Tips For Longer Battery Life

Mar 1, 2018 10:59 PM - 519 Views

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Check Under the Hood
Before you go shopping, here are a few tips for getting the best battery for your needs.

Be Proactive
Being attentive to your batteries maintenance and mindful when the time for replacement is approaching will ensure you can choose a replacement on your own terms, including properly researching and conveniently scheduling.

Test Batteries Annually
While nearly all of today’s car batteries are maintenance free, we recommend having your battery load tested by a mechanic annually once it is two years old if you live in a warmer climate, or four years old if you live in a colder climate.

A Battery Should Fit Your Car and Driving Needs
When the time comes to buy a replacement battery, make sure you get the right size and terminal locations (or type) for your vehicle. Check your owner's manual or an in-store fitment guide before shopping and see below for the most common sizes.

Choose One That Did Well in Our Battery-Life Test
This is critical if you live in a warmer climate. Frequent high temperatures are very tough on batteries, increasing plate corrosion and more quickly vaporizing the electrolyte that is needed for current. Long life is especially important if you make many short trips that don't allow much time for recharging.

Get One That Did Well in Our Cold-Cranking Amps and Reserve-Capacity Test
These ratings reflect the starting power the battery provides. Most models in our car battery comparison have proven to be at least adequate in both of those tests, but there is performance variation.

Make Sure It’s a Fresh Battery
Batteries lose strength over time, even when in storage. For optimum performance, purchase one no more than six months old. Most have a shipping code on the case. Some use a letter for the month ("A" for January) and a number for the year ("6" for 2016); others use a numeric date.

Recycle Your Old Battery
A battery's toxic lead and acid can easily be recycled, and most retailers will dispose of the old one for you. When buying a new battery, you will likely pay an extra charge that's refunded if you bring in the old battery after installing the new one.

Compare Warranties
It is important to choose a battery with the longest free replacement period you can get. A battery’s warranty is measured in two figures: the free replacement period and the prorated period–which allows only partial reimbursement. The code of 24/84, for example, indicates a free-replacement period of 24 months and a prorated warranty of 84 months. But the amount you'll be reimbursed usually drops off pretty quickly once you're into the prorated period.

Be aware that signs of neglect–such as low-water levels and improper installation–can void a warranty. So can use of heavy-duty applications such as high-end car audio and marine applications if the battery is not recommended for them. Most folks never look at the battery until they have a problem Willie Moore

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