When you turn the key to start your car and it doesn't start due to a dead battery, it can be an extremely frustrating experience. This often happens at the worst time, such as in the morning when you are already late for work, or late in the evening when you have a car full of groceries. To prevent this, there are some ways to prolong the life of your car battery so it starts every time.
Keep Driving the Vehicle
It is important that you continue driving your car on a regular basis. It may seem that the less you drive, the more juice you are saving, but the opposite is actually true. When your vehicle sits in the same spot for a long time, the charge in the battery starts to gradually go down. When you start the car and begin driving it, the battery slowly begins to charge. Even if you have a car that is only required every once in a while, make a point to drive it at least every few days or so to keep the battery charged.
Don't Leave the Battery Exposed to Extreme Temperatures
Car batteries are not meant to withstand extreme hot or cold temperatures for extended periods of time. When the temperature gets extremely high or low, you need to provide it with insulation. There are car battery insulation kits sold at auto supply stores that are very useful. These are thermal-resistant sleeves that fit over the battery, letting it vent but also protecting it from the temperature changes.
Turn the Car's Radio On After Starting It
If you wait until the car is turned on before turning on your radio, then you are allowing the battery to continue charging while using the electronics. However, if you continue using the radio when the car's engine is turned off, you are slowly using the juice in the battery. While doing this every once in a while won't give you a dead battery, it could eventually lead to this if you make a habit of it. A good way to avoid doing this is by making a habit of turning off the radio completely before turning off the engine. Also do this with other electronics, such as the built-in GPS system.
Get the Engine Inspected
Your vehicle and its engine should be inspected and serviced on a routine basis, just like getting a tune-up and oil change. When the engine is in good condition, the battery holds on to its long lifespan. If you have major engine troubles, it could start killing the battery much faster.
I've been running an auto service shop for the past 30 years. The trends in cars have changed a lot over that time, and cars are becoming a lot more complicated and automated. People can't fix many items on their own cars any more as you need a computer to diagnose most issues. People use their cars a lot more these days as we live further away from workplaces and schools so it's important for me to be able to get cars back quickly. I have had to keep learning about how the new cars run and I keep a lot of hints on this site so you can all learn the things you can do to make your cars run better.