Can You Recondition Old Car Batteries

But lots of men and women find that they need to change 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 simple 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 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 care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die one day.

This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

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

Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most dependable, and most widely used type 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 attempt to keep for as long as you can.

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

Batteries in decline can still 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 start your car for work).

8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection 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 car and many batteries are replaced due to a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is easily treated by simply pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) over 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 rust is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.  Make certain to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the car 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 are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.

Instead, car batteries are supposed to provide 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 would be for).   Using your car battery as a battery which powers electronics, rather than 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 secure 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 might short circuit.   This may ruin the battery — and even cause damage to 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 make sure they have a secure connection also.

Protecting your vehicle 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 already have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not have one, you can easily install 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 usually made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing appropriate 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 (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is 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 (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use.   They do this by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the car battery when the car 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 daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully control.   The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it will greatly increase the life 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 car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there’s a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, 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.  

  1. It can be explosive.

Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).