Car batteries are the most known car part that requires a replacement approximately every two years, yet many do not know much about what makes them work. Let us share some battery facts and tips you must know as a car owner.
Types of car batteries
Wet or Dry cell
Contrary to popular belief, all batteries actually have wet cells in them. The differentiating point is whether the battery requires maintenance or is maintenance-free.
Although maintenance-free car batteries do not require the occasional top-up of electrolyte water (which conventional maintenance batteries do), owners will still need to regularly check the terminals for corrosive build-up. The only downside to it is that it does not last as long as conventional maintenance batteries.
Gel cell & AGM
While the standard battery in your everyday car lasts about two years, there are two other types of car batteries that can last up to five years. These batteries are known as Gel Cell and Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries. With these types, they hold their charge better, don’t degrade as easily, and even hold up better in storage. Do note that all these benefits come with a price as they cost twice as much or more than the common wet cell batteries.
Car battery tips
Park indoors more frequently
As Malaysia’s climate is warmer, the batteries in our cars last half as long compared to batteries in cooler temperatures. Why? Heat reduces the lifespan of a car battery by accelerating the chemical reactions within a battery, increasing internal discharge. So to improve the lifespan of your car battery, park indoors more often.
Unplug your battery if you’ll be away on holiday
Have you once gone on a trip only to return to a car that won’t start? We’ve been there too. Next time before you go on holiday, just unplug the negative terminal (black cable cover) on the car battery. If you’re worried about your car alarm and security that will be disabled after you unplug the battery, you could also get your neighbor to start it for you every alternate day.
You can’t recharge flat car batteries!
Many drivers think that car batteries that have gone flat can be recharged by driving around. This isn’t true. In fact, continuous undercharging will lower the capacity of the battery over time and also shorten its lifespan. The only way to restore a flat battery’s charge properly is to use an appropriate multi-stage charger. If you’re not using your car frequently, at least start it every alternate day, or drive around the block once a week.
Keeping your battery at its optimum health
Although there are no easy ways to know when a car battery will go flat, there are warning signs that owners can look out for. If a car takes longer to start than usual, if the clock and preset radio stations in your car reset by itself, then these signs indicate a weak battery that needs to be replaced.
Keeping an optimum battery charge and your car in tip-top condition will not only ensure that you have a smooth drive but can also yield a better price when you decide to sell your car. When it’s time for that, you can sell to Carsome, where we’ll give you the best value!
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