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.
And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’s battery life?
We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and tricks to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anyone will have the ability 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 (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 often the battery was charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Instead, 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 type 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 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 a while, 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 not able 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 review 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 because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be readily treated by simply pouring a small quantity 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 consume the rust away. After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. 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 (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car 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 is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are supposed to provide 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 gives you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used in this fashion. So avoid operating any automobile accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great battery wires. The battery has to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and could 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 awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.
Protecting your vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help maximize 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 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 site where you can place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These car 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. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the automobile computers. This is why people 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 vehicle is not in use. They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car 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 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 span of your battery. Do this using a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if 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 car battery).
Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).