8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery
But lots of people 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 vehicle’s battery life?
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 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 Ought to 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.
Once a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
However, most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…which you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, 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 needs to be used lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the conclusion 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 before a problem arises (like being unable to start your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain they’re clean and rust 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 many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated by simply 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 acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle. When the vehicle is on, the car 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 damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for). Using your car battery as a battery which powers electronics, rather than a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly 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 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 damage your car while creating a security 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 as well.
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 insulating material. 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 fit 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 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 vehicle is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the automobile computers. This is why folks 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 maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used. They do it by providing enough electricity for the 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 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 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 because it’ll greatly increase the life span of your battery. Do this using 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 car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you will want to check your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).