About Car Batteries: How Long They Last and When They Typically Die

About Car Batteries: How Long They Last and When They Typically Die

The holiday season is approaching. Do you recall that toy you got as a kid on Christmas morning, and you couldn’t wait to play with it for the first time? You go to play with it and realize the toy is no good because it did not come with batteries. Without the batteries, it is rendered useless.

Now you have a much more expensive toy -- a car. This toy needs a battery too, or else you’re not getting from point A to point B.

The last thing you want to happen is for your car battery to completely die. A car battery can be tricky, but it’s vital to know it and how it operates to get the most out of the battery and your vehicle.


How does a car battery charge? 

A car battery charges as you drive. The longer you drive, the more opportunity it has to charge. This is contrary to what many people might think. 

However, with shorter drives, a car battery doesn’t have a chance to charge. If you frequently drive only short distances, it could prevent your battery from having a long, healthy life. 

Now you don’t need to drive hours every day just to keep the battery in good shape. If your battery does have a low charge and you are not driving far, you are at greater risk of it malfunctioning. In that case, it’s best not to use the heater or the radio on your drive, and bring your vehicle us as soon as possible.

How long does a car battery last?

A car battery’s lifespan will vary on several factors, such as your vehicle’s model and genre. Generally speaking, car batteries can be used efficiently for four and as many as six years without major issues. If you’ve had your battery for six years or longer, you might want to check in with your mechanic to test its charge.

With that said, it’s important you take good care of your car and your car’s battery. Paying attention to the small details can make a big difference in the battery’s life.

How can I help improve my car battery’s life duration?

You will inevitably need a new car battery at some point. When you get your new battery, here are a few tips on how to make it last as long as possible:

  • Keep your car in a neutral temperature setting. Your car battery is built to withstand temperatures from the scorching summer to the chill of winter. However, extreme cold or heat can cause issues. 

Extreme heat can be the cause for battery fluid evaporating, while intense cold can cause the battery to self-discharge. Both can negatively affect the battery’s lifespan and could result in it’s premature death. Keeping your vehicle stored in a garage, especially if it will be idle during the intense weather months, can make a world of difference.

  • Drive your car. This sounds too simple, but leaving a car sitting for months could cause your battery to die. If car batteries charge while being driven long distances, sitting idle for long periods of time can’t be good for the battery life. 

Sometimes this is out of your control, and you have to let a car sit for a while, but ideally, a good rule is to drive your car once a week to help extend the battery life.

  • Invest in a battery maintainer. If you have your car sitting idle during the winter months, the battery could die. Generally, batteries need to be charged every six weeks in order to remain in good condition. If you have a battery charger, be careful not to leave the battery on it for too long, because this could result in overcharging and ultimately result in destroying the battery.

By investing in a battery maintainer, it’s able to monitor the battery voltage and make adjustments as necessary. This will prevent any over or undercharge to the battery.

  • Check for corrosion and clean your battery. Like the rest of your vehicle, you’ll want to keep your car battery clean. Sometimes the battery will get corroded, which will affect its performance. You should take care of this as soon as you notice. 

Frequently check your battery for corrosion, and make a practice of cleaning it. This will give your battery a better chance at an extended life. It is fairly easy to clean the battery with a nonmetallic brush using baking soda and water.

Jody’s Automotive in Elkin and Jonesville

Hopefully, after reading this, you can take these steps to lengthen your car’s battery lifespan. However, even if you do everything right, you will likely still need help with your battery. 

That is why the best thing you can do for your car is to find a trustworthy mechanic, who has a passion for helping drivers care for their vehicles. If you are in Elkin or Jonesville, Jody’s Automotive Repair and Lube Shop is here for you. 

Contact Jody Rushbrook and his crew to have the best mechanics around perform repairs on your beloved vehicle.