8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery
Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many people 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 car batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also give 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 guide will be easy to do…and anybody will have the ability to perform 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 (but 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
Once a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and maintenance…which you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used gently.
Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we seek to keep for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite some time, 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 unable to start your car for work).
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 several batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this is 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume 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: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, 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 vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery for 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 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 good battery wires. 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 cause damage to your car whilst creating a security risk. The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly). 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 car battery from large 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 does not have one, you can easily install one yourself. Just be certain 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 place in your car model and year, and it will 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 car 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 shut-off 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 (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers. This is why people come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead. But to avoid this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) 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 that they do not always draw current from the car battery when the car is off. 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 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 main 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 span 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: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there’s a demand for water. So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, 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 explosive.
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 are 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.