How to properly maintain your car battery?

The average lifespan of a car battery is four to five years.
A charge level below 11 volts necessarily means that you must change your battery.
It is not recommended to start too frequently or stop too short if you do not want it to discharge too quickly.

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The car battery has an average lifespan of four to five years. However, in the event of heavy demands, this period can be significantly reduced. Although this average is generally reliable, the battery still requires maintenance and should be checked periodically to avoid breakdowns. To preserve its condition, it is necessary to take care of it!

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Batteries with and without maintenance

The battery is an essential element of your vehicle. In fact, it is this which supplies the car with the current generated by the alternator. So, without a battery, it is impossible to start. Today, some vehicles are equipped with so-called “maintenance-free” batteries, which do not allow the level of electrolyte, that is to say the electrically conductive liquid found inside, to be checked. But if you have an older generation battery, you can check it from time to time and top up the electrolyte level if necessary by adding demineralized water. If the level is insufficient, the battery will start to discharge.

If you have a maintenance-free battery, it is however necessary to check the tightness and clean the terminals, using sandpaper for example. These tend to become clogged or even rust, preventing current from passing correctly to the cables.

Maintain the charge level

In addition to the electrolyte level, it is important to regularly check the battery charge to avoid breaking down, using a multimeter which measures its voltage. To check the level, you must set it to “voltmeter” mode, position the red cable on the positive terminal of the battery and the black on the negative terminal. If the indicated voltage is between 12.5 and 12.7 volts, the battery is in good condition. Otherwise, recharge it.

Note that a charge level below 11 volts necessarily means that it must be changed. Also, a battery in good condition is fully recharged after half an hour of driving. If after this period of time, the engine still has difficulty restarting, it is because the battery is no longer charging properly.

What are the factors that lead to battery drain?

In some cases, your battery may drain more quickly. As listed on the site Turbo, leaving your vehicle stationary for too long can cause it to unload. Likewise, if you regularly start too frequently or stop too short, since the battery will not have enough time to recharge. Also, despite yourself, excessive temperature differences can damage the lifespan of your battery. In cold weather, such as during extreme heat in summer, it discharges more quickly.


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