7 factors that affect your car's battery life expectancy

Jan 04, 2019 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips
Reasons why your car battery fails sooner than expected and the things you can do to prevent it.

Car battery plays a vital role in the overall performance of your vehicle. It is the one responsible for supplying electrical energy to your car. It is the storage of electrical energy that is also used electoral lightning, car’s air-conditioning system, and other car accessories that needs electricity to work.

Normally, a vehicle’s battery can last up to 4 years. But there are important factors that determine the life expectancy of your battery. If you are wondering why your car’s battery fails sooner than expected, it can be because of several factors.

This article from Philkotse.com will highlight 10 factors that affect your car’s battery life. 

1. Battery size

We often think that we can save more by buying a small battery for our car. Small batteries tend to have less cranking amps or reserve capacity. Cranking amp is the measure of the total instant power the battery can put out. If it doesn’t have sufficient reserve capacity, chances are your battery will have a shorter life.

Take note that to start a car’s engine, your battery needs to take up 200 amperes of current flow. This might make you conclude that it will be much better if your car has a more powerful battery, but it doesn’t work like that. It is best to install a battery that will be a perfect fit for your car's engine.

Car Battery

If the car's battery doesn’t have sufficient reserve capacity, chances are your battery will have a shorter life

2. Short trips and cold starts

As what we’ve mentioned before, starting your car requires lots of electric power. But more power is needed when your engine is cold. With the help of the alternator, the car's battery can be recharged in just a few minutes, but the battery’s age and discharged can affect it.

If you have a cold start and you take frequent short trips, then you’re causing more damage to your battery. Short trips take no time for your battery to be recharged since the engine was not able to properly warm up. This can greatly damage the car’s battery and result to failure.

The best solution for this is to avoid short trips in order to save your vehicles fuel consumption.

Man starting the engine

Starting your car requires lots of electric power and more power is needed when your engine is cold.

3. Abnormally cold and hot weather

In areas where there are colder temperatures such as Baguio, the strength of a car’s battery can be affected. This is mainly because colder temperatures slow down the chemical reactions which are responsible for providing power to the car's battery.

Lead batteries, for example, works best in temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Colder temperatures results to frequent cold engine start that leads often lead to serious damage to your car's battery.

Snowing road with cars

Colder temperatures slow down the chemical reactions which are responsible for providing power to the car's battery.

If abnormal cold weather can affect the performance of your car’s battery, abnormal hot weathers have an effect too. It causes the liquid electrolyte in the battery of your car to evaporate. And when this happens, “sulfation” occurs. Sulfation is the process by which the remaining sulfur left from the missing fluid creates a build-up on the lead plate’s interior.

The best thing to do is to avoid using your car during these kinds of weather. This way, you can prolong the life of your car’s battery.

4. Moisture and/or Corrosion

Some electric shorts occur when there is a presence in moisture in the engine bay. This results in corrosion forming on some electrical connectors and battery terminals.

If this happens, it can result in shorts and added resistance which drains your car's battery quickly. This is why a regular inspection and maintenance check-up is necessary. Mechanics can immediately address the problem with your engine and battery, thus preventing and limiting further damage.

>>> Must read: The Best Method on How to Clean Car Battery Terminals

Old car battery

Some electric shorts occur when there is a presence of corrosion and moisture in the engine bay.

5. Heavy Traffic

Heavy traffic can greatly affect the life of your car’s battery by these three things:

  • Excessive use of car accessories such as air conditioning and radio
  • The slow speed of the engine that reduces the speed of alternator thus limiting the charging
  • The hot engine bay conditions that reduce the life of the battery

If you're stuck in non-moving traffic, it is a great idea to have your car a break. But it will be much better if you avoid rush hours and heavy traffic.

Traffic

Heavy traffic can greatly affect the life of your car’s battery

6. Leaving the electric accessories open while parking

One bad driving habit that we usually do is leaving our lights, aircon, or any other electricity-dependent car accessories open when we're parking. This is actually bad for your battery because it drains quicker than normal. So remember that when you’re idling, turn off all the electric dependent accessories in your car.

7. Electrical Problems

Faulty electrical wirings, ground straps that are loose or any other open or current draws can cause your battery to discharge. You can avoid this by simply having a regular maintenance check-up. Regular check-up does not only ensure that you have a preserved battery, but it will also make sure that you’re safe because it prevents unwanted fire.

How to Fix Electrical Problems in Your Car

Paying attention to your car’s batteries, because without it, your car wouldn’t be able to operate properly. No matter how beautiful your car is, if it has a failing battery, your whole ride will be completely ruined and interrupted.

Make a habit to take care of it, not only the interior and exterior of your car but also the parts under the hood. It is the heart of your car. This is where the power comes from for the car to run. 

Checking your car regularly and equip yourself with proper car maintenance tips will bring to you great driving experience. 

Author

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.