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 men and women find that they need to modify 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 prevent this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 easy tips and tricks to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this article will be easy 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 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 one day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is 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 due to poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
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 lightly.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to keep for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless 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 before a problem arises (like being unable to begin your vehicle for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection 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 vehicle and several batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be readily treated simply by pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas.
The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away. Make certain 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 (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the vehicle. When the vehicle is on, the car 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 are just relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.
Instead, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition. They’re not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for). Using your car battery as 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 is repeatedly used 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 great battery wires. 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 cause damage to 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 be sure they have a secure connection also.
Protecting your car battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize 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 doesn’t have one, you can easily set up 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 will tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing proper ventilation.
Tip 5: Fully charge 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. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used. They do it by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the car battery when the vehicle is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while. They’re also useful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so 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 since it will 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 car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there’s 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 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:
It can be explosive.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you are doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or find 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.