Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many people find that they have 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 easy tips and techniques to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anybody 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’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 one day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most reliable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used gently.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we seek 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 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 until a problem arises (like being not able to start your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review 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 many 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 glue (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 corrosion away.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, 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’re using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They’re not made to provide 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 which powers electronics, instead of 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 automobile accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has great battery wires. The battery has to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might short circuit. This will ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a security risk. The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). 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 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 be certain it matches your car’s battery compartment. Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can put in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically 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 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. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers. This is why folks come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain 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 do not always draw current from the vehicle 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 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 charge. The most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life of your battery. Do this using a charger, interchanging batteries…or just 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 need for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, 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’re overcharged.
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve 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).