But lots of men and women find that they have 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?
We’ll show you why car batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also offer you 8 simple 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 simple to do…and anybody will be able 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’s Lifespan Has A Limit (but 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to 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 dependable, 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 gently.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, 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 before a problem arises (like being not able to begin 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 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 vehicle and several batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this is easily treated simply by pouring a small amount 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 eat the rust away. After the rust is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. Be sure to allow it to 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 car is on, the auto 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’re just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition. They’re 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 for a battery which powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized 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 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 are not connected properly). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.
Protecting your vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help optimize 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 install 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 website 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 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. This 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 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 being used. They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle 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 helpful 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 will dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully charge. The main thing to remember with this tip 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 whether there is 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’s significant, 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.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at your vehicle’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.