Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many men and women find that they have to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
And what can you do to prolong your car’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 give you 8 easy tips and techniques to maximize the life span 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’s 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 one day.
This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often 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.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, 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 needs to be used gently.
Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly 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 before a problem arises (like being unable to begin your car 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 be certain 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 too much corrosive build up. But often times, this is readily 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 at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the car. 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’re using the car’s electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is damaging 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 electricity for ignition. They’re not made to provide 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 which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly used in this fashion. So avoid operating any automobile accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great battery cables. The battery has 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 bad battery cables (or they are not connected properly). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.
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 insulation kit. Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically. But if your car does not have one, you can easily install 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 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 automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing appropriate 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. 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 holidays and find their car battery dead. But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
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 it by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. They’re also useful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so 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…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 with a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply 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 if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or find 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.