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Q: How Can I Prevent My Car Battery From Dying?

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How can I prevent my car battery from dying?

A: The battery has a limited lifespan of betwe...

The battery has a limited lifespan of between two and five years. A battery life can be shortened by lack of maintenance, leaving lights on and causing a discharge, charging system problems, or defective cables. A battery is made up of a plastic box, lead positive and negative plates or grids, separator plates and liquid called electrolyte. All this put together makes a battery. The lead in a battery will become sulfated, meaning it will become useless after it has produced voltage for you to use to power your vehicle. Some will be suspended in the electrolyte and redeposited back on the plates while charging the battery. For the most part, the battery will last as long as the lead plates last without touching each other or falling apart. As the plates are used up, the battery capacity is diminished until it cannot produce enough power to be used for your automotive needs.

Now, as you use the battery, a buildup of electrolysis-caused corrosion will start to build on the battery cables and connections of the battery. As this buildup grows, the battery will have to use more of its power to get through it to supply the needed power for you automotive needs. If the connections are not serviced on a regular basis the battery lifespan will be shortened. I have seen batteries last twice as long when they are regularly serviced and cleaned. Cleaning the battery cables and battery will help prevent no crank conditions, excessive starter stress, and issues with alternator failures. An alternator’s main cause of failure is due to weak and bad batteries and it’s connections. A lot of computer component failures can be related back to a battery failure.

Now you can see that keeping up on your battery services and replacements can help not only extending the lifespan of the battery, but to extend the life of a lot of other vehicle components as well. Remember a battery will not last more than two to five years, so if you have not had a replacement recently then look at getting a new battery installed or your old one serviced.

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