You are all drained and exhausted from work, all you want to do after you get home is to lie flat on your bed. You step out of the car without realizing the key is still in there. Your engine just idles overnight and exhaust your car battery. Nowadays, some new models have an alert feature that goes off when you left your engine or lights on, but many others don't.

4. Old car battery

One of the symptoms of old batteries is that it cannot be charged fully or can't be charged at all. In this case, it's probably broken or too old. If you find it hard every time you start the engine, even when you had taken it to the mechanic, maybe it's time to throw it out. Naturally, you should replace an old battery every 4 to 5 years.

a man fixing a car battery

You should replace the battery periodically, ideally every 4 to 5 years

5. Broken alternator diode 

If you don't know it yet, a car's alternator's purpose is to recharge the car battery and power some electrical systems in your car. If the diode inside it is broken, it can drain the battery relatively quickly. A common error is that the diode makes the internal circuit to charge the battery even when the engine is cold, eventually damage your battery.

Dealing with a (seemingly) broken battery can be frustrating. If you are not a mechanic yourself, the first thing you need to do is to take it to a local auto service to have it checked up because figuring out the reason can be tricky and needs an experienced mechanic to tell you if it's due to human error, electrical issues or something else.

>>> Explore more professional car maintenance tips and advice on NaijaCarNews.com!