In order to start a car, an electrical charge is needed to provide the spark for the ignition system to kick the engine into gear. This energy is supplied by the car battery, which is designed to wear out over time. The average automotive batter typically lasts for roughly two years, but this can be drastically shortened if proper care is not taken to maintain the car part.
The main factors that contribute the declining health of a battery include extreme temperatures, sulfation caused by lack of use, dirty battery connections and faulty alternators and starters that can prematurely drain the battery. Extreme temperatures, both high and low, can prematurely drain a car's battery. Parking in the shade during the summer and keeping a car in an insulated garage or insulating the battery itself can help protect it all year long.
Another thing you should keep an eye on is the state of the posts and the wires connected to them. Corrosive buildup is inevitable, but needs to be removed regularly. Otherwise, it can create electrical resistance that will prohibit the car from starting due to lack of enough electrical charge. Corrosive buildup typically appears as a white, powdery substance. This material is dangerous and you should not touch it with your bare hands. A hard bristle brush, baking soda and water are all you need to remove the corrosion, but be sure to wear protective gloves if you decide to perform this bit of maintenance yourself.
If you're experiencing trouble with your battery, it could be time to replace it. However, you can bring your vehicle to the Total Car Care Center at New Jersey State Auto Auction and have a certified mechanic make sure there are no other factors coming into play. If the alternator or starter are acting up, you may find battery problems will continue after a replacement.