The car battery is one of the most important parts of your car. Without it, you won’t go anywhere. Your battery will eventually let you down and leave you stranded if you don’t take care of it. There are a lot of things that can cause your battery to fail, and many of them are gradual and easy to miss. So, you need to check your battery regularly.
Most manufacturers recommend that you get your battery tested at least twice per year. In areas with cold winters, you should test your car battery in late fall and again in late spring. Since extreme hot and cold weather are the most common things that wear your car battery down. A car battery typically lasts about four and a half years in the US, and most experts recommend that you replace yours every four-to-five years.
Hot weather causes battery acid to evaporate slowly, which eventually lowers the amount of acid in the battery, which causes it to stop taking a full charge and keeps it from producing as much power as it should. It can also cause battery corrosion on your posts and cables.
Cold weather makes a car battery work harder to start your car or truck’s engine. Plus, the cold slows the chemical reaction in your battery and causes it to lose voltage. A low battery can freeze easily in low temperatures, and will need to be replaced once it’s frozen. Keep your car in a heated space during the winter if you can.
Testing your own car battery
There are a few different kinds of battery tester you can use to test your car battery at home. The best ones are those that put a load on the battery and tell you how much cranking power it is putting out. For older batteries with removable caps, you can use a ball or dial tester to see if your acid is low.
Check your battery regularly for leaks and corrosion by taking it out of the car and inspecting it.