Car battery tips


How to maintain and when to replace your car battery

How to Maintain and When to Replace Your Car Battery

When you think about car maintenance, your first thoughts are probably around cleaning, tire safety, and servicing.

Most people forget about the importance of car batteries and don't have a full understanding of how to take care of them, how to make them last, or when it's the right time to replace them.

Your car battery is the heart of almost every core vehicle feature and function, responsible for starting the engine, powering in-car computers, and much more.

Flat or damaged batteries are a leading cause of breakdowns, roadside assistance calls, and car failures. That's why we've put together our top tips on car battery maintenance and replacement.

Read on to learn:

How do I know if I need a new car battery?

With proper care and maintenance, it is possible that your battery will last for five years or more. But, in general, most car batteries will wear down and need replacement within about three to four years.

The good news is that with regular checks and by keeping an eye out for the telltale signs, you'll never be left stranded roadside or unable to turn your car on due to a flat battery.

Dying/damaged car batteries: the telltale signs:

  • A slow starting engine
  • The 'check engine' light is on
  • Dim headlights
  • A bad smell (a damaged battery can leak gas and emit a nasty odor)
  • Corroded connectors (if you notice a white substance on the metal parts of your battery, you probably have a corrosion issue)
  • It's been 3+ years since you replaced the battery

If you're unsure, it's always best to see a car professional or mechanic. They'll be able to quickly and safely test your car battery using a set of electronic testers.

Battery inspection and replacement are quick and affordable processes that can help you avoid annoying breakdowns and damage to your car.

Find a vehicle service option to suit your needs

5 top causes of a flat battery

If you have a flat battery, it is probably due to one of the top 5 causes: user error, old age, charging malfunction, heat, or corrosion.

1. User Error

The most common and most obvious cause of a flat or dead battery is user error. This could be as simple as leaving your headlights on, leaving an interior light on, or leaving your phone on charge. It's easy to do, and while you can use jump leads to kick-start your car, doing this several times can cause permanent damage to your battery.

2. Old Age

The second most common cause of a flat car battery is age. As mentioned, car batteries are not designed to last for decades and will usually need replacement every 3-5 years.

3. Charging Malfunction

On occasion, a dead battery may be due to an issue with the car's charging system. If you see the battery warning light appear while you're driving, it could be a sign that there's a malfunction.

4. Heat

In warmer climates, battery damage or failure can be caused by overheating. Warmer environmental temperatures can speed up the reaction heat between electrolytes and lead plates, leading to battery overheating and failure.

5. Corrosion

Another fairly common cause of a flat car battery is corrosion on your battery terminals. Corrosion appears as a white, ashy substance and is fairly easy to spot. It can reduce the power flow to your car and should be cleaned up or your battery replaced by a professional.

Car batteries are not designed to last for decades and will usually need replacement every 3-5 years.

Keep your battery charged and your car running smoothly

At Jax, we want to keep you on the road without the worry of a flat battery. That's why we stock an extensive range of quality batteries for cars, 4WDs, bikes, and boats. When you book in with a Jax professional, your battery will be thoroughly checked and tested. If it needs to be replaced, we can do it on-site and remove your old battery for recycling at no extra cost.

A flat or damaged car battery is a major inconvenience, but it's quick and easy to fix. It's even better if you can completely prevent a breakdown by booking in for regular check-ups.

Have you had your car battery for 3 years or more? Time to book in a vehicle service at JAX Tyres & Auto!

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