Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many people find that they need to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
Why is this?
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 prevent 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 simple to do…and anyone will be able to do 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 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 has been charged or discharged.
After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
However, most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Rather, 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 oldest, most reliable, 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 ideal performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, but must 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 not able to begin your car 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 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 paste (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 eat the corrosion away. 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 on the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle. When the car is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you’re just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of power 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 as a battery which powers electronics, rather than a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly 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 secure 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 cause damage to your car while 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 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 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 place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These automobile 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 car 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 folks come home from long holidays and find 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 car is not being used. They do this by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle 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 plenty of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge. The most important thing to remember with this tip is…make 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 with 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 is a need for water. So check the vehicle 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 car battery).
Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to check your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).