From the newest and shiniest sports car to the oldest and rustiest pickup truck, every vehicle relies on some sort of battery to get it started and keep it running. The technology behind those batteries may differ, but the basic concept is still the same. And when your battery stops working, so does your vehicle.
Buying a new battery can be expensive, and having it installed can be a hassle. That is why it is so important to take good care of the battery you can. From the way you drive to how you care for your car, your everyday actions can extend the useful life of your battery, saving you money, time and hassle. Here are some tips for making your car battery last longer.
Turn Your Lights Off
The lights on your car use up a lot of battery power, and leaving the headlights on can quickly drain your battery. Even a half hour of headlight use with the engine off could be enough to damage the battery and prevent your car from starting, so check and double check, the lights every time you get out of the vehicle.
If your vehicle is equipped with automatic headlights that stay on for a few minutes after the engine is turned off, make it a habit to return to the car and make sure the headlights have gone out. It may take a few extra steps, but it could save your battery and extend its useful life.
Make Sure Your Doors are Closed
When you open your car door, a tiny light comes on to make entry easier. If you park your car and fail to close the door the whole way, those lights will stay on, slowly draining your battery all night long.
Even if you think your doors are fully closed, double check them to make sure. It never hurts to check your doors a second time, especially if you want to extend the life of your battery and avoid an unnecessary replacement.
Avoid Running the Accessories with the Engine Off
You can use your battery power to run the radio, charge your smartphone or check your makeup in the lighted mirror, but that does not mean you should. Running the auxiliary accessories without the engine on can be hard on your battery, especially if the battery is already in a weakened state.
That does not mean you cannot listen to the radio for a minute or two while you wait for your companion at the grocery store, but it is important to limit the amount of time you spend. Your battery, and your wallet, will thank you.