Your battery is a vital part of your car. If it dies, nothing else works, causing major hassle and frustration. That headache, along with the fact that batteries are full of toxic chemicals that must be specially disposed off after they die, means that you want to extend the life of your battery for as long as possible. Here are a few simple tips that will keep your battery running for as long as possible.

The first tip is to park your car in a garage whenever possible. This is especially important in the winter months when cold temperatures can sap the strength of your battery life. However, while an insulated garage is a great choice, a heated garage is not as it can cause your car to rust.

If you can’t park in an insulated garage or if your car spends lots of time in outdoor parking lots for work or school, then the next best step is to insulate your battery. Battery insulation is a fairly cheap and easy way to keep your battery protected through those cold winter months.

Make sure that you keep your battery clean. You want to remove all dirt, oxidation, and grease from inside the clamps as they can weaken your battery’s charge. You also want to keep the battery tray clean.

If you don’t have a maintenance free battery, make sure that you regularly fill it with distilled water. If you have a maintenance free battery, it will be sealed and you don’t need to add any water.

Always make sure that your battery is secure. Not only can loose batteries cause damage by banging other parts of your car’s engine, they also have the potential of tipping over, which can send caustic battery acid all over your engine.

One final option to extending the life of your battery is to charge it with a solar charger. Solar chargers are fairly inexpensive and will recharge the battery through solar energy. It is important to make sure that your charger has a monitor to prevent overcharging.

With these simple steps you can make sure that your battery has a long and healthy life.