But lots of men and women find that they have to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
And what can you do to prolong your car’s battery life?
Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
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 easy tips and tricks to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be easy to do…and anyone will have the ability 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 (however most people kill their battery well before it’s time)
Even if you care for 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 was charged or discharged.
Once a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…that you can do something about.
A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, 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 has to be used gently.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly 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 can either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until 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’re 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 many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this is easily treated simply by pouring a small quantity 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the car. When the car is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery as 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 is repeatedly used 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 good battery cables. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and could short circuit. This will ruin the battery and even damage your car while creating a security 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 car 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 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 fit 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 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 car is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the car computers. This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and find 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 keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used. They do it by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t always draw current from the car battery when the car is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely 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 daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully control. The main 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: Assess your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there is a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be explosive.
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’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are still 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.