Battery Recondition At 70

8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But lots of people find that they have to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

Why is this?

And what can you do to prolong your car’s battery life?

We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.

We’ll also offer you 8 easy tips and techniques to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be easy to do…and anyone will be able to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s get started! …

First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery’s Lifespan Has A Limit (but most people kill their battery well before it’s time)

Even if you care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

But 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.

Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most reliable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.

  • Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used lightly.

  • Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we attempt to keep for as long as possible.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the conclusion of the battery.

Batteries in decline can still be used for quite some time, but must 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).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure they are clean and corrosion free.   One of the first 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 several batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be easily treated by simply pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas. 

The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away.   Make certain to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the vehicle is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this type of use.

Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They’re not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery could 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 is 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 wires.   The battery has 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 cause damage to your car while creating a safety risk.   The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.

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 insulation kit.   Newer model cars already have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not have one, you can easily install one yourself.   Just be certain 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 put in your car model and year, and it will 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 protect 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 car is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the car computers.   This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.   But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger. 

Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use.   They do this by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for some time.  They’re also helpful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing this can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully charge.   The most important thing to remember with this tip is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it’ll 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: Check your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there is a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

  2. It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your car batteries are still dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).