8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery
But lots of people 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 simple tips and techniques 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 anyone will have the ability 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 is 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 dependable, 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 lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we attempt to keep 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 nevertheless be used for quite some time, 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 before a problem arises (like being unable to start your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they’re clean and corrosion 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 amount 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 consume the corrosion away. Make certain to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the car. When the vehicle is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car is not on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you’re just relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.
Instead, car batteries are supposed to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They’re 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, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly used in this fashion. So avoid operating any automobile accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has good battery cables. The battery has 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 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.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. 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 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 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 put in your car model and year, and it will 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 automobile 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 car is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the car 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 car is not in use. They do this by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they do not continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. 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 opportunity 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 control. The main thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life span of your battery. Do this with a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Assess your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen 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 — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to look at 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.