Car batteries are not meant to last forever. In fact, the average lifespan of a battery is about four years. The leading culprits of battery failure are bad alternators and bad habits—like, leaving your lights on overnight.
Though a dead battery can be expected, sooner or later, it’s still frustrating. Nobody wants to be left stranded, after all—but what can you do to get moving again?
For starters, you can learn the proper way to jumpstart a battery, as illustrated in this handy infographic from Meineke. As you look over it, though, remember that jumping a battery the wrong way can actually be quite dangerous, not just to your car but to yourself—so read the directions carefully, and if you’re unsure of anything, seek help from a professional.
Something else you can do is learn the signs of a battery that’s failing. The most obvious one is that the car just won’t start—but dimming lights can also point to an escalating problem. You’ll want to take your car to the shop ASAP if you notice this symptom.
And that’s the final tip here: If you want to preserve your battery life for as long as possible, it’s smart to take your car in for regular inspections and servicing. Do what you can to monitor your battery life—and if your battery is dying, get it replaced before it gives out completely, and avoid getting left stranded somewhere. Consult this infographic for more details.