Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many men and women find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
Why is this?
And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’s battery life?
Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 easy tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anybody will be able to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s begin! …
First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery’s Lifespan Has A Limit (however most people kill their battery well before it’s time)
Even if you take care of your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.
This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.
After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…that you can do something about.
A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most dependable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.
Lead Acid Batteries have three life phases — formatting, peak, and decline.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used gently.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, but must be watched.
Around this time, you can either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being not able to start your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure they are clean and rust free. One of the initial problems most people have with their car battery is the build-up of corrosion around the terminals. Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the car and many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be readily treated by simply pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas.
The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away. Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the vehicle. When the car is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car is not on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition. They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery for a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized in this fashion. So avoid operating any automobile accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has good battery cables. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might short circuit. This may ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a security risk. The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help optimize the battery’s lifespan. To do this you can use a car battery insulating material. Newer model cars already have these kits installed typically. But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily install one yourself. Just make sure it fits your car’s battery compartment. Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their website where you can place in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing proper ventilation.
Tip 5: Fully control your car battery at least once a week (use a car battery charger or interchange batteries if you have to). Your car battery drains even when the vehicle is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the car computers. This is why folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used. They do it by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. They’re also useful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully control. The most important thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it’ll greatly increase the life of your battery. Do this using a charger, interchanging batteries…or just going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there’s a demand for water. So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).