Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many 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?
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 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 have the ability to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s begin! …
First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (however 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 called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and maintenance…that 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 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 has to be used lightly.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we attempt to keep for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the conclusion 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 not able to start your vehicle for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review 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 corrosion around the terminals. Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the vehicle and several batteries are replaced due to a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated simply by pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas.
The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away. Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (lights, radio, 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 car 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 electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Rather, 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 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 provides 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 great battery cables. The battery needs 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 cause damage to your car whilst creating a safety risk. The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly). So check your cables and be 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 doesn’t have one, you can easily set up 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 site where you can place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like 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 charge 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 even the automobile computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays 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 in use. They do it by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. 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 so can dramatically enhance 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…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 using 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 whether there’s a demand for water. So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, 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 hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator. If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your car batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your car’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).