Gone are those days when cars were majorly reliant on mechanical components. The modern day cars are full to the brim with electronic and electrical components. Headlights, Horns, AC’s, Infotainment Systems, Fuel Injectors, ECU’s, starter motors etc. all run on electricity and need a power source. The only source present in your car for powering all these numerous components is your car battery. If it isn’t in proper health, there is a 90% chance your car won’t even be able to start. So let’s take a look at some simple tips that will help you prolong your car battery life and keep the car healthy and running.
The battery generates electric power with the help of a continuous chemical reaction within it. The commonly used inside materials are lead and acid. The presence of acid can lead to greenish deposits accumulating over the terminals. This is corrosion and it interferes with the connection between the battery and the terminals. If too much corrosion accumulates, it destroys the terminals after which the entire battery needs to be replaced.
To avoid build-up of this corrosion, you simply need to keep wiping it off every week. If the corrosion accumulated is too much, just pour a mixture of baking soda and water over it to dissolve off all the corrosion. Then simply wipe off the residue with a cloth or maybe a sponge. Let the terminals dry off for a while, apply some petroleum jelly to the shield them from corrosion. This is the most effective measure that will help to preserve your car battery life.
The battery should always be tightly secured in its mounting location. If it’s shaking and jostling around within the engine bay, it could lead to a short circuit. Not only can this cause the battery to die off, it can also cause damage to the car’s electricals. This could be particularly dangerous if you are inside the car at that moment. The same logic applies for the connector cables too. If they aren’t connected properly, the same problems will follow.
Your car has a device known as the alternator which uses the rotation of the engine to charge up the battery. But the alternator only works when the engine is rotating, i.e. the car is turned on. When the car’s ignition is not turned on and the other electronics like the headlights or music systems are on, the battery is bearing the entire load. This adversely affects your car battery life negatively as it can’t take this kind of prolonged load without the alternator’s compensation. Its primary use is for smaller loads like the spark plug or the ECU. So be sure to operate components like the headlights only after the ignition is turned on.
Even if your car is turned off, the battery is always draining slowly since its terminals are connected and the circuit path is complete. If you intend to go out of town and leave your car parked for a long time, it is best recommended to disconnect the battery terminals. This slow discharge without usage of the car eats into your car battery life. Apart from that it will also save you the trouble of having to push start your car when you return.
Car batteries require distilled water to keep the acid inside at a diluted level. After continuous reaction this water gets used up after a while. When the water level is too low, this causes the acid to become concentrate. This begins to cause corrosion from the inside which will really impact your car battery life. So keep an eye on the water level in the battery every a few weeks and top it up whenever necessary.
More powerful headlamps are actually pretty helpful if you are constantly driving during the night. However, they are usually of a different wattage rating than your stock headlamps. This again puts more load on the battery than what it can actually handle. If you intend on getting aftermarket headlamps, ensure that the wattage rating is the same. But in case you opt for a higher wattage rating, be sure to install an appropriate relay as well to moderate the excess load.