But many people find that they have to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
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 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 article will be easy to do…and anybody will have the ability to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s begin! …
First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (however 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’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been 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”…
Rather, 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 dependable, and most widely used form 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 gently.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we seek 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 a while, but have to be watched.
Around this time, you may either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being unable to begin your vehicle for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they are clean and rust free. One of the first problems most people have with their car battery is the build-up of rust around the terminals. Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this is 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the vehicle. When the vehicle is on, the auto 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’re just 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.
Instead, car batteries are supposed to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They’re not made to provide 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, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s 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 secure and has good battery wires. 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 cause damage to your car while creating a security risk. The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re 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 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 fits your car’s battery compartment. Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can place in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as 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 car is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the car computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations and locate 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 being used. They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while. 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 opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this can dramatically enhance 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 tip is…make 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: Check your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there is a need for water. So check the car 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 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 — which shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).