5 Easy Ways to Extend Your Battery's Lifespan This Fall

by Miranda Milillo - Posted 1 month ago

As fall breezes roll in and the mercury in the thermometer drops, nothing is more irritating than abandoning the comfort of your warm bed, only to get to your car and discover your engine doesn't feel like starting. This issue is commonly due to a depleted battery, which becomes increasingly susceptible to power deficiencies as the weather cools, potentially leaving you stuck in the cold.

To tackle this predicament, here are five easy and cost-effective methods to maintain your battery's optimal health until the welcome warmth of spring returns:

1. Make It A Long Drive

Contrary to what you might instinctually believe, frequent short-term usage of your car battery can hasten its depletion, more than it would if used for longer drives. When only used in short periods, your battery doesn't give itself enough time to recharge itself properly. The process of starting your engine places a significant burden on your battery, and if your car is turned back off after a drive of just a few short minutes, the battery doesn't receive sufficient time to recuperate, leading to a rapid discharge.

Therefore, whenever possible, aim to combine your errands into longer trips. These extended driving periods provide your battery with a greater chance to recharge itself. Even if this means going a few extra miles to the second-closest grocery store, the minor increase in fuel costs is nothing compared to the expense of a new battery.

2. Don't Remain Parked Too Long

Despite the many conveniences and cutting-edge technologies of modern vehicles, they come with a host of electronic features that could inadvertently drain your battery. Even when your car is stationary, functions like alarm systems and keyless entry continue to consume a small but steady amount of power, a phenomenon referred to as parasitic drain.

If you plan on leaving your vehicle unused for a long stretch, such as when leaving it at an airport or bus station during a holiday trip, attempt to reduce parasitic drain by disabling as many features as possible. Even if you find yourself inside the comfort of your own home for more than a few days, consider making the trek to your vehicle each day and letting the engine run for roughly 20 minutes. This way, your battery can maintain its regular charging cycle.

3. If The Engine Is Off, The Dashboard Should Be Off

Regardless of the season, leaving your electronics on after turning off your vehicle's engine isn't advisable. The detrimental effects this has on your battery become more pronounced during the colder months. To protect your car battery, always turn off your heater, radio, headlights, and all other electric features when you switch off your engine. If you find yourself in your car for a longer duration, it would be more beneficial for your battery if you simply keep the engine running.

4. Stay Prepared and Keep Your Trunk Equipped

It's undeniable that your vehicle's storage space is valuable, but you should make the most of it during colder months. Before taking off on your Fall drive, stock up on ice scrapers, antifreeze, and - most importantly for your battery - a pair of jumper cables. After all, if you find yourself stranded on a frosty roadside, you can't rely on the first passerby to be as well equipped.

At minimum, make sure each time you leave the house that your phone is charged. Hopefully you're able to jump your car and avoid making a call for a tow, but it's best to keep every available option open.

5. Monitor Your Battery More Frequently

Should your concern over your car battery's health persist this Autumn, you might consider investing in a car battery tester. By monitoring the voltage frequently, you could be alerted to any potential signs of dwindling power. After each check, ensure that the battery is firmly fastened to prevent possible internal harm brought on by vibrations, particularly when you're traveling on uneven terrain. If any corrosion is spotted on or around the battery, carefully clean the terminals using cool water and then dry them completely with a cloth.

With your battery fully charged and ready for the cold months ahead, there's no reason not to get over to Northside Auto Sales and check out our extensive inventory of pre-owned vehicles today!