Your car battery is vitally important to the daily function of your car. Not only does it power your navigation, radio, lights, and air conditioning systems; it also starts your car by turning the starter. Though battery problems are often associated with cold weather, Consumer Reports magazine says heat is a bigger enemy of car batteries and will take a bigger toll on performance and reserve capacity.
The magazine recommends that vehicle owners in warmer parts of the country have their car battery tested after two years of ownership and then every year after. Those who live in colder areas can wait four years to test performance and capacity, and then every year after.
The average car battery will last between 4 and 5 years depending on use and maintenance. The biggest enemy of the car battery is corrosion, which is the white buildup that you might find on the battery terminal. It can be easily cleaned with a wire brush at home by turning the car and lights completely off, opening the hood of your car, and brushing the affected terminal like you would a tooth.
You can also use soda – (yes, soda pop) – to remove corrosion. Pour a little over the corroded parts of the battery and let it sit before wiping away the residue with a wet sponge.
Another sure-fire way to extend thee life of your battery is to use it less, or at least not while the car isn’t running. Leaving a phone plugged in, lights on, doors open, or the radio playing while the engine is off can all drain your battery and result in a shorter life of the product.
It is important to have your battery checked at regular intervals and replace it as needed, it would be a shame to get stuck somewhere inconvenient with no way to start the car! We recommend having your battery checked with every other oil change, and only changing your battery at certified Ford dealerships like Beach Ford in Virginia Beach and Barton Ford in Suffolk.