You might not think much about all that your car battery does for you until that cursed day when it stops working. A battery failure can leave you stranded on the side of the road, wondering why you didn’t do better battery checks and maintenance all along on your vehicle. If you want to avoid the typical faltering battery breakdown on the side of the road, and extend the life of your car battery, pay attention to these 5 amazing hacks.

1. Clean Those Terminals

If you’re a novice, that’s okay, but if you know a little bit about batteries, you can clean your battery terminals yourself with an equal parts water and baking soda solution. Disconnect the terminals, grab a toothbrush, and scrub away when you notice those terminals becoming contaminated with grime. Two tablespoons of baking soda and water should form a sturdy past to scrub.

2. Pay Attention to Temperatures

Extreme cold or hot weather will take a toll on a battery’s lifespan. If you want to preserve your battery, make sure to do hot and cold weather checks to be sure it’s in good enough shape to drive in hot and cold weather. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures during winter and summer, make sure to do regular battery checks. Winterizing your car is a good idea.

3. Monitor Accessories

Those pleasant accessories, like the radio and heat warmers can really drain a car’s battery when you start the car with all accessories firing. Make sure all accessories are off before starting the car, and try your best not to run the radio when the car is off. It can really take a toll on that battery.

4. Drive long distances sometimes

A car’s battery is a tricky tool. Some people only drive their vehicles short distances, believing that your vehicle will last longer that way. At least one part of your vehicle doesn’t agree, though: your car battery. When you drive a car 8 hours straight, your battery fully charges. Regularly driving only short distances can cause your car battery to wear down more quickly. If you have the opportunity to take that fun road trip, just know that the long distance will be good for your car battery. It gets a real workout and charges.

5. Regular maintenance

Battery checks at an automotive quick or full service stop will help you monitor your battery’s performance. Short stop places will check your battery for you during your visit and give you an idea of how well your battery is functioning. A full service place will do a full battery test if you ask them, too, and this can sometimes help you pick up battery issues before that annoying breakdown. Whatever you do, make sure you have your battery routinely maintenanced.

Conclusion

All of these hacks will help your car battery stay healthier and live longer, something that every car owner wants. Don’t just ignore that battery and take it for granted. Clean it, maintenance it, and give it a workout sometimes in the form of a long drive. As you pay more attention to the health of your battery, you’ll find that you don’t have those catastrophic breakdowns on the side of the road anymore, at least not because of your battery.

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