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

But many 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 vehicle’s battery life?

Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

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

We’ll also offer 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 get started! …

First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.

After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.

However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…

Rather, they die early due to 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 needs to be used gently.

  • Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we seek to keep for as long as you can.

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

Batteries in decline can nevertheless 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 before 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 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 due to 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 acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away.   After the corrosion is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. 

Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car 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 is not on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

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

Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition.  They are 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 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 greatly 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 wires.   The battery needs 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 whilst creating a safety risk.   The same could happen when 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.

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 insulation kit.   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 matches your car’s battery compartment.  Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can put 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 automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing appropriate ventilation.

Tip 5: Fully charge 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 why people come home from long holidays and find 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 power for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not continuously draw current from the car battery when the car is off.   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 one at home to fully charge.   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 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 whether there is a demand for water.   So check the vehicle 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 oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are 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: Check your car’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your car’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).