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Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But lots of men and women find that they need to modify 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 easy tips and tricks to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will teach you in this article will be easy to do…and anyone will be able to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s get started! …

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 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’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.

But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…

Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…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 oldest, 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 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 termination of the battery.

Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite a while, but have to 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 car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and rust 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 because of 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 paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.   Make certain to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle 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’re 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 sort of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant 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 could be for).   Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, instead of 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 car 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 could short circuit.   This will ruin the battery — and even damage your car whilst creating a safety risk.   The same could happen when you have awful 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 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 make sure 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 put 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 typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile 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 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 the automobile computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will keep 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 continuously draw current from the car 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 this will dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge.   The most important thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because 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 vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

  2. It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan

Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check 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.