But many people find that they have 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?
We’ll show you why car batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.
We’ll also give 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 have the ability to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s begin! …
First, You Ought to 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 called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, 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 earliest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used gently.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we attempt 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 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 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 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 many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up. But often times, this is easily treated by simply pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas.
The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away. After the corrosion is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the car 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 isn’t on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to provide 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 as a battery that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just provides you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great 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 may 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 are not connected properly). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help maximize the battery’s lifespan. To do this you can use a car battery insulating material. 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 website where you can place in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually 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 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 (lights, radio, etc.) or even the car computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations 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 (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 power for the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car 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 plenty of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a chance 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 charge. The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since 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 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 significant, 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:
It can be volatile.
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’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your vehicle’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.