Prius Battery Reconditioning Portland

But lots of men and women find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

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 prevent this from happening.

We’ll also give 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 article will be easy to do…and anyone will be able to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s get started! …

First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery’s 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 1 day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery was 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 complete”Calendar Life”…

Instead, 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 earliest, 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 lightly.

  • Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to keep for as long as you can.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the termination of the battery.

Batteries in decline can nevertheless 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 start your vehicle 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 make sure they’re 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 because of too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be easily 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away.   After the corrosion is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. 

Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car 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 are just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this type of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They’re not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery for 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 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 whilst 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 be sure they have a secure connection also.

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 insulation kit.   Newer model cars already have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not have one, you can easily set up one yourself.   Just make sure it fits 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 — like 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 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.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is the reason why folks 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 being used.   They do it by providing enough electricity for your 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 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 chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so will dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you 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 using 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 when 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 are overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

  2. 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’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are dying early, you will 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.