There can be few other noises dreaded by motorists than the sound of the engine failing to start. In many cases, this tends to be a flat, damaged, or weakened battery. Unfortunately, what most of us tend to forget is that car batteries have a finite lifespan, and the average car battery life expectancy is around three to four years. Bearing that in mind, you should be checking your battery every three years to make sure it’s providing enough charge to run your car.

There are certain things that will shorten that figure. Hot weather, or example, can evaporate the water in a car battery which in turn causes the battery to degrade. Similarly, cold weather can negatively impact on car battery life, causing it to lose up to 60% of its energy. When you consider that a car requires around 80% of a battery’s energy just to start, it’s easy to see where problems can begin.

There are certain habits you can get into to help improve your car battery lifetime or, at the very least, help you get the most from it for as long as possible.

Avoid only taking short trips

Think of your car battery and engine as muscles. They need regular, lengthy workouts to function properly and keep them performing their best. Each time you start your car, there is a huge discharge of energy from the battery to the engine. However, as you drive your car, that energy is replaced as the battery slowly recharges.

Short journeys might be convenient, but they also don’t top the battery up as much as it needs. The amount of energy that has been expended isn’t fully replaced. If you constantly take short trips, those levels become incrementally lower and lower until eventually, there won’t be enough to start the vehicle.

While short trips are often necessary, you might want to consider whether all the ones you make are absolutely essential or whether there are other options open to you.

Lockdown blues

During the current pandemic, it’s not unusual for cars to be parked up for prolonged periods of time. While it might be tempting to think that the battery will be fine, at Al-Futtaim Auto Centers we’ve found that the number of battery problems our customers are experiencing has increased. Remember that if your battery is unused for more than a few weeks then it will need checking to ensure the charge hasn’t dissipated over time. The best way to avoid any lockdown battery issues is to start your car up once a week and let it run for a few minutes. If you are still experiencing battery problems once the lockdown is lifted then contact us online and arrange for one of our mobile units to come out and check your battery thoroughly.

Keep your car battery secure

If the nuts and bolts keeping your battery in place become lose, this can lead to excessive vibration when the car is moving. This movement can damage the battery’s internal components and reduce car battery life. Checking regularly to tighten loose nuts and bolts can help to stave off unnecessary deterioration. However, be sure not to overtighten them, as this can also negatively impact on your car battery life expectancy.

Don’t ignore that ‘battery light’ on your dash

If your battery light comes on, it means that there is an issue with your car battery. For example, the charge may have dropped below normal operating levels. Don’t ignore that light – book online for a battery check straight away and one of our expert technicians will visit you to make sure your battery is safe to continue using or replace it for you.

Turn everything off

Many modern cars are built with integrated electronics such as alarm systems and motion sensors which cannot be turned off. While these do use battery power to remain on, they’re not a huge threat to your car battery life. However, most of us have been guilty of leaving lights on, both interior and exterior, at one time or another.

Getting into the habit of ensuring that all unnecessary gadgets, lights and systems are switched off will take the strain off your battery.

Keep driving

Car engines and batteries were made to be used. Long periods of inactivity can result in power drains from onboard computers and even cause lasting damage to the battery. The average car battery can remain inactive only for around two weeks, before it starts to drain. It's worth giving your vehicle a run for at least half an hour, once every ten days, to recharge the battery and replace any energy lost.

A full service

Having a car battery life test and service is the best way to get the most from your car’s beating heart. At Al Futtaim Fastfit, we run thorough battery health checks for our customers every day. In the event that your battery has reached the end of its life, we can even replace it and dispose of the old one for you.