Simple Tips to make your car battery last longer

Car care tips to extend battery life

Did you see the recent story on Channel 7 about car batteries draining overnight with key fobs nearby?  Apparently, those fobs constantly searching for the car can drain your battery super fast (x20)!

Keeping your car’s battery healthy is more important than ever these days, with all the new gadgets and shorter trips we take.  Unlike the good old days where the biggest worry was forgetting the headlights, modern cars require a little extra thought.

Here are some simple tips to make your car battery last longer and avoid a dead battery surprise:

  • Beat the Short Trip Blues: Starting your car sucks the juice out of the battery, and short trips don’t give it enough time to recharge fully. Take your car for a longer ride (at least 30 minutes) once a week to replenish the battery.
  • Power Down After Parking: Phone chargers and USB devices silently drain your battery when they’re plugged in but not in use. Get in the habit of disconnecting anything that draws power when your car is off.
  • Dash Cam Dilemma: Dash cams are fantastic, but their parking mode can be a battery nightmare if it’s constantly activated.  If your parking spot is busy (like your garage), turn off parking mode or find another power source for your dash cam.
  • Clean is Key: Corrosion on battery terminals disrupts the flow of electricity.  Ask your mechanic to check the terminals for corrosion and ensure they’re nice and tight during your next service. Loose connections can also cause problems.
  • Upgrade Savvy: Adding aftermarket electronics puts more strain on your battery. If you’re upgrading your car’s electrical system, make sure a professional does the installation to avoid loose connections and potential damage.
  • Weather Extremes: Where possible try to avoid parking in extremely hot conditions.

By following these tips, you can ensure your car battery lasts longer and avoid unexpected breakdowns. Remember, a little preventative care goes a long way!


A:  Car battery lifespan varies depending on factors like climate, driving habits, and maintenance. On average, expect 3-5 years.  Extreme temperatures, frequent short trips, and lots of electrical use can shorten its lifespan.

A:  Several signs can indicate a failing battery:

  • Slow engine crank when starting
  • Dim headlights or flickering interior lights
  • Electrical issues like radio malfunctions
  • Corrosion buildup on battery terminals
  • A bloated or swollen battery case

A: It’s best to avoid it if possible. Modern key fobs constantly communicate with the car, and close proximity can drain the battery faster. See the channel 7 video.

A:  Jumpstarting can be done carefully, but it’s advisable to consult your car’s manual or call for roadside assistance if you’re unsure about the process.  Always follow safety precautions to avoid sparks or explosions.

A: Your car’s owner’s manual will typically specify the battery type and size required.