Battery problems seem to pop up at the worst possible times. You are heading out for an important interview, trying to get home after a late night, or looking to impress a date. But, for the most part, car battery problems can be avoided. Below are 5 unexpected things that can help with car battery problems.

1. Keep it Clean

When it comes to keeping cars clean, we think about running it through the car wash and vacuuming the interior. But you need to keep other parts of your car clean as well. And one of those parts is the battery—specifically, the battery terminal. When your battery terminal is dirty, it can prevent the battery for delivering the juice your car needs, eventually preventing the battery from working.

And even more unexpected than needing to keep the battery clean is how you can do it: with Coca-Cola. The chemicals in this soft drink are just strong enough to clean oxidized terminals, allowing your battery to work well.

2. Create a Routine

What is the most common reason for a car battery to malfunction? Human error. You leave the headlights on, you don’t close the trunk all the way, you leave the light on over the back seat, and then you come out the next morning to find your battery is drained. The best way to prevent this is to establish a simple routine to use each time you get out of the car.

Take a little time to quickly review the problem areas. Glance at the headlights to make sure they are off, check the light inside the car, and give the trunk a pull to make sure it is closed properly. With this simple routine, you greatly reduce or remove the possibility of human error leading to a drained battery.

3. Test Your Battery

Did you know that you can have your car battery tested to make sure things are still working well? You can. And chances are you won’t even need to spend a cent to have it done. Many battery stores and chain auto parts stores will test your battery free of charge. This will give you an accurate idea of how much longer you should expect your battery to last and help you budget for replacing it.

And why would your battery be having problems to test for? The most common reason is that it is old. Most car batteries will last between 3 and 5 years, so if your battery is getting close to the 3-year mark, it is a good idea to start testing it every so many months.

4. Lock Your Doors

For some of us, this is a given. But for others, not so much. Maybe your neighborhood is very safe, or you have a locked garage to park your car in. But this isn’t about securing your car: it is about stopping drain on your battery.

Leaving your doors unlocked can drain the battery? Believe it or not, yes. Many cars will run readiness checks at set intervals whenever the car doors are unlocked. These readiness checks use power from the battery, which ultimately drains it.

5. Avoid Short Drives

This isn’t always feasible, but if you can, do so. Short trips do not give your battery sufficient time to recharge, which means it will drain energy faster than it can replace it. When possible, try to fit multiple errands into a single trip so you get everything done but also get more time on the road. And if it is possible to walk for a short trip rather than drive, do so.

However, all batteries must be replaced eventually. If you feel it is time to replace yours, stop by Powertron. We have a wide selection of car batteries, ensuring you can find the best option for you.