You rush out the door to get to work. You hop in the car, turn the key and … nothing. Your battery is dead.

The last thing we want is for you to get caught off guard by a dead battery. It’s stressful, it’s an unexpected expense and it’s definitely not something you want to deal with.

We can help you.

Chances are your battery is dead because of one of five common reasons. Before the specialists at Peterborough Battery repair your existing battery or help you choose the right replacement, we want to make sure you know what happened in the first place. Even better, we are going to make sure you know what you can do about it.

Young man leans on the steering wheel of a car that won't start because the battery is dead.

It is never a good day when your car battery dies. The good news is, there are simple things you can do to help prolong the life of your battery.


1. Your Battery Is Dead Because It’s Time Is Up.

There is no hard and fast rule to how long your battery is going to last. Your battery’s lifespan can range anywhere from 3 years to 10 years. Even when you buy a new car, the quality of the battery can vary. Fortunately, learning how to use and care for your battery can help prolong its life.

Until you’re familiar with how to care for your battery on your own,consider having it checked over a few times a year by an expert. The specialists at a battery service center is your best choice, followed by a trusted mechanic. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 


2. Background Systems Are Draining Your Battery. 

Your car was turned off, the lights weren’t left on but the battery won’t start. 

You’re probably asking yourself “Why is my battery dead?”

Sounds like your battery is drained (also called discharged). Most often, this kind of battery drain happens when your car is left sitting for an extended period of time. For example, maybe you went on vacation for a few weeks or maybe your vehicle is only used for part of the year. 

RVs get parked for several months at a time which can lead to battery drain.

Seasonal vehicles, like RVs, are a perfect example of a battery that is at risk of being drained while it sits idle over the winter.

What’s Draining Your Battery?

Everything from the clock on your dashboard to your GPS are powered by your car’s battery. These systems continue to draw a charge from your battery as they run quietly in the background even when your car is off. If they didn’t have access to this energy, you would have to reset your clock every time you get into your car. 

The good news is, there’s an easy fix. Next time you go away on vacation or park your RV for the season, give your battery a vacation, too. All you have to do is unplug it.

If you’re not sure how to disconnect the cables from your car battery safely, don’t worry. Look up your local battery specialist. They should be able to walk you through the process or do it for you. Another solution to the battery drain problem is to buy a charger. Your local battery service center should be able to help you with that as well. 

3. Is Your Battery Dead or Dirty? 

Taking care of your car battery isn’t hard but it is important. Other than having your mechanic or a battery technician check it out once or twice a year, the two next most important parts of battery maintenance are keeping it active and keeping it clean. 

Keeping Your Battery Active

As we’ve seen, batteries don’t do well when they sit idle for too long. Making sure your vehicle runs regularly is a simple way to take care of your battery. This can be tricky with seasonal vehicles like snowmobiles or RVs. Investing in a charger and charging your battery fully once a month in the off season will pay off by prolonging the life of your battery. 

Man cleaning his car as part of regular car maintenance.

Washing the outside of your car is something you might do regularly but have you ever thought about taking a look under the hood? Your battery may need some cleaning as well.

Keeping Your Battery Clean

Another important step to making your battery last longer is keeping it clean. When you get an oil change, have the service person take a look to see if there is any build up on your battery. This build up is called corrosion and it looks like white or blue-ish crystals on the battery terminals. If there is too much of this build up, your battery may not be able to transfer a charge to your engine effectively. It may seem like your battery is dead (or dying) but, in reality, it is just dirty. 

You can clean off the corrosion yourself  with a little time and some simple supplies. If you aren’t comfortable working under the hood yourself, you can take your vehicle to a battery service center to have it cleaned. The technicians may also be able to give you a lesson in how to safely do this yourself!


4. Your Battery Is Being Overcharged. 

Keeping your battery charged is important, but there can be too much of a good thing. Your battery creates electricity and feeds it to your car to get it running. This process creates heat and if the battery is charged continuously for too long, the heat will cause some of the acidic solution that fills your battery to evaporate. When too much of this solution evaporates your battery has “boiled dry” and may not work properly or at all. 

Charging car batteries can be an important part of battery maintenance.

Charging your battery can be an important part of battery maintenance but there can be too much of a good thing.

Less Is More.

We’ve already seen how keeping your battery charged is an important part of prolonging its use. However, keeping your battery hooked up to a charger for weeks or months at a time (during the off season, for example) may do more harm than good. While a battery that has been overcharged or boiled dry can sometimes be repaired, you risk having to buy a whole new battery. 

Instead, go with a “less is more” approach. Charging your battery fully once a month (instead of continuously) is the best way to keep it working efficiently and for longer. 


5. You Are Using The Wrong Battery For The Job. 

Is the battery in your vehicle the right one? Some batteries (SLIs) are made to give short bursts of full power energy. Most cars use this kind of battery. Other batteries (Deep Cycle/Dual Purpose Batteries) are made to put out lower amounts of current over longer periods of time. This is the kind of battery an RV would use, for example. Using the wrong battery for the job could damage your vehicle, your battery, or both. When you buy a battery, talk to a specialist and make sure you are investing in the right battery. 

Don’t Let A Dead Battery Ruin Your Day

Getting in your car only to find out that your battery is dead is never a good thing. Whether it was just your battery’s time to go or an issue with maintenance, we want to help get you back up and running.

The battery specialists at Peterborough Battery will help you identify the problem and work with you to repair or replace your battery as quickly as possible. We can also educate you about your battery and its proper care.

There isn’t a battery related issue too big or too small for the specialists at Peterborough Battery, so don’t let a dead battery ruin your day.