Archive for November, 2012

5 Tips for Prolonging Your Vehicle’s Battery Life

A car’s battery is like its heartbeat; nothing works if the battery doesn’t.  Minding a few simple battery maintenance tips can prolong the life of this important vehicle component, and may save you from being stranded in a parking lot with a dead battery.  An average car battery lasts three to five years, and here are five tips for making yours last to its full potential.

1. Keep it clean:  Every few months, clean your battery terminals with a solution of baking soda and water.  Your battery terminals are what transfer energy from the battery to your car, and any crust buildup on these components can dampen the connection.  It’s also recommended to keep the car battery case clean.

2. Keep it secure:   A battery that is not securely installed can vibrate while your vehicle runs, causing loose connections and battery failure.  Be sure you have the properly sized battery for your vehicle and that it is installed in accordance with your manufacturer’s recommendations.

3. Disconnect when not in use:  If you won’t be driving your vehicle for more than two weeks, disconnect your battery to prevent a gradual loss of charge.

4. Avoid draining:  Everyone is guilty of leaving on headlights or an interior light from time to time and draining the battery, but it’s best to be mindful as frequent drainings can reduce the overall life of your car battery.  Be sure to do a quick check each time you leave your vehicle to make sure everything is turned off.

5. Limit short trips:  A car’s alternator automatically charges the battery while the car is being driven, but the car must be on for at least 20 minutes to fully recharge.  Thus, if you make a lot of short trips, your battery will often be below the ideal charged specification.  Frequent repetition of this cycle will shorten the life of your battery.

If you would like to get your battery checked out at no charge, visit Rogers’ Service Center in Chicago at 2720 S Michigan Ave.

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