8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery
Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many people find that they have 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?
We’ll show you why car 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 lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this guide will be easy to do…and anybody will have the ability to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s begin! …
First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery’s Lifespan Has A Limit (but 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 called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.
A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, 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 needs to be used gently.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite some time, but have to be watched.
Around this time, you may either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being unable to start your vehicle for work).
8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and corrosion free. One of the initial problems most people have with their car battery is the build-up of rust around the terminals. Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the vehicle and several batteries are replaced due to a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated by simply pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas.
The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away. Be sure to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle. When the car is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition. They’re 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 that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has good battery cables. The battery has to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might short circuit. This will ruin the battery and even cause damage to your car while creating a safety 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.
Protecting your vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize the battery’s lifespan. To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit. Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically. But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily install one yourself. Just be certain it matches 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 will tell you if your battery will fit their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically made of 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 shut-off if you have to). Your car battery drains even when the vehicle is off. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the car computers. This is the reason 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 in use. They do this by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so that they do not continuously draw current from the car battery when the vehicle is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for some time. They’re also useful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) 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 one at home to fully control. The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it will greatly increase the life span of your battery. Do this with a charger, interchanging batteries…or just going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Assess your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water. So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you are doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to check your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).