8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery
Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many men and women find that they have to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
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 prevent this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this article 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 Lifespan Has A Limit (however 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, 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 lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we seek to keep for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite a while, 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 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 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 many batteries are replaced because of 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away. After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the car. When the vehicle is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car isn’t 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 automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of power for ignition. They are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is 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 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 car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great battery cables. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and could short circuit. This may ruin the battery and even damage your car whilst creating a safety risk. The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your car 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 currently have these kits installed typically. But if your car does not 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 site where you can place in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match 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 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 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 the reason why people come home from long holidays 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 (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used. They do it by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they do not always draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. They’re also helpful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this will dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge. The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…be 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 simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Check your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a need for water. So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be volatile.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you are doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it). If your alternator is bad it will results in ineffective recharging of your battery and dramatically shorten your battery’s lifespan.