How to Make Your Car Battery Last Longer

March 24, 2021 | Deena Grabowski

Parked car next to a checklist held by CAA technician indicating a fully charged battery

When we think about the things we just can’t live without, car batteries don’t normally come to mind! But if you stop to consider that small black box under the hood for a moment, you’ll realize it’s actually your ticket to freedom! Your car battery supplies the power that starts your engine. Without it, your car is stuck where you last parked it.

Car batteries last, on average, 3 to 5 years. Depending on certain conditions, like weather and how you drive your car, some batteries can last up to 6 years! So how can you help your car battery last longer? Try these 5 tips:

Have Your Car Battery Tested Twice A Year

We recommend you leave this to the professionals! Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can cause severe skin burns, difficulties breathing if inhaled, blindness, and even explosions. For that reason, your CAA Mobile Battery Technician will come to safely test your battery to determine if it is fully charged and in good condition. We recommend having your battery tested at least twice a year to avoid getting stranded.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Nothing kills a car battery faster than extreme hot or cold temperatures. High heat can cause the fluid (battery acid) to evaporate, which decreases the lifespan of your battery. On the other hand, freezing temperatures will cause the battery to discharge, which leads to a dead battery. If the battery acid freezes, the case can be damaged. Therefore, during extreme temperatures, try to park your car in a garage or carport to offer protection from the elements.

Keep Your Battery Terminals Clean

Over time, car batteries will develop a white, blue or green powdery build up on the metal terminals. This corrosion interferes with your battery’s ability to do its job. To help your battery last longer, cleaning the terminals should be part of your routine maintenance. Make sure your car is cool. Wear safety goggles, work gloves and a protective apron. Then, scrub the terminals using a toothbrush dipped in a baking soda and water mixture to loosen the corrosion. Spray the terminals with cold water to rinse, and dry with a clean cloth.

Go For a Long Drive or Purchase a Battery Tender

Quick trips in the car prevent your battery from fully charging and contribute to shortening its life. Driving longer distances helps to maintain your car battery’s power. If your lifestyle does not allow for frequent longer drives, or your car stays parked for long periods of time, consider purchasing a trickle charger such as a Battery Tender. This small device plugs into a standard AC outlet and transfers a “trickle” of power to your car battery to keep it operational over long periods of inactivity. You can purchase a Battery Tender from your CAA Club by calling *222.

Turn Off All Lights When You Finish Driving

The most common reason for a dead battery is from lights being left on in your car. Your headlights, along with lights from your trunk, glove box, door, or other interior lights can take a heavy toll on your battery. Power loss from your lights, known as parasitic drains, will slowly drain the power from your battery until it won’t start. Although the battery can sometimes be restarted with a jump, parasitic drains shorten
battery life.

Using these steps, you can help get the most life out of your car battery. However, sometimes, despite our best efforts, a car battery may still die. Should that happen, CAA will come to you to deliver and install a new battery. Whether at your home, office, or a parking lot, CAA Mobile Battery Service is here for you when you need us. 

To request service, download the CAA Mobile App, call *222, or request service online.

Tags: CAA Battery

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