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?
Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
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 easy tips and tricks 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 have the ability to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s get started! …
First, You Ought to 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 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.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, 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 gently.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to keep 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 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 unable to begin your vehicle for work).
8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery
Tip 1: Do a monthly review 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 rust around the terminals. Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the car and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this can be 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 corrosion away. After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the vehicle. When the vehicle is on, the auto 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’re just 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.
Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are 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 that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used 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 has 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 cause damage to your car while creating a security risk. The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.
Protecting your vehicle 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 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 put in your car model and year, and it will 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 car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing appropriate ventilation.
Tip 5: Fully control 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 car 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 folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used. They do it by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while. They’re also useful 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 can dramatically shorten 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 since it’ll 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: Check 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 when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car 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 — which 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 check 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.