Most people wait until their car battery dies before they decide to replace it. But you can help prevent that headache and inconvenience by following these tips to avoid a dead battery:
1. Know Your Car battery’s Age: Most cars require 12-volt batteries that last from three to five years. Hopefully, you kept the receipt or noted the date when you bought your current battery. In some cases, the manufacturer places an easy-to-remove plastic cover over the battery. If you’re lucky, you will see a simple circular sticker on the battery with the date.
2. Look for the warning of a dying battery: You might notice that when you turn the ignition key, the engine cranks slowly. Or, you can turn on the headlights when the engine isn’t running and if the headlights look dim, the battery could be on its last legs.
3. Get a free Battery Test: Most chain auto parts stores will test the battery for free.
4. Replace Your Battery Before It Leaves You Stranded: If your battery fails the free test, or it is cranking slowly, replace it.
5. Maintain Your Battery: Do a visual inspection to check for corrosion around the battery terminals. Look for a chalky white substance that might affect proper electrical conduction. Clean the terminal with a wire brush and coat it with grease before reconnecting the battery.