Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many people find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
Why is this?
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 automobile 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 will teach you in this article will be easy to do…and anybody will be able to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s get started! …
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 care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die one day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s 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 maintenance…which you can do something about.
A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, 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 lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we attempt to keep for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite some time, 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 start your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure they’re clean and corrosion 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 car and many batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated simply by 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 at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the vehicle. When the car is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are 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 as a battery that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly utilized 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 could short circuit. This may ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your car battery from big changes in temperature will help optimize the battery’s lifespan. To do this you can use a car battery insulating material. Newer model cars currently 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 site where you can put 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 automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing appropriate 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. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers. This is why folks 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 (regular or solar) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use. They do this by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. They’re also useful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this will 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 because 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’s a demand 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).
Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be explosive.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your car’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).