But lots of men and women find that they have 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 automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also offer you 8 easy 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 easy to do…and anyone will have the ability to perform 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 (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 often the battery was charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…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.
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 ideal performance stage, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still 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 unable to begin your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and rust free. One of the initial 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 car and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this can be readily 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away. After the rust is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. Make certain to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle. 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 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 power for ignition. They are not made to offer 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 which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has good battery wires. The battery has to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and could short circuit. This may ruin the battery and even damage your car whilst creating a security 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 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 set up 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 place 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 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. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the car computers. This is why folks come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use. They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off. They’re also helpful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully control. The most important thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it’ll 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 vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there is a demand for water. So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to look at your vehicle’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.