7 Causes why your car battery fails prematurely

Oct 19, 2018

Why Did My Car Battery Fail So Early?

One of the worst things that could ever happen to a car owner and his or her passengers is their car breaking down in the middle of a journey somewhere. Such a party pooper – when you think that everyone can finally have some fun under the sun then out of the blue your car stops running. 

Lucky if you are in a place where you can ask for help, but what if your car broke down in the middle of nowhere? Like along SCTEX where the next stop is so far away? Oh, God. It scares me just to think of it.

a car on the road

Breaking down in the middle of nowhere can be one of the scariest experiences in anyone's driving life

One of the most important things you might want to check regularly is your car battery. It’s not always the engine that causes car breakdowns. It could also be that your car battery, for some reason, decided to die out on you. When it does, you should be ready with a spare one so you can go along right away or at least be ready with a number to call for rescue and replacement battery.

Maybe you’re thinking, “I just bought this battery a year and a half ago, I am expecting this to last longer!” Yes, the battery should have a lifespan of two years or more, depending on how you use the vehicle. But then, at such a young age it died out on you. What could be the reason?

Don’t worry, we at Philkotse.com would want you to be aware of what causes premature battery failure so you could do some precautions and prolong the lifespan of your car battery.

Let’s admit that the price of a car battery isn’t a small deal – it could, in fact, cost you a few thousand pesos. Yes, it may sound just a little amount for some, but for those who are working and has a limited monthly budget, a sudden battery failure takes a huge blow in their pockets and savings.

Given this, it is important for us to know what causes premature battery failure so we can do something to avoid it.

1. Short trips that you could’ve traveled by walking

I admit that most of the time I’m lazy. Lazy with everything especially walking. And apparently, I’m not the only one. There are car owners who are taking advantage of their vehicle too much that they use the car even in walking distance travel. 

Little did we know that using the car in very short, and frequent walkable trips can cause it to deplete its level of charge.

short distances

Driving super short distances causes the battery not charging fully with the frequent start and stops

So for us to help our car battery life last longer, if you are just to go to the market, or just a few blocks away that you can just literally walk to, don’t use the car anymore. Walk to save your battery and your life too – by burning those calories.

2. Extreme weather conditions

Yes, even weather can affect our car battery – it will have an issue cranking up during super cold days, which is unlikely in the Philippines. Additionally, it will also get damaged when exposed to extremely high temperature, something more likely to happen in our country. 

If the car battery is exposed to too much heat, the electrolytes in it will evaporate and will lead to corrosion inside the battery itself. If not properly cared for, this will lead to early battery failure.

car parked under the heat

If you park your car under the extreme heat of the sun, it could cause your battery to drain

To avoid this, we need to be mindful of where we place our car. If we’re using it for everyday transport to and from the office or school or business, please park it in shady place, away from the scorching heat of the sun. 

This will have the battery rest in an ideal temperature which is from 5 to 30 degrees. This simple deed can save you a lot of money by prolonging your car battery life.

3. Alternator issues

Alternator is the one responsible for charging your battery in the car. If your battery experience depletion of charge and doesn’t hold sufficient power than it should it could be a problem with the alternator. Either the alternator’s voltage is too low which will cause a flat battery or the voltage is too high which can cause over-charging. Both can cause harm to your car battery.

Once in a while take your car for a quick check to see if the start-up system is working fine and as they should be.

4. The size has something to do with it

You should follow the suggested size or type of battery that is stated on your car owner’s manual. Don’t try to experiment and replace your battery with a smaller one or different from that stated in your manual.

big battery small battery

If you use a smaller battery for your car, it may get ruined easily as it has lower specs

Having a battery with lower specs than the one specified can get destroyed quicker and therefore you will need to replace it sooner.

5. Unattended battery terminals

You should pop the hood and check your battery status once in a while, or at least every time you go home. Why? So you would monitor if any of the battery terminals have any corrosion, damage or just not securely fastened. Any of these three will prevent the battery from performing at its best and result to a shorter battery life.

6. “Babad sa traffic”

Traffic is a normal Philippine city scenario. Especially nowadays, you’ll experience traffic pretty much everywhere. This takes a toll on our car battery too. The start and stop every few minutes isn’t healthy for the battery as it’s not being charged fully, unlike when you continuously drive along wide, traffic-free roads.

stuck in traffic

Being stuck in traffic also affects the battery in a way that it doesn't get the chance to fully recharge

The most practical thing you could do to is to avoid rush hour. Travel during times when traffic is less, or if you can’t avoid to go out during rush hour well then, just commute. Commuting is the best way to beat the traffic – you won’t get tired, you can just sit and wait until you get home, you are also saving your car from potential damages, especially the car battery.

7. You abuse your electric usage

Charging, radio, leaving the lights on – these are just some of the things we do that can actually drain up our car battery. So, if you want to prolong your car battery life turn all electricity connected going ons in your car when not in use or when the engine is off.

>>> Click here to get more helpful tips and advice for your car maintenance

Source: Ivy Kristia Padura