8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery
Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of 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 automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also offer you 8 easy tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be easy 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 (however most people kill their battery well before it’s time)
Even if you care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 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.
Once a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
However, most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used lightly.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we seek to keep for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless 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 car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they are clean and rust free. One of the initial 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 due to 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 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.
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 is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition. They’re not made to provide 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 that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just provides 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 car accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure 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 if you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected properly). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. 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 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 put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually 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 vehicle is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the automobile computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead. But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use. They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the car battery when the car 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 suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it will greatly increase the life 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’s a demand for water. So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to check your car’s alternator (or get 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.