The two main reasons for shortened battery life are:
- Excessive heat - Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery.
- Overcharging - A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, resulting in a slow battery death.
To get the most out of your battery:
- Have your battery and its connections checked at every oil change.
- Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate. Overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging.
- Always have the battery replaced with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified.
- Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.
Batteries do not always give warning signs before they fail. If your battery is more than three years old, it is probably wise to have it replaced. Your car care provider can determine the health of your battery so you know how much life it has left.