But many people 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 car’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 guide will be easy to do…and anybody will have the ability to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s get started! …
First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (however most people kill their battery well before it’s time)
Even if you take care of your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery was charged or discharged.
After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and maintenance…which 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 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 gently.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, but must 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 not able to start your car 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 many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this is readily treated simply by 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away. After the rust is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.
Tip 2: Don’t run 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 is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you’re simply 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 provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They’re not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery as a battery which powers electronics, rather than 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 automobile accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great battery cables. The battery has 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 while creating a security risk. The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). So check your cables and make 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 maximize 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 install one yourself. Just be certain it matches your car’s battery compartment. Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their website where you can put 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 typically made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard 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. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the car computers. This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead. But to avoid this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
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 your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle 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 a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this will dramatically shorten 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 tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life 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 car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there’s a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you are doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).