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 vehicle’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 lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anyone will be able 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 take care of 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 was charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…which 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 form 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 needs to be used lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we attempt to keep for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite some time, but must be watched.
Around this time, you can either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being not able to start your vehicle for work).
8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure 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 car and many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up. But often times, this is readily treated simply by 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 acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at 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.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to 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 is not on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you are 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 type of use.
Rather, car batteries are supposed to offer 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 as a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is 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 cables. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might short circuit. This may ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a security 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 as well.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. 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 insulating material. Newer model cars already have these kits installed typically. But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily install one yourself. Just be certain it matches 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 usually made from 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 control 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. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the automobile computers. This is the reason 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 vehicle is not being used. They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not always draw current from the car battery when the car is off. 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 one at home to fully control. The most important 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: Check 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 frequently and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
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’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).