Press "Enter" to skip to content

How to Maintain a Car Battery

Elements that Can Affect the Performance of Your Car’s Battery

When we talk about what we like about our car, we generally never mention our car’s battery. While it isn’t the most appealing thing about a vehicle, it is undoubtedly one of the most important components to how the car operates. The battery in a car is responsible for making a lot of different components work, such as powering the starter motor to start the engine and powering spark plugs to help fuel ignition. This is why maintaining your car’s battery and knowing what can affect its performance is so important.

Identifying a Faulty Charging System

The car’s alternator is responsible for making sure the battery remains charged. While this component not working at all is an obvious problem, providing too high or too low of a charge to the battery is also cause for concern. If your car’s battery is being over or under charged, there are a number of factors that should be looked at in order to determine the true problem. Mechanical flaws could include a bad circuit, loose connection, or faulty alternator. It could also be something as simple as forgetting to turn your lights off.

Weather Conditions

The weather can also have a profound effect on the way a car battery operates. Extreme temperatures, too hot and too cold, can affect the battery’s internal chemistry and cause it to prematurely fail. “Extreme” may not be as extreme as we may think – temperatures that reach above 100 degrees or below 10 degrees are enough to have a negative impact on the car’s battery. Batteries will naturaly experience sulfation, or a build-up of lead sulfate crystals. Leaving a vehicle out in these extreme temperatures can speed up that process, which can cause a battery to fail before its time.

Numerous Short Drives

How much you drive your car will obviously impact the battery life, but it isn’t so much how many miles you have gone but how you reached those miles. Taking many short trips in a short amount of time will lessen the batteries effectiveness when you attempt to take a longer trip. It is important to keep in mind that every time you turn on the car, the ignition requires a burst of energy from the battery, but it takes some time before the alternator is charged enough to provide power back to the battery. Taking longer trips means better charge support from the alternator and a longer lasting battery.

In addition to tips, Training Wheels Driving School specializes in Behind the Wheel Training for teen drivers. Our Pomona Driving School is one of the top-rated driving schools in South Jersey and we would love to teach your teen the ways of the road! For more information about Training Wheels or to contact us, please click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Mike Mozart via Creative Commons License