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.
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 offer 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 article 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’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been 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”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…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 reliable, 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 phase, 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 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).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and rust 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 a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this can be 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 acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away. After the corrosion is gone, 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: Do not run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the car. 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’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 automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery for a battery which powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of power 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 secure and has good battery cables. 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 while creating a safety risk. The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.
Protecting your car battery from large changes in temperature will help optimize the battery’s lifespan. To do this you can use a car battery insulating material. Newer model cars already have these kits installed typically. But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily set up one yourself. Just make sure 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’ll tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These car 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 (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers. This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and locate 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 they do not always draw current from the car 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 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 will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully control. The most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life 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 vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a need for water. So check the car 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 hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be volatile.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator. If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to check 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.