02 Feb Battery Going Dead or Battery Problems Hillsboro OR
The COVID pandemic has turned many of us into homebodies. Not so long ago we were driving one hundred miles or more per week, but in the wake of COVID, many of us are now working from home while our vehicles sit idle in our driveways. We make a quick trip to the grocery store occasionally, but rarely take her out for a nice long drive.
Unfortunately, the money gained in gas savings could be shortening your car battery’s life.
Using your car mainly for short trips will shorten the lifespan of your battery because your alternator will never have a chance to fully charge the battery.
What’s more, if you have a car that you’re not driving very often, starting it periodically and warming it up for 15 minutes in your driveway could actually be causing more harm than good to your battery, again by not allowing it to fully charge.
Yes, idling will charge the battery, but it will not produce a strong enough current to charge the battery fully. In fact, more power may be expended from the battery while idling than the power required to run all of your car’s systems resulting in a net loss.
Your vehicle draws the most amount of power from the battery when starting. The alternator generates electricity for your electrical systems. It charges those things first before sending the remaining power to recharge your battery.
Putting It All Together
Essentially your battery is there to do one thing only: to start your vehicle. Once the motor is running, the alternator begins generating the current that powers everything else.
Your car uses battery power even when just parked and not running. Your car alarm, memory seat positions, and climate control all draw power passively from the battery.
So be sure to drive your car for 30 minutes at highway speeds once a week in order to keep the battery fully charged.
Car batteries have a limited lifespan, and on average you can expect to get three to five years out of it depending on your driving habits and your geographic location. In cooler climates, batteries normally last up to five years.
However, in warmer climates, it could be as short as three years because the long hot summers can cause the chemical fluid inside the battery to evaporate which will decrease its ability to maintain a charge.
Keep in mind that your driving habits also impact the lifespan of your car battery. Short trips that don’t give your car a chance to warm up and recharge the battery will gradually deplete your battery’s charge, resulting in a shortened lifespan.
It’s also important that the battery is mounted securely. Even if it is only slightly loose, the parts inside may vibrate and become damaged over time which will reduce your battery’s life.
Check Your Battery Today
Stop in today to see your service advisor and have your battery checked out by our experienced technicians. We’ll test to see how much life it has left, clean the connections, and will make sure that your battery is tightly secured. And if a new battery is required, we’ll help you choose the appropriate one for your make and model vehicle to complement your driving habits.