Ask the Automotive Maintenance Repair Expert – Jamie Senior
DEEPLY DEPLETING YOUR BATTERY: How To Increase Your Car Battery LifeSpan: Tips & Tricks
Your car battery has many demands placed on it — it needs to provide a lot of power to start your engine and then to power all the electrical systems plus things like seat heaters and stereos, on top of having to charge all of our gadgets like cell phones, computers and more.
On short trips, your car alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge your battery, leaving it with only a partial charge. The uncharged parts of the lead plates in your battery “die” after a period of time and can never again retain a charge. This is why 70% of batteries don’t make it past 48 months.
One mistake to avoid is deeply depleting your battery, or running it down to almost nothing. Things like running your headlights or watching a DVD without the engine running take the charge in your battery down very low, and it may take weeks of normal city driving to get the level of charge back up to a normal range. During that time, the uncharged parts of the lead plates are dying. A car battery can only take about 10 of these deep depletion cycles before the battery is no good – so you can see how even once can take a big toll!