The thought of the battery running out of juice leaving one in a precarious position has no doubt occurred to many of us at one time or another. The thought of replacement occurs more frequently once the car has been with you for a while and the years and miles accumulate. Tales abound the forum of batteries that have been problematic as well as those who have reported trouble-free service from the battery. Going through a few threads from the early days of S2KI, we found that several of the original members had this concern of the battery in the S2000 as well. They feared that the battery in the car was designed for efficiency and weight balance and was generally too weak to last for a long time. Ten odd years down the line, we seem to be finding out the real life of the S2000 battery.
Our member Testut reports that his battery lasted him a full decade. In his own words: “It’s official. After 10 years, 4 months, and 25 days, my ORIGINAL S2000 battery has died. The irony is that I remember asking the salesman back in 2001 if he thought such a small battery could survive even one Upstate New York winter. He told me he thought it could.” This could very well be a record of sorts or, at the very least, a testament to how our car was built using only the finest components considering this car was driven not only through 10 seasons of snow, but also countless track days and autocross sessions.
Another member hahapopcorn started a thread and asked “I am currently the third owner of a 2000 AP1 and I think that it still has its first stock battery in there. Can a car battery even last 10+ years?” Based on reports of battery longevity, we think the chances of the battery being original and lasting 10 years are definitely high.
While daily driving lends itself very well to the battery life of the S2000, we must also admit and acknowledge that the S2000 is a fair-weather car for some of us. We store the car under covers so that we can drive it in perfect weather. Some of us who store our car during the winter months use a trickle charger to keep the battery charged through the period of inactivity. By virtue of providing a battery just enough voltage to sustain its charge, a trickle charger can lend to the longevity of your battery and can theoretically stay connected to the battery for an extended period of time without causing damage. If you are considering storing your vehicle for a long period of time, then it is a good idea to think about a trickle charger in order to avoid the inconvenience of a drained or dead battery when it comes time to pull the covers off.
There is yet another school of owners who store their cars for the winter without making arrangements for battery maintenance. This is especially true for those of us who live in an apartment community or lack covered parking at home and have no way of establishing a setup for battery maintenance during the winter. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these owners too have had a relatively good service from the original battery with reports that the battery has lasted a good seven to eight years with no special maintenance.
Battery life also depends on local conditions. Our News Editor C32b reports that battery life is shorter for those living in tropical conditions where heat and humidity are much higher. Therefore a battery may not last as long as 10 years in a place like Singapore for instance, that is located close to the Equator.
One could say that there is not really a single factor that determines how long your battery will last you, although the AP1 owner group may suggest that the reason the battery lasts longer is because they have the superior car and that their ability to rev to 9000 rpm is what keeps the battery alive (we jest!). While we cannot recommend a surefire method to extend your battery’s life, we however urge you to keep checking your battery frequently. Make sure the battery, the cables and the case are clean anytime you do an inspection of your engine bay. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to clean the battery area and to perform battery maintenance. By ensuring that your battery is kept clean and charged (while the car is stored), we think you will improve the chances of your battery lasting longer.
What do you think? Is there a surefire way to prolong battery life? How long did your original battery last you?