How long does a car battery last: 11 habits for useful life

The useful life of a battery cannot be measured precisely, since it depends on its quality and variables such as how it is used and the general condition of the car. If you are wondering how long a car battery lasts, you should know that under normal conditions it can last around 3 years. However, if you acquire the following 11 habits, it is possible that your battery will last up to five years offering excellent performance.

  1. Perform periodic maintenance on the vehicle’s electrical system.
    When something goes wrong with the car’s electrical system, the battery starts to fail as well. Consequently, periodic maintenance is one of the most effective habits for extending the lifespan of this component. For those wondering how to know when to change a car battery, this regularity provides good clues.
  2. Depress the clutch when starting the car.
    When you don’t depress the clutch when starting the car, you force the starter motor to drag some gears in the gearbox. This results in an overexertion that, to be carried out, requires additional energy consumption.
  3. Do not force the starter motor.
    This is a fundamental aspect regarding the lifespan of car batteries. If the car does not start on the first try, do not insist repeatedly as if it were a sport. By doing so, you engage the starter motor, causing wear on its components and, above all, unnecessary battery consumption. If the problem persists after a couple of attempts, the most prudent thing to do is to wait about 20 seconds before trying to start again. If that doesn’t work, you have no choice but to visit a specialized center.
  4. Do not make short trips.
    The alternator starts recharging the battery only minutes after the vehicle has been started. Consequently, the greatest energy expenditure occurs during startup and in the first few minutes of the vehicle’s operation. So leave the car at home and walk when you’re going to make a short trip.
  5. Turn everything off when starting.
    Before starting the car, turn off lights, radio, air conditioning, and other components that use electrical energy to function. That way, the battery will have to exert less effort when starting.
  6. Turn everything off when the engine is not running.
    When you turn off the engine, you should also do the same with the radio, lights, and other electrical components. As you know, these consume energy to the point of completely draining the battery, which contributes to worsening the lifespan of car batteries.
  7. Do not leave the car exposed to the elements for many hours.
    Temperatures below 5°C or above 35°C significantly decrease the lifespan of the battery. Protect your car from this threat.
  8. Periodically clean the terminals.
    A typical sign of how long a car battery lasts is seen on the terminals. In vehicles with several years of use, a white crust often forms on the terminals, affecting the proper distribution of energy and significantly reducing the lifespan of the battery. Remember to set aside time periodically for professional maintenance of your car, so that it checks this among many other details that will keep your car in excellent condition.
  9. Do not leave the car parked for long periods of time.
    Leaving the vehicle stationary for long periods of time tends to completely discharge the battery. This, of course, accelerates its demise. Start your car at least once a month and drive 30 to 40 kilometers on the highway.
  10. Disconnect the battery.
    Disconnect the terminals whenever you are going to leave the car stationary for an extended period of time. This way, you avoid unnecessary energy consumption.
  11. Periodically tighten the battery.
    The interior of a battery is composed of multiple connections and active material that allow the accumulation and distribution of energy throughout the vehicle’s electrical system. Therefore, when it does not have good support to keep it fixed, excess movements and vibrations can completely damage it. Once your battery has been depleted, it is most advisable to go to a specialized palace and buy a replacement one, taking into account the advice that experts provide on the subject. Under no circumstances should you consider repairing it. First, because after opening it, it will never offer the same performance again. Second, because such opening generates pollution. If after incorporating these 11 habits your battery begins to fail, then you will surely understand when it’s time to change a car battery.