Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

How can I prevent my car battery from dying?

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Battery fully discharged

Your battery can discharge simply because it failed. If it has failed internally it will short and lose charge. In this scenario, the battery will need to be replaced. If the battery is fine then the problem is in the...

Q: Need tips on changing my brake pads

Hello. A brake job is not a difficult job for someone who is mechanically inclined. Having the proper tools will also make this job easier. You will need the appropriate sockets and ratchet, a 6” or larger “c” clamp, brake...

Q: How Does a Battery Work With a Car's Electrical System?

One of the most recognized mechanical parts under the hood of any vehicle is the battery. Whether you're an ASE certified master mechanic or have never turned a wrench, everybody can pinpoint the location of their vehicle's battery. Although most...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...