But lots of men and women find that they need 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 automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also offer you 8 easy tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anyone will be able 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’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 1 day.
This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, 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 keep for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite a while, 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 until a problem arises (like being unable to start your vehicle for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review 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 corrosion around the terminals. Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the car and several batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away. After the rust is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.
Tip 2: Do not operate 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 isn’t 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 car batteries aren’t meant for this type 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 that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives 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 wires. The battery has to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might short circuit. This will ruin the battery and even damage your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ). 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 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 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’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically made from 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 charge 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 even the automobile computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.
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 electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not always draw current from the vehicle 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 some time. 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 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 most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will 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: Check your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there’s a need for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or get 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.