Changing Your Car Battery Too Often? What Could You Be Doing Wrong?

Posted on: 17 June 2019

As you undoubtedly know, some parts on your car or truck are only meant to last for a set amount of time and will eventually need to be replaced. You may have recently installed a new battery and may be wondering why this item in particular seems to have a relatively short lifespan. If you're replacing your battery more often than you should, could it be something to do with your approach to maintenance? If so, what are you doing wrong?

Topping up

Firstly, only use distilled water if you need to top up your battery. You may be told that your tap water is safe to drink, but it is not ideal in this situation. Tap water contains a variety of minerals and additives that can cause imperfections within the battery itself. Eventually, this will lead to failure and will certainly cut down on its longevity. Get used to using distilled or demineralised water instead and don't take the risk for the sake of very little cost.

No Maintenance

Of course, you may have bought a battery that is labelled "maintenance free." You may think this absolves you of any responsibility and can just leave the unit to its own devices. However, you should check to see if any corrosion has built up around the terminals and clean it off as necessary, and you should also look at the water discharge rate once per month to ensure this is in line with manufacturer recommendations.

Charging Technique

Have you ever left the lights on by mistake only to return to a dead battery? This is something that everybody does at some stage during their motoring life, and it's not the end of the world, so long as you reconnect the battery to a multistage charger. You can certainly jump start the vehicle and go for a short trip to top everything up, but this is not the best practice. It's better for you to charge the unit properly and make sure that the electrolyte remixes with the battery acid as otherwise, you could shorten its life quite considerably.

Electrical System

Remember, you must keep the other electrical components in your car in good shape if you want the battery to last as long as possible. The alternator, in particular, is meant to power the major components of your vehicle when you're on the road and the battery is only meant to provide a large burst of power when you turn the ignition switch.

Other Issues

If you feel that you are doing your best to look after the battery but it's still not lasting very long, you may have another electrical issue to contend with. Talk with an auto electrical specialist for more information.