Most drivers in Burleson don’t know much about their car battery other than that when the ignition starts to tick, it might be time to get it checked and consider installing a new one. But there’s a lot more to know about car battery maintenance, including how to keep your battery healthy and make it last longer.
Let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about car battery maintenance to help you get a better understanding of how batteries work.
What does my car battery do?
Your car battery’s main purpose is to provide the initial electricity to the ignition system that starts your car. Once the car is running, it provides backup power to the onboard accessories, such as the air conditioning, infotainment system, and windshield wipers.
How does my battery stay charged?
While you drive, the alternator keeps the battery charged and powers the onboard accessories. The alternator can provide more electricity as engine RPM increases. This is why after jump-starting a car, you should drive it around for a while instead of letting it idle.
Why does my battery drain while idling?
Because the alternator relies on the engine to power it, it is usually not powerful enough to supply power to many onboard accessories while the car is idling at low RPMs. In these situations, the battery acts as the backup power to the accessories, draining it over time.
How long does my car battery last?
Generally, you should expect your car battery to last between 3-5 years. That said, the exact mileage will vary depending on how and where you drive. In cold climates up north, car batteries have a shorter lifespan may need to be replaced every 2 years. In hotter states like here in Texas, your Toyota 4Runner’s battery can last 5-6 years.
What are the signs of a dying battery?
There are many signs your car battery may be dying. If your engine struggles to start, you notice obvious electrical problems, or the interior and exterior lights are dim, these are all signs that point to a failing battery. Other signs include corroded connectors, a warped battery casing, or simply that the battery is out of date.
Can I charge a dead battery?
If your car battery is dead or doesn’t have sufficient electrical charge to start your car, you may charge it using an external power source. The more depleted the battery is, the longer it will take to charge — at least 24 hours for a completely dead battery.
Is my problem with the battery or the alternator?
If you are able to jump-start your car, but it struggles to start on its own, then your problem is most likely with the battery. If your engine starts but then stops on its own, this indicates the alternator is likely failing to keep the battery charged.
How can I make my battery last longer?
Fully draining the battery can significantly shorten its lifespan, so the best way to keep your battery in good health is to drive your car often. If you’re unable to drive for an extended period, try asking a friend or neighbor to do it for you by lending them your car. They’ll probably enjoy getting behind the wheel of your Toyota Avalon! Another way to extend your car’s battery life is to park it in a garage, which can help reduce the negative impact of cold temperatures on the battery’s electrolytes.
Why do car batteries expire?
Even if you take good care of your battery, it will inevitably expire for a variety of reasons. Parasitic drain, corrosion, excessive heat, excessive cold, low electrolyte levels, old age, and the simple wear-and-tear that comes from being mounted inside a moving, bumpy vehicle all take a toll on batteries.
It’s important to get your battery tested regularly. If you’re struggling to start your car or suspect you are experiencing car battery issues, schedule a service appointment at Family Toyota of Burleson, Texas, and our technicians will find a solution.