Dorman Reconditioned Prius Battery

Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But many 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 vehicle’s battery life?

We’ll show you why car 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 lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anybody will have the ability 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 (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 is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.

After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.

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

Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…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 phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.

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

Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, 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 unable to start your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they’re 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 too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be easily treated simply by pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas. 

The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.   After the corrosion 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 to the car ignition and driving the car.   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’re using the car’s electronics, you’re just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this sort of use.

Rather, car batteries are supposed to provide a sudden burst of power for ignition.  They are not made to provide 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, 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 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 secure and has good battery cables.   The battery has 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 whilst creating a security risk.   The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.

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 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 be certain 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 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 appropriate 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 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 people come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used.   They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always 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 some time.  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 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 one at home to fully control.   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 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 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 needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, 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.  

  1. It can be volatile.

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