But many people find that they need 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 prevent this from happening.
We’ll also offer you 8 simple tips and tricks to maximize the lifespan 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 1 day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is 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”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most reliable, and most widely used type 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 possible.
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 some time, 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 not able to start your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection 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 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 glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas.
The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away. Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the car. When the vehicle is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are supposed to provide 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 for a battery which powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives 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 has 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 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 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 doesn’t have one, you can easily install one yourself. Just make sure 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 will tell you if your battery will fit their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically 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 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 people 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 (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use. They do it by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the vehicle 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 shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge. The main thing to remember with this tip 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 using a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Check your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there is a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).