How To Extend The Life Of Your Battery

Many of our customers at Eureka Brake & Automotive have two concerns when it comes to the life of their battery.

First, how do I know if my battery needs to be replaced?

If your battery is dying and you need a jump-start, it could very well be that you have a bad battery. Humboldt County drivers should have Eureka Brake & Automotive test the battery first to see if it’s actually bad. The problem could indicate the battery is bad or they might find that a parasitic drain is the culprit. A parasitic drain can occur when something electrical within the vehicle continues to run even when the engine is shut off. Since the vehicle is not running, the battery is unable to continuously recharge and keep up with the parasitic drain.

But we don’t stop there! The technicians at Eureka Brake will also check the alternator to make sure it is properly recharging the battery. They check the battery terminals and cables for corrosion or loose connections and any belts that could be worn or slipping that are associated with your vehicle’s charging system.

Many times when a vehicle doesn’t start it’s easy to assume it’s the battery or the alternator. Even the friendly tow truck driver might be tempted to offer his opinion as to what part is causing the problem. But, as you can see, a dead battery can be a result of several events so check with your service advisor first and have the starting and charging system inspected before wasting money replacing parts that are not causing the real problem.

The second question Eureka drivers ask is,

How do I extend the life of my battery?

This is a great question because extending the life of your battery means you are saving money and who doesn’t want to do that. Right!?

Most batteries will last anywhere from 4 to 7 years depending on the manufacturer and the useage. Eureka Brake & Automotive techs choose Interstate Batteries for our customers as they are dependable, long lasting and have a replacement warranty for the life of the battery, typically 75 to 85 months. At Eureka Brake we also offer an added bonus of free installation for batteries covered by this warranty.

Each time you start your vehicle the battery is discharged to start the engine. While the vehicle is running, the alternator recharges the battery but it needs time. Making short trips and then stopping and restarting the vehicle does not allow enough time for the battery to fully recharge. A constant drain on the battery can shorten the life and potentially leave you stranded or in need of a jump start. If you have to make a few quick trips in one day you should be fine but ideally your battery needs about 15 minutes or more of drive time. Longer if the battery is very low on charge.

Another factor in shortening the life of the battery is sitting for weeks at a time. Vehicle’s are meant to be driven and many components can go bad when a vehicle is allowed to sit for very long. Your battery is no exception. Our vehicle experts at, Eureka Brake & Automotive, recommend driving your car for at least 10 to 15 minutes every 3 to 5 days to prolong the vehicle's battery life, especially if the battery is over 3 years old.

So, to extend the life of your battery remember to drive your car for 10 to 15 minutes every few days and avoid making multiple short trips that requires you to stop and start the vehicle without giving the battery a chance to recharge in between starts.

And a final note, have the auto pros at Eureka Brake & Automotive perform regular maintenance checks to determine if your battery is nearing replacement time. Our Ultimate Service Special is a great service to keep up on the overall health of your vehicle including your battery.