But many men and women 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 car’s battery life?
Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this guide 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’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 one day.
This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most dependable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used lightly.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we seek to keep for as long as possible.
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 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 vehicle for work).
8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they are clean and corrosion free. One of the first 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 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 paste (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 corrosion is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. Make certain to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the car 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 isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power 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 for a battery that powers electronics, instead of 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 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 may ruin the battery and even damage your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.
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 insulation kit. Newer model cars currently 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 put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match 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 vehicle is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the car computers. This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and find 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 the car accessories and car computer, so they do not always draw current from the car 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 a lot of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you 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: Assess your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there’s a need for water. So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to check your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).